David Bowie’s infectious refrains; jangling silver in your wallet; Obama’s iconic red and blue posters. Change carries a lot of different connotations depending on your state of mind. Maybe it conjures that old adage ‘A change is as good as a holiday’. Well, I beg to differ, Mr Anon. A change probably won’t see you patting llamas on a street in Cusco, minding the gap in London or trying to direct the seven-foot British hippie carrying your drunk friend back to your seedy Berlin hostel. And while change can teach you many lessons, it’s definitely not as fun as a trip to Cancun.
Change, for me, is a completely intangible concept right now, but is also incredibly powerful. Whether you choose to make it happen, or realise something’s been happening for quite a while now, change can have a profound effect on your life, be it empowering, satisfying or just plain terrifying.
I’m about to undergo a change that I can’t control in the slightest – graduating. Short of undertaking a PhD or Masters—with which my HECS debt heartily disagrees—come November I will be metamorphosing from a student to a graduate. I’ll cast off my warm university cocoon, wriggling out into the real world to spread my beautiful butterfly wings.
And I’m shit scared.
I do semi-regular freelancing, have completed internships at magazines and can now say I know the News Ltd. guidelines for formatting quotations back to front. Uni has taught me a lot of things (including to avoid hotdogs at the Caf at all costs), but I’m not sure it’s taught me how to be, well, a real person.
Maybe I can tell you how to use a semi-colon, but I still live with my parents, my room is an abominable mess, and tax forms may as well be in a foreign language. University has been my snuggly safety blanket for the last four years. While you’re still under it, you’re cut a lot of slack when it comes to responsibility. There’s not a whole lot of pressure to properly manage your finances or make sure all of the dishes are clean, and no one really worries if you drink upwards of three bottles of wine a week. Plus you get cheap movie tickets.
But uni will soon be over and I’m going to have to do things. I don’t know if I should stay at home, or do like many of my clearly more responsible friends have done, and find a place where I can drink my aforementioned wine in peace. But that means rent, and probably giving up shoes. Worth it? Maybe, but regardless of whether I decide to fly the coop, the end of my tertiary years also means finding a job. Deciding on a future. Making a positive change in my career and quitting my shitty, three-shift-a-week retail job for something that will bring in the dollar dollar bills, y’all.
I’m pretty worried that it’s not going work out. Some of my fellow graduates-to-be have already secured jobs at PR firms, rural papers or local culture mags. Others are ABC cadets, full time copywriters or work at commercial TV stations. Although I’ve got a bit of experience to my name, I don’t have anything proper lined up. One of my best friends is jetting off around the world next year, and I’m tempted to book a flight so we can rendezvous in India and forget about jobs and phone bills and the real world. But part of me just can’t forget, and constantly reminds me of the fact that I should probably be looking for something that will help my professional growth.
Normally I try to end my articles with a witty wrap up, but this time it’s beyond me. My future is cloudy; I’m scared as all hell, and do not at all feel the happy Taylor Swift vibes of being 22.
Fingers crossed, I come out the other side of this inevitable change as a semi-adult, with a clearer frame of mind and a bangin’ job (and so have an excuse to blow a month’s pay on Cue office wear). Let’s hope that the end of uni makes me get off my arse and work shit out (even if it’s only for the next 12 months). Maybe I’ll be able to delete Seek from my Bookmarks.
But to bid adieu to my tumultuous love affair with higher education, I’m going to do what any responsible student would. For the next few glorious weeks I’ll be filling my ears with Bowie, my stomach with wine, and my days avoiding assignments with online shopping and procrasti-baking rather than job hunting.