When I first applied to University I thought my future was set. "Great, I'll do my degree then get a job," I thought. Little did I know this was not to be the case.
Three years later and I'm facing heading back home, going on benefits and looking for whatever job I can find while I save up for another qualification. Walking into a job seems to be a distant dream right now. For me, I'm saving up for the NCTJ - after I pay off my bank overdraft, that is.
The reality is, the majority of students (that I know, anyway) seem to have overdrafts to pay off - I have a year to pay off mine. This means that students have debts requiring a quicker payback than the general student loan - but if I end up remaining on benefits for the next six months, this will make paying it off pretty much impossible.
Even finding a job is difficult, now. It seems that every career requires infinite specialisms - I thought I'd be able to get a job as a receptionist, but for a lot of them, I need a specific NVQ. Regardless, every job application I've made in that sector has been unanswered. Indeed, I've not had positive feedback from any of the jobs I've applied for, which have been in a variety of fields - my email inbox has become cluttered with rejection emails, which can be pretty depressing.
For us students, in most cases, another qualification is needed - a degree is just a stepping stone. Many people I know are going straight into their MA after a summer off from work, but not everyone can get funding for such things - myself included. It was enough for my parents to fund me through my undergraduate degree; I can hardly expect them to sponsor me through more qualifications.
The other option is work experience - something I'll be looking for on top of the job search. As with the job hunt going on at present, I didn't get any responses from people when I contacted them in the past. When I decided to up my game and call places, I rang my local newspaper last year and was told that they didn't even offer work experience. Regardless, work experience placements often still require experience - to get experience you need experience. Vicious cycle.
As for work experience at bigger companies, they're often in London - I don't live anywhere near there, and can hardly expect my parents to shell out even more money for me to do that. I'll need to save up for that by getting a job - oh no wait, I can't get one....
I sound annoyed, and I am. I worked incredibly hard for my degree, and I'm very willing to work. Problem is, going to University doesn't seem to be providing the happy ending I was looking for.