LIFE | What Being An Unemployed Graduate Has Taught Me

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Despite no one actually wanting to hire me, I learnt a lot whilst I was at university. But I’ve been unemployed for a few months now, and have spent my time learning from The University of Liiiiiiiiiife. And I have acquired some pretty useful knowledge.

15. I’ve Upped My Eye Makeup Game: When you don’t really tend to leave the house a lot, you’ll try and fill your days with anything. Anything. For me that turned into spending an extortionate amount of time doing my eye makeup, ’cause you’ve got to look good for all those job rejection emails you’re gonna read! Playing with different palette combinations, using different brushes, changing the shape and length of your eyeliner; you can make this process last a long time.

14. How To Make The Perfect Cheese Toastie: Much like the above, I’ve had a lot of time to master this art. You can pick the type of cheese, the type of bread, what topping you want– it’s limitless. You can waste a good five minutes of your endless days making lunch. So far I’ve settled on white toastie bread, Wensleydale cheese, and onion chutney. You’re welcome.

13. That Reading Can Actually Be Enjoyable: It feels so great reading a book and knowing you’re not going to have to write an essay on it. So great. And because of my Nook, I now don’t even have to leave the house to buy a book. Magic!

12. All The German I Forgot Since GCSE: After graduation in a state of mania, I announced I was going to move to Berlin and write the next great German Expressionist novel. This obviously did not end up happening, but I did stick with the app I downloaded where you feed a giant frog different German phrases. It makes a nice change from Fruit Ninja.

11. The Joys Of The Bubble Bath: Although I had a bath in my student house, I didn’t like to use it because the bathroom door didn’t lock. I only remember using it a few times; once was when I was watching the episode of Lost where Charlie drowns. It was weird because I was also submerged in water and I felt like I was one with Charlie (#NotPennysBoat). I don’t recommend it. But now I have a locking door and can live freely in the bath. I can use colourful bath bombs and watch my favourite fictional characters die to my heart’s content.

10. That I Do Not Need To Treat Coca-Cola Like It Is My Life Support: I like to think I’m a pretty healthy person. I’m a vegetarian, I eat a lot of fruit, I like to drink water. But I really, really, really like Coke. All throughout uni I felt it was the only thing that could get me through the day. Two hour 9AM lecture? Get a Coke. Writing an essay? More Coke. Working through my reading list? Coke. Maybe it’s just because I’m not really doing a lot with my days now, but I am finding it easier to resist. I am strong. I am powerful. And I am not tired (*screams and charges into battle*).

9. When You Own A House You Have To Clean The Doors: In my boredom, I’ve taken to doing a variety of chores that sixteen year old me would have cried over. Recently, when I asked my mother if there was anything that needed cleaning, she said the doors. I had never thought that people cleaned doors before. I knew that real live grownups had mortgages and paid council tax and other boring stuff. But cleaning doors? It’s like witchcraft. I still cleaned them though. All. Eleven. Of. Them. When I do a job, it gets done.

8. How To Crack An Egg Without Getting Shell In the Yolk: This one seems pretty simple but it’s something I never managed before. I have wasted a lot of eggs in my time. I am in a whole new world of omelettes and it is wonderful.

7. How To Not Leave The House For Over A Week: When I was at uni I actually had to go outside to learn things and to buy food. It was a hard life. But now there’s always food in the fridge and the extent of my learning is reading Wikipedia for hours on end. I am free to stay inside for as long as I want. Spending my days rewatching Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Netflix and wearing a Hello Kitty onesie. I’d try to sell it as a perk of unemployment, but I’m so ready to leave the house and be productive again. Just not to have to battle Sainsbury’s at 6PM on a Friday.

6. That Sick Days Aren’t Nearly As Enjoyable When You’re Not Missing School: Even when I was at university and knew that I was paying for my education, I still loved having sick days. So I might be missing something important, big deal. I had a box of tissues and a never ending supply of green tea, I was a pretty happy without all the Elizabethan literature. But I’m also sick right now, and I keep coughing and then choking on my coughs and it’s pretty much just awful. The one golden light of being sick is that you can stay in bed and watch movies, which is pretty much what unemployment has looked like for me anyway– and that doesn’t include all the nose blowing.

5. The Perfect Pesto To Pasta Ratio: Pesto pasta is my favourite meal ever and I love it so much. You can put like any vegetable combination in it and it still tastes amazing. Everyone should love pesto pasta. Seeing as I’m a real life grownup now, I make my own food. But because I still feel like a child when faced with the task of cooking, I like to stick to what I know. Some may call it boring, but I am now the expert in pesto pasta making. I’d tell you my secret, but I’d have to kill you.

4. Going To Bed Before 3AM Is Manageable And Actually Kind of Enjoyable: I was definitely one of those nocturnal students who did their best work in the dead of night. And if I wasn’t working, I was probably sucked into some ‘just one more episode’ TV marathon on Netflix. Maybe it’s just because I’m super old now, but I like to sleep. I’m not like a 10PM bedtime person yet or anything, but as soon as it hits midnight I feel it is time. And that is really early for someone who has been on an EST sleeping pattern since she was fifteen.

3. How To Watch A Film Without Mentally Planning An Essay About It: Similar to the book problem, but much more intrusive as Netflix is my one true love. For a while after my degree I found myself making mental notes on the scene transitions and cinematography of whatever I watched, and I had to keep stopping myself from pausing them to transcribe certain quotations. It just seemed second nature to me to apply film theory to everything I was viewing. But I’ve seemed to cull this habit recently, which is good because I’ve watched a lot of cheesey romcoms over Christmas which don’t exactly scream ‘APPLY RICHARD DYER TO ME’.

2. All Of The Countries In The World: In a desperate attempt to make it seem like my unemployment is productive, I have spent a lot of time playing Sporcle quizzes. My favourite is definitely the countries of the world quiz, and the day I got all 197 of them was possibly a prouder moment than swooping across the stage of City Hall in my giant black cape to receive my degree. Oceania was definitely a tough category to master, even more so than classes on 17th century Britain.

1. Day Time Television Is So Terrible It Actually Inspires You To Get A Job: Some people may complain about their work, but those people haven’t spent their days watching only Catfish and I Used To Be Fat. If I didn’t already spend enough of my days trawling through every job site known to man and trying to perfect the art of the cover letter, I’d certainly want to after spending four hours watching My Cat From Hell.

If my academic achievements apparently mean nothing to prospective employers, maybe some of this knowledge will. Because my door-cleaning prowess is definitely worth more than a first in Disney Studies (nothing should be worth more than a first in Disney Studies).


Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

2 thoughts on “LIFE | What Being An Unemployed Graduate Has Taught Me”

  1. This made me laugh loads, I love the originality of it! The bit about Coke rings so true as well, I am currently an addict to it and I feel like it gets me through my early mornings haha 🙂

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