Two years on. I am two years older than when I completed the course, therefore entering into the second section of the 20s. I must say that age bothers me less and less- entering a new section of 20something has made me feel oddly reckless, and uncategorised by single years. I don’t care about getting ‘older’. I have had bigger things to worry about.
Since graduating from Imperial, I have spent much more time out of work and searching for it, than in employment. I’ll say this straight out, here, on this old blog- I do regret the MSc. For me, in my experience, it has certainly not been worth it. It was enjoyable and inspiring. I’m not sure if I have ever truly been so happy, for such a long time, as I was when I was doing the MSc (and that’s even despite the very painful, personal break-up and professional humiliation during my work placement). It made me feel like I could do anything for a year. Read my earlier posts. I was happy. Now, I would rather have my 2008 savings back.
Perhaps young adults are not meant to say that- especially, I believe, young twentysomethings in the first five years. Those are the years when you still believe a lot of things. You still want to use your degree. You still want to make yourself. You still want to leap first and pave your way as you go along… take that course and face the world after it, ready and equipped, all guns blazing.
I’m describing me, of course. I know that’s how I was.
I cannot emphasise enough how difficult and frustrating the job search has been for me. And, well. It’s so hard to maintain momentum when life grinds to a halt. So hard to stay a powered freelancer when I can’t get by. Again this year, I have been searching for work for many months now. I haven’t found paid work since June, except for service jobs I have been working to try and get off the dole. I’ve been to interviews. I snapped briefly in August, felt depression return, that unwelcome bastard.
What’s the response, when someone has failed? Look to their flaws? See what it is they did wrong? Tell them to learn from it, and move on to the next fight? I don’t want to go into all of that, the analysis of how I have looked for work, and what I could have done more of. I don’t want to debate the unavoidable consequences of the recession versus the fumbling attempts of the academic university grad, trying to shine at every hood-eyed employer. I just want to say, my goodness, but now I understand the importance of Career Path. Not Job. Not Dreams. Career Path. Profession, maybe. I cannot spin gold out of this MSc qualification. In this current world, it will get you nowhere.
I am actually going to move back into science, next year. There’s a whole World of No I seem to be encountering here. Maybe science is all I’m guaranteed to be able to do. I would rather become a research scientist, even if I am not going to achieve much in the field of cell biology. I got accepted to a postgraduate course, leading to a PhD, and I will be grateful to end this long nadir of being not particularly useful to anyone in the media, science communication, PR, journalistic, publishing, or journalistic world. Twentysomething life, currently, feels somewhat failed.
This is how it has been for me. I post this here to perhaps help any prospective student who reads it, to take caution, and consider the very painful job market after graduation.