Roz talks about not thinking of careers during her degree
Chapter details: Roz studied English Literature purely because she liked books and didn't think about what she'd do afterwards; whilst she critiques the neoliberal attitude to consuming higher education and getting on a graduate scheme afterwards, she regrets her lack of money now
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Subject: English Literature
Student status: Home, Graduate
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I didn't really give a great deal of thought to what I'd do afterwards to be perfectly honest and I think that's kind of where I've come undone now. I did the course because I liked it, I went to the university because my girlfriend was going there, I did the course because I liked it and then I didn't … I didn't go to … you know people … there's a girl actually that I'm thinking of who I didn't know when I was at university but she started when I left, actually, she's a few years younger than me but she was going out with a friend of mine and she was really into the career development stuff and graduate fairs and all the rest of it. She ended up on a graduate scheme and I think she got onto it in her fourth year. Anyway, she was really, really … she was really into her own career development and she really took charge of her career development. 

Again, it's this neoliberalism thing, be the best you can be, augment, augment, augment, learn but not really learn, or be exposed to information but don't actually internalise it, don't reflect on it but just eat, eat books and go get a nice job on a nice graduate scheme at the end of it. For all I kind of think that's a bit of a crap way to live and will probably cause you to have a nervous breakdown burn out at 40, I still think this woman's probably on about £30,000 now and I'm ... I do I envy the fact that her and people like her have salaries. There's a possibility of career development, they have job security, they have salaries, they have … they can go out for dinner and not worry about whether their card's going to be declined. They can buy things, they don't have to live in some shitty half bedroom in a shared house in a nice but not great bit of North London where there's all these people crammed into a house where maybe three or four people ought to be. It's not … they get to have their own house and live properly and I feel like I'm scrabblng around for a rat, trying to find a junior admin role somewhere but no where … you know what I mean?

So I do … it's tricky, you can critique it all you want and I think there's a lot of critique but on practical terms I think there's something to be said for taking control of your own career development early on. I don't think that a 21 year old is necessarily equipped to know at that point what they're going to do with the rest of their lives but at least they get some money coming in in the interim and if they do have a breakdown at 35 or 45 or whatever, they've probably accrued enough money to have a bit of a cushion for a bit.

And some therapy.

Yeah and some therapy and to see, oh wow they decided they're going to go off and work for an NGO if an NGO will have them.