Anthem from a Doomed Youth

The future looks bleak for

As James Bond might pithily remark to some henchmen just after they get crushed by the giant penny conveniently hanging in their boss’ lair, you should never be afraid of change. Which is great, because round about this time of year change will probably have shown up to hit you in the proverbial squishy parts like a roundhouse kick from Optimus Prime.

I feel a lot like a cow, rapidly approaching the end of a conveyor belt and staring blankly at the man on the end with the bolt gun.

First-years will presumably have hit their first round of procedural work due, just in time for second-years to let them know it’s only first year and they should wait until it actually gets hard. Second-years are starting their first round of procedural work that actually counts for anything, just in time for third-years to tell them about dissertations and to wait until it actually gets hard.

And for third-years, it’s time to start applying for graduate schemes and, much like a Halloween partygoer glumly watching the tip of the test turn blue, figuring out what you’re actually going to do in nine months. And no number of coathangers can take that away (what can I say – abortion references bring out my inner child).

Travelling to the future’s a lot less fun than I thought it’d be. The cars don’t fly, there are no Daleks and people keep asking me what inspires me about ALDI. But it’s coming for me regardless, and I’ve spent the last week scrolling through websites and wandering through careers fairs, speeding towards The Real World and the half-formed spectre of dole queues in the distance with an ever-growing sense of dread.

I feel a lot like a cow, rapidly approaching the end of a conveyor belt and staring blankly at the man on the end with the bolt gun.

What am I going to do? Where am I going to do it? What does inspire me about ALDI?! I don’t know. Right now I’m staring out of my window at a Silent Hill’s worth of impenetrable, unknowable fog, because even pathetic fallacy wants to throw a grenade in my dreams.

Mapping out my next step is like being told to make the next move on a six-dimensional chess-board, only all the pieces are made out of snakes, and the board is made out of snakes, and you keep having to avoid all these snakes because to save time you’ve been thrown in a pit of snakes.

And to cap it all off, everyone else seems to have their plan nice and ready. Maybe it’s a confidence thing. Going back to the Bond, well, I could start monologuing my masterplan while grinning maniacally and stroking a white cat (or a particularly pale goose – student budgeting).

“A vague sense of financial security! Not having to live with my parents for the next five years! The idea that I know what I’m doing! ALL THIS SHALL BE MINE!! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!”

And speaking of feelings of descending rapidly into the abyss, another thing – my lift’s been broken for three weeks. After week one, maintenance came out, officially initiated it into the Yep That’s A Pretty Broken Lift Right There Club, and then went on their merry way. Until then, we’ll all have to use the stairs. Or just sit in a box and go “wheeee”.

But my hopes were brightened slightly by probably the best conversation I had this week, with a man in a Dracula costume outside a pub telling me he was worrying about his future life choices. “How old are you?” “32”. That’s not only the long-awaited sequel to that Taylor Swift song, it’s an age that’s older than I am! It could be worse! Maybe I do have time to figure out what I’m doing! And that makes me happy.

Well, maybe not happy. God. I’m a student columnist. I’ve got a healthy level of misanthropy to maintain. But I’m not any closer to suicide, either. And you know what, kids, I’m calling that a win!

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