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.

The Prince and the Pauper.

Classic Disney at its best.
Guest written by Emma Rostron (@beatyourgreens):

‘You’ll get paid a monthly salary going into your account on the 15th of every month”; the words as a Gradult, I had been waiting to hear since I graduated with a 2:1 Media and PR degree in 2008. After working in various casual retail jobs, coffee shops, and skipping off to Canada for a working gap year (“it’s character building, Mum”) this was it; I felt like little Charlie peeling that wrapper back on his Wonka bar! This definitely meant I was an adult now; having managed to secure myself a one year maternity cover contract at a Media development. Although the figure was nowhere near the £23,000 I was expecting as a graduate salary (seriously, damn you it presented itself as a stepping-stone in the right direction and although slightly nervous, I was delighted.

Having worked cash in hand jobs, or the seemingly normal minimum wage two week pay run, I wasn’t used to having a HUGE (Okay, not that huge.. but in comparison) influx of money in one go - this was all very new to me. “ I’ll budget” I said, whilst absent-mindedly clicking on the Topshop website to eye-up a new bag, to match the dress I obviously had to get now I was on a salary! Normally, my money would slip out of my purse as quickly as it had gone in – rent / bills / pub quiz. Now I had to organise my money in order to make it last the month, I was an adult….or was I?

Food shopping initially became an event, when you get paid the world is your oyster! “I will buy the ‘Taste the difference range’ hummus” as I scowled on the ‘basics’ range with disdain.

Sadly the optimism I had during the initial honeymoon period was short lived as I quickly realised that although I was on a salary, I always manage to spend everything running up to my next pay day. There is never a cash roll-over; I’m still always skint. Just now it’s just even more painstakingly dragged out. My housemate and I live our Gradult life with a cocky sense of ‘Graditude’ (see what I did there?) treating our paydays like the fearless student loan days of old. A lifestyle we affectionately dubbed ‘Prince vs Pauper’; there is never a happy medium.

The last week before payday is a sorry sight, I skulk round Asda rifling through the sales bin, bread that goes off today?! No problem! It’s 15p. This is where I feel like I’m a student again, but without the £1 a pint Tuesday nights, because my unsympathetic alarm wakes me up at 6:30am now. When I look back on my student diet over the three years I was in Sheffield, I distinctly remember one bleak period during third year exams that I had a £3 budget to last me a week. My treat came in the form of a Tesco Value basic margarita which was about 40p and tasted like the packaging it came in. If it’s true they say you are what you eat, I was a cheap, additive-pumped hot mess.

I’m sure there is a lesson to be learnt somewhere in this.

No comments:

Post a Comment