Originally published April 2014 at Grapeshot
Words | Blake Antrobus
Jobs jobs jobs. The brutal, dreaded, soul-crushing reality that awaits the student outside the University. Part-timers already know the heartache of it all; ironing and starching the uniform, sifting through paperwork and coffees and feeling the drone of the boss and clients cut into your migraines like butter. Hospitality junkies, you have it worse. Putting aside the constant chiding from the customer, does it make you feel better knowing that the vomit and used serviette you emptied out from your pockets was worth the extra two-fifty tip?
Part-timers may have it lucky in the spectre of all things; a couple of hours during the day, dropping home to study or kick back, then rinse and repeat with the occasional tutorial to run off to. Let it not be said though, that even with the juggling of work, university, home and social lives that sometimes the performance falls flat. You can ‘have it all’ for one week, then the next you can have nothing when the crushing pressure of assignments or that one customer that won’t bite their tongue come crashing down on top of you.
Cynical? Yes. Realistic? No. The average human being at least recognises that a degree of organisation is needed to work around tougher deadlines. It may seem wise to constantly put yourself to work and drive through that gruelling day, but when the looming presence of the MAS203 essay creeps up that Friday. Then the guilt hormone kicks in – “Oh why me!?! WHY didn’t I think of doing that beforehand?! Why why why oh god oh god oh god…” et cetera. Perhaps it might be wiser, next time, to whittle off parts of your student work beforehand, rather than cramming to the end to accommodate for that one extra shift you had to pick up.
So what then of the prospect of jobs? Part-timers can’t stay part-timers forever. Surely after your studies are complete, you’ll start thinking of full-time employment? It is, bluntly, a minefield of headache-inducing trauma. Just thinking you’ve somehow got that job application under control, something chaotic blindsides you. Then there’s Medicare, credit cards, loans, car payments, drug updates, all that fun and jazz.
It may well be that you want to jump straight into the job market after graduation. The world is your oyster. If you’re still unsure, why not consider travelling or working abroad? There’s a fair bit you can do before settling down into the comfortable life of employment and ‘banality’. And in the future, if you have kids or want to tell stories at your rich dinner parties, you’ll have something that will inspire the next generation. Or, if you really just want to stay at Uni, you can just become a bit like Hagrid; grow a beard, build yourself a little hut and spend your days chasing dragons and bumming out around the Ubar.
Published April 2014, Grapeshot: Macquarie University Student Publication