It’s getting to that time now at Uni. Students, after nearly three years of sitting comfortably in the enveloping chair of student life, can see the end in sight. WhenI first began this degree three years ago, 2010 looked very far in the future: I had 3 years to find myself, decide what it is that I wanted to do, who I wanted to be.
I was always under the impression from waching my parents that how much you earn in a job is the most important thing. I didn’t want to be stuck in a job like a checkout girl in minimum wage all my life, because I had been there, and it’s fair to say that it isn’t for me. So I was all set out to be rich. I’d do any job, as long as it paid 30,000 a year. Then I met Joe and he turned my expectations upside down. He was an animator, he relied on his income from his teaching and anything else he could do in order to get by, and I admired him for it. From my point of view, it was almost as if he was taking the biggest leap of all, relying on his art for money.
In my second year, I was introduced to Karl Marx. Not the man himself, the teaching at Loughborough is good, but not good enough to raise the dead. Suddenly, the rat race wasn’t something that interested me. For a while, I wanted to stand on the sidelines, be who I wanted to be without having to worry about money and living. That was, until I realised that that wouldn’t get me where I wanted to go either. I’d end up living in a tree with someone called Dewdrop, surving on the moisture I could suck from leaves.
So where do I want to go? It’s a standard question this month. Hello, how are you, have you got your essay marks back, where do you want to go after Uni. Most people I speak to are biding their time with further education. I’m pretty sure that 70% of MA students next year will be made up of undergraduates who want to bide their time before being forced to decide where they want to go and be a grown up who has to pay council tax. Especially in English. If i had the money, that’s what I’d be doing to be sure.
To some people, I answer that I want to work in publishing, as a book marketer. To others, I say I am going to be a writer, just to see what their expression is. It’s a shame in some way, the people I know are all very nice, polite people, who follow my idea of being a novelist with: ‘your writing is very good’, or ‘I’ll look out for your name on the bestsellers list’. I’m really looking for a raised eyebrow, or ‘it’s up to you’, although I don’t really want to find it.
The thing is, I am 21. I have oodles of time to find out what/who I want to be, in theory. In January, the plan is to move to London, where I will have to get a job of sorts in order to eat and live and support Joe through his MA. Until then, I plan to continue to work as a library assistant, a job that suits me and that I currently love, and I’m going to try and write a book. Another book. One to be proud of. Because there’s only so long I have to sponge off my parents, and if I don’t try to become the writer I want to be now, I’m pretty sure I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.