My weekend pretending I was once again a student of Nottingham University was, to be oxymoronic, painfully fun. I arrived healthy, fit and ready for two days of student messiness. ("It's gonna be Lionel", as the guys say....took me rather a while to get this pun. What can I say, I just don't know enough about football). I left, however, with no voice, a broken shoe and a foot that was described rather too vividly as resembling a gammon joint. Student nightclub Ocean proved to be a little too much for this out-of-practice grad me thinks. Despite the fact I have black pumps without a sole on the right foot, am on antibiotics and sound rather like Leonard Cohen on an extra raspy day, I can say that it was actually, a spectacular weekend.
Living in the real world has been proving a bit too much for me and few of my graduated mates. The endless job applications, down hearteningly low wages and general lack of brain stimulation have left us pining for the student lifestyle once again.
Of course, when I was close to graduating I thought I had the whole world ahead of me. I couldn't wait to be earning and contributing, working and feeling grown up. The transition from uni lifestyle to real world routine can be difficult, especially if you don't feel much worth in your situation. Universities, especially personal tutors, need to prepare students more for this unexpected change. There are no cheap sports clubs or competitions any more and no regular social events with all your peers - it's very difficult to get everyone together at the same time and place these days. Alongside getting us prepared for finals, tutors need to be pushing us to start applying for jobs, work experience, grad schemes, anything that will help set us up for the after-life. I know these are the kind of things I'll be telling all my younger relatives to do.
Life seemed so much simpler when we could live in our pyjamas and eat pizza in the library at 2am. Nevertheless, the show that is our lives must, and will, go on. Despite reminding me of what I am missing, this weekend also showed me that we are all, mostly, in the same position and no matter what is happening in life, we will always have an amazing group of friends to share our woes with over rum and orange juice -or whatever other strange student drink we choose. Cheers!