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.

Georgia's half-full glass.

This week our regular Sunday feature '5 things I learnt this week' has been replaced by a guest article written by Georgia Braham (@geobraham) on the positive aspects of Gradulthood:

'No money. No regular routine. That look of disappointment on relatives faces when you tell them what you are doing (I’m just, you know, taking my time to really work out what I want to do... *voice trails off*) Applications that take you three weeks and half of your soul to complete, swiftly met with a ‘thank you for your application but there are other applicants that more suitably match the requirements of the role and therefore we will not be progressing your application further’ (yes I copied that from an official rejection) Sure, I could sit here all day and list the trials and tribulations of being an unemployed graduate, but where’s the fun in that? This gradult is more of a glass half-full kind of person. So here’s my list of the top 5 positives of being a Gradult.

5. The news. Never before has the news made it more acceptable to be unemployed. So the recession is the reason why 1 in 5 graduates are sitting at home twiddling their fingers and playing Angry Birds. But the recession is also a fantastically genuine reason to be out of work. Every day the paper brings a new set of unemployment figures that, perhaps wrongly, brings a wry smile to my face. So I say, embrace the recession. Right now it may be your foe, but it’s also your friend. Your get out of jail free card with your parents. It’s a shame that Gradulthood isn’t actually a game of Monopoly, because that £200 sure would come in handy...

4. Tea. The ultimate procrastination drink. Filling in a long and pretentious application form? (Last week one question asked ‘what is va va voom?’ Urgh.) Have a cuppa. Run out of work to do at your temping job – make a cuppa. Received yet another rejection email? What better to cheer you up than a good old cup of English tea, perhaps with a dash of vodka to ease the pain...? Yes, tea is to Gradulthood what booze is to an alcoholic, it’s necessary for survival in this cruel gradult world. Put the kettle on.

3. Listening to friends who have got "proper" jobs and seem just as miserable! The green eyed monster is an unwelcome friend of Gradults. We all have that friend who walked straight into a job after Uni, another who is earning much more money and another chasing their dream and saving the world at the same time. But take solace in the fact that six months down the line, your friend who walked straight into a job will most likely have walked straight out again (recruitment consultant – we all know one) and your mate with the big salary is borderline suicidal with stress. Gradulthood is tough for everyone, job or no job. So whilst there is probably someone better off, there is undoubtedly someone worse (hello again recruitment consultants). Take solace in this Gradults.

2. Living with the parents. A controversial positive but hear me out (read Joe's article on the matter here). We all know that washing, ironing and a seemingly magical refillable fridge are the icing on the otherwise somewhat stale and flavourless cake of moving back home. But there is more to rejoice in. Gradults must dig deeper and take joy in the smaller positives. Shampoo that smells way nicer than Smart Price, an infinite supply of board games (for cheap nights in with other Gradults) and radiators that stay on all day. The list is endless. So take a look around, find something to be optimistic about and maybe eat some soup from the jam-packed cupboard. Heinz of course, it’s on Mum.

1. The Holy Grail of Gradulthood – The Job Interview. The Job Interview is to a Gradult what the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is to the keenest of twitchers (it’s a bird, honest – Google it). Just one of these is enough to get you smiling for an entire week. After months of sending CVs, cover letters and some blood and guts for good measure, the lack of any mere acknowledgement of this effort can get a Gradult down. But just when you are about to throw the towel in and accept that medical testing job, an email pops into your inbox. It’s only a job interview for that job you applied for three months ago and had forgotten existed. All of a sudden you have something to strive for; all the hard work seems worthwhile. For a Gradult, this feeling is unbeatable. You are Usain Bolt, leading the pack in the Olympics final. But then Usain trips in a freak banana incident, the pack go past in a flash and that rejection email arrives so fast it’s the one that sets a new world record. This was meant to be about the positives? Oh...'

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