The end of my course is fast approaching.
I’ve spent the last three years of my life living, studying, doing everything at university. It’s been like existing in a little bubble, and even with the small punctuations of reality – y’know, that whole ‘having a baby’ thing – I’ve felt secure and safe and comfortable.
Now I’m about to be thrown into the big wide world, with (hopefully) a degree in Theatre, Television and Performance, and not a lot else. Right now I don’t even have a CV, let alone a particularly attractive one. My last experience of working was a few nights as a nightclub promoter in first year, and before that it was working as a takeaway cook, which I gave up to focus on my A Levels. Since the start of second year, being pregnant/having a baby and studying has pretty much divided my time equally, and I’ve not had much opportunity to do much else.
The thing is, I don’t know what I want to do next, let alone what I’ll be able to do. If I leave uni and look for work, we’ll be up the proverbial creek without a paddle financially – but how long can I realistically stay at uni, do I want to be a perpetual student, and will anywhere accept me for just one year of a three year course? Besides, it’s hardly ethical (and probably not legal), so not something I can really consider doing.
But what am I qualified to do? As a new graduate, probably not much. My degree is in Theatre, Television and Performance – it’s taught me a lot, and made me versatile, but people see the degree title and assume I’m proficient in acting like a tree and not a lot else. I’m interested in working in social media and networking, but what experience do I really have? A couple of years as a Facebook Ambassador for my uni, followed by writing this blog – and I can’t really credit this as experience, I’ve talked about my vagina on here, for god’s sake. Not what an employer wants to read.
So where do I go? The support for student parents is great while you’re at uni, but when you leave uni and become a regular, bog-standard young-but-not-young-enough-to-make-the-Tories-cry parent, the support drains away into nothing. You’re just another graduate, trying to battle all the other graduates for the rapidly-draining pool of jobs you’re barely qualified for – with the added difficulty of trying to balance childcare too.
Who, in six months time, is going to hire a 21-year-old mum with a Drama degree and a CV with huge gaping holes in it?