The World is your Oyster

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

Review of 2013

Originally published March 2014 at Grapeshot
Words | Blake Antrobus

Ho ho et cetera. It’s that time of year when we need to delouse the closet in our room, and rejuvenate our eStudent records. Don’t forget to brace your wallet for the textbooks and readers that you may use once, and then discard like McDonalds Happy Meal Toys. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, 2014 has finally arrived, and somehow, our blurred and drunken memories of the New Year’s seem sadly anticlimactic.

Whether or not our beer goggles have finally worn off, the memories of those past nights can be easily remembered by looking around the room. It’s only a matter of time now, and they’ll piece together, revealing your drunken mate Andrew rocking out to the tune of ‘Afternoon Delight’, in his Barney the Dinosaur costume. Next, you’ll see him waking up on the floor, blinking like a dazed cat, and suddenly realising that it isn’t water covering his suit…

I wish I could say that this is everyone’s case: partying to the point of no return in the morning. Some of us, however, choose to reflect on the year that has just past, sober, and take the opportunity to prepare for the new one. After all, T.S. Eliot said so himself, “for last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice”. We may  have already covered New Year resolutions, but looking back on what’s been said and done in 2013, is something we here, at Grapeshot, encourage, and even endorse.

Indeed, what a year we have been through together – Miley did her ‘thing’ at the MTV awards night, Godzilla, hypothetically, leveled Boston, North Korea had its Cuban Missile Crisis, Snowden successfully trolled the NSA in a major security leak operation, and, to add insult to injury, the U.S. government had major turbulence with its health care reform and shutdowns, making it a bad year for Obama.

Not all of it, though, has been doom and gloom in the international picture. After all, we’ve seen the election of the new Pope Francis, making sweeping changes to the organisation of the Church. We’ve also seen the major help operations in the Philippines after natural disasters devastated the region.

Then there’s our local scale, where we’ve seen mixtures of tragedy, and comedy, in our escapades. Thomas Kelly will forever be in our hearts, after his death at the hands of a coward-hit sparked major crackdowns on alcohol. We saw flames and flood in Victoria and Queensland respectively, and all jumped in to face the danger. Then, as the cherry on top of a great year, we saw Tony Abbott rise to the throne as the new Dark Overlord of the New World Order (okay, we know this isn’t true, but considering that we loved and hated Rudd, it was bound to happen).

But what about living in the present moment, now? Digging up ancient history is nice and all, yet we should be focusing on our future achievements and successes! Maybe some of us would like to see King Jong-un duke it out with Bush in the middle of the Sahara, or find out that the Dalai Lama was a Jedi knight the whole time. The Onion may well be ‘America’s finest news source’ for a good reason (taking the piss). Naturally, we may never see some of these things happen, but it’s always fun to make joke hypotheses at the expense of personal integrity.

Published March 2014, Grapeshot: Macquarie University Student Publication