Sunday, 25 March 2012

Graduate Myth #11: You Will Marry Your University Boy/Girlfriend (and live happily ever after)

Surely we all know this one is a myth, right? You'll go to university, meet someone, have a wonderful time with them but then slowly drift apart as you meet exciting and new people, until that university relationship is nothing more than a fond memory...

Actually, no. I have just married my university boyfriend. For me, at least this is one myth that's actually true.


We married on a glorious sunny day in St Andrews on St Patricks Day, a date chosen by accident. Friends and family gathered in the place we met, mixing together 'uni' and 'home' life perfectly. The day was amazing, not perfect but perfect to us. Students and graduates and people who had never been to uni danced with varying skill and alcohol levels, and all in all a good time was had.

I don't think Mr DG and I will have a happy ever after, in the Disney sense. I've spent today catching up on the housework, and he's been at work, and we will still have money problems, and job problems. We still need to think about the practical things in life. I still need to blog. (Under tax changes we will be £200 a year better off as we have no children. Discuss.) However, we are happy in the now, and we can go together to the future and all that cheesy stuff.

We met at university and now we are double-barrelled graduates (we took each other's name and created a new unit) so in terms of this myth, for me at least, I can safely say that if you want it to be true, it will absolutely come true.

(Normal posting to resume soon.)

Monday, 12 March 2012

Undergraduates: unexpectedly terrifying

Still pimping out for any guest posts people want to send towards me!

In the meanwhile, a couple of vignettes from a few days back at the alma matar.

Within a pub, on a society pub crawl I have basically crashed via knowing some of the older participants

Me: Man, I used to love those old X-Men cartoons.

First year student: What, X-Men Evolution?

Me: No, the ones that were on before Live and Kicking, remember?

First year student: What's Live and Kicking?


At a flat of a friend, with her younger flatmate.

Flatmate: Yeah, she's like a mature student or something, she was born in 1989!


Flatmate: Some of the first years were born in 1994!

Me: Excuse me while I go and cry in the corner and look up Botox treatments.

Man, I'm getting old.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Guest posts

To make a long story short, I'm getting hitched less than two weeks which means that posting will become even more sporadic and then stop completely for a week or so.

To try and keep my monthly wordcounts up, if anyone has something pressing to say vaguely regarding the world of being a graduate (afraid of being a graduate? Should I talk about postgraduate work? Am I completely wrong in my political assessments? Should I put up more pictures of cats?) then any and all guest posts will be accepted this month. E-mail me! Let me know!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Graduate Myth #10: Pulling A Sickie

Myth: once you're a graduate, it's okay to take a few sick days every year. Apparently, Britain takes two fake sick days a year. There are, I'm told, working cultures where taking a week off sick is basically just taking another week's holiday.

I heartily suspect that none of these people are recent graduates.

I've taken days off sick. They're weird experiences, because after making the phonecall I always feel as though I'm somehow faking it. This is possibly the experience of having nurses for parents, who were of the opinion that unless I was actively dying I could still go to school, but I always convince myself I'm somehow swinging the lead. Days taken off sick recently include 'having a car accident the day before' and 'tonsils gone septic and one of them leaking pus on inside of throat'. Despite being unable to get out of bed and on so many painkillers I'm having mild hallucinations, a small part of me thinks that if I just had a hot shower and a cup of tea I'd be completely fine.

The problem is that as a graduate, you are pathetically grateful for simply having employment. You have a year to bed down and look like you are essential to the job, so if you have an unexpected day off and the place continues without you then you have clearly just signed your P45. If you're paid by the hour then it's clearly even more of a disaster, as you lose a day's pay that's desperately needed.


As a graduate, a planned sick day is something that I know many people use to great effect. If you have something urgent that's come up and you're out of holiday, then it's time to utilise The Sick Day. I can't believe the amount of interviews I've been to where people confide the illnesses they've called in with. (Generally not to the interviewers, as that is interview suicide right there.) In fact, with a little preparation you can prep for your sick day long in advance by talking about illnesses in the family, and start displaying 'symptoms' the day before. Plus, if you've already budgeted for the day off then you don't have the crushing fear about money, and you can quietly arrange your workload to come crashing down in those days, making you look invaluable.

I realise that these two paragraphs seem to cancel each other out, but don't worry, I'm getting to a point here. Logically, the sensible thing for graduates to have would to be in a sensible job market where their skills were fully valued, and where the bonuses outweigh the horrors, meaning they wouldn't have to fiddle things with an unsympathetic employer for an interview. Where they wouldn't feel guilty at taking a reasonable day off work due to illness, and use that day to fully recover, rather than limping through to the weekend as a feverish, tear-y mess praying for release. (See above re: tonsils.) The whole system seems wrong.

It's not that I agree with people taking regular sickies at all, but my goodness, I wish people didn't assume they were all hangovers. I suspect a bit more respect in the workplace would sort out the whole matter.

(This post is bought to you by a recent outbreak of a stomach bug in the Disorientated Graduate household. Fun.)