gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

Gradulthood. The Early Months

December 2010
Last weekend after six months away I returned to Leeds. Not only the city in which I studied for three years but the very city in which I became a Gradult. This is a brief look at my first forages into Gradulthood.
Not actually my house but you don't know that.
July 2009
My first few weeks as a Gradult were dominated by two key themes in the Gradulthood existence, namely uncertainty and a chronic lack of funds. With university winding down and every night out being billed as ‘the last night out ever’ - it was impossible to say no to an event. ‘I’m staying in, I can’t afford it’ just didn’t cut it during the last term, after all, what were you saving your money for? Life as we knew it was over once that final exam was finished. With every night out having to be bigger than the one preceding it and inevitably more costly I began working for a fundraising company before all my friends had even gone home.

Two other gradults had also decided to stay in Leeds and work, rather than the sensible option of going home and living rent free. The problem is we didn’t have a house. What followed was a nomadic existence, taking in a sofa in Burley, a very enjoyable two week spell in a cavernous house in Hyde Park and even a morning by a river at Kirkstall Abbey when there was actually nowhere to go. After a few false dawns we moved into a small terrace house right in the centre of Headingley. The location was so good it would have made Kirstie Allsopp blush; walking distance to bars, shops, hairdressers and the bookies, close enough to be at the centre of one of the most vibrant streets in Leeds but miraculously sheltered from any noise or traffic. With its cobbled streets and resident cats it was the dream setting to begin Gradulthood.
The remit of the year for me was to save up for a summer in America. The route was cobbled together from a map procured from Google images, some cities were disregarded just because they didn’t appear on that particular map, lengths of time in each city were primarily based on how much we knew about them, and most of what we knew of each city was based on television programmes and films, perhaps the reason we originally planned to spend ten days in L.A – ridiculous. Infact Philadelphia was struck off because we didn’t like the look of the Wikipedia article, could have been a mistake, we’ll never know. Obviously we couldn’t go to America without a year of work, finding a place to live had been tricky but getting a job we could stick at for a year was proving almost impossible...

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