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Posts Tagged ‘Uni’

In Need of New Friends

I have come to the conclusion that I need new friends. I’ve arrived at this through several things, not least the fact that nobody was willing to accompany me to a Tenacious D gig next week even if I paid for their ticket. They just don’t seem interested in me any more. In many ways, I don’t blame them though. They have their new uni friends, their new uni life, or they’re graduating and will slowly be parting company with all of us anyway. I think that I have expected too much of them also, of wanting to meet up a lot, hang out or whatever. It is hardly surprising on a personal level either; I am perhaps the most boring person of the bunch. When there are several people in the group with wacky personalities that seem to be able to turn every thought into a life-long-friend-meme type thing, you know that it’s not going to be possible to stand out, it’s not going to be possible to seem anywhere near as interesting or exciting.

To be honest I’m not sure where to start looking for new friends. I’m not sure I will do any time soon. All I know is that I can no longer fight this losing battle, try and pester people into being sociable with me when they’re really not bothered. As I’ve said before, I think I should simply withdraw and focus on my career prospects. Not just because at least there I have some chance of success, but also that jobs, like school and college, are places to make friends.

It’ll come, in time. I hope…

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Getting Restless

Over the last few weeks I’ve changed somewhat. Beforehand, I’d envisioned staying in Southampton my whole life, because I love this city and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. But recently I realised that staying here is only holding me back – for me to make a better life for myself I need to get away, get out of my comfort zone. I also realised that I want to go into something to do with government or politics, and for that I need to look towards London. I just feel that my life is going nowhere stuck here, that I need to branch out, to move, to take charge of my own life, in order to progress. In pursuit of this I’ve applied for several jobs in London. I have no idea if I’ll get them. In fact, I’m feeling rather pessimistic about it.

All I know is, I have to do something and, if I can’t get a job there and move right away, I have to do it within the next few years. I just can’t stand staying at home, staying in this city of limited opportunities; it is holding me back.

Grad Ball?

The other day I got an email from my university reminding me about tickets for the Graduation Ball. Unlike previous such emails (which went into the ‘trash’ without a thought), I stopped and realised I hadn’t actually considered at all if I should go to this shindig. There are two strands of thought I have on this issue.

The first and most obvious one of these strands is regret. I would probably regret not going – after all, it’s only going to happen once. I may enjoy it. Even if I didn’t enjoy it, at least I can say I went; if you can say you went, you don’t have to reveal how you felt about it, whereas if you say you didn’t even go then you’d be instantly siezed on, with people saying energetically “were you insane!?” (or words to that effect).

The second and the one that sprang first to my mind is indifference. I would probably regret going – after all, I didn’t enjoy my prom, at which there were many more people that I knew, so why would I enjoy this? I’d just stand around looking like a right numpty, especially with no nice lady-friend to dance with (which I assume almost all people will). Admittedly this time I can drink alcohol, which would make it easier to grin-and-bear-it.

Overall I’m not sure. Besides which, I can’t even afford the ticket at the moment, although that should be sorted by tomorrow with a bit of a switcheroo of funds within my myriad of different accounts, from ISAs to savings to current accounts. I dunno. Maybe I should go. Especially since shame and peer pressure is such a powerful force in my life. Maybe I should ask if J-O wants to accompany me, which would solve the lady-friend problem, although she’d have to pay for herself.

An Interesting Phone Call

I know I recently said I’d had enough with J-O, that this time I meant it. I couldn’t keep it up. Not even for a week. I decided to send J-O a Christmas card. I re-liked the photo album of her in Cambridge. As soon as I did that we had a chat, about what she’s been doing recently and things, and we seemed to be ok again. I then bought her a small Christmas present, something I had been thinking about before. Then on Friday I called her and asked if she wanted to meet up, but she said she had a lot of work to do so couldn’t see me until after her mum visits her for Christmas (somewhat denting my present-giving plan). I asked if she’d got the card and she said she hadn’t.

Today, unexpectedly, I got a call from her. When I picked up the phone I could hear she was crying. She said that she had just opened my Christmas card and it made her cry. We had a little chat about how she was – I was planning to call her today anyway – and at the end I said ‘I miss you’, as I did on Friday, yet this time she said it back. I’m not sure why it made her cry. I’m pretty sure it was just a friendly card, nothing emotional, apart from my usual ‘always yours’ bit when signing off. The annoying thing is, I usually write down what I write to her, so I have my own record of full correspondence between us, but I thought this wouldn’t be important, so didn’t warrant writing down what I wrote.

I’d like to think it’s because she’s just realised that she misses me, but I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s more to do with the fact nearly all her friends have gone home for Christmas while she is stuck in her halls with 3 essays to write. Although, she did say today that her roommate is actually staying there with her, she didn’t go home, presumably to keep J-O company, as she apparently only lives 1 hour away. So I may not be able to stay if I do go visit her (although, if she is only 1 hour away it means it’s not difficult for her to go home for a bit if J-O would like me to stay).

As for the Christmas present thing, it should arrive on Wednesday, so I may be able to see her Thursday, before her mum arrives. Even if she’s not finished her essays, I’m sure if I say I have a present, she’d let me come see her. I would let her work though if we did meet up and she needed to work, I don’t want to disrupt her uni work. I think we could work out a compromise in which I could see her but also let her get on with her work. Maybe I could say I’d just want to meet in the early evening; she’d probably be fine with that. She can work in the afternoon and have some fun with me in the evening. Everybody wins. Right?

Thinking About Jobs

Recently I realised that my time at uni is swiftly drawing to a close and I will need to being looking and thinking about jobs right now. One thing I’ve been thinking about in the last few years is entering the Civil Service. The only trouble is that currently there is a recruitment freeze, with the only way to get in to the Civil Service being the Fast Track scheme for graduates. Looking at it a few days ago I was shocked to discover that the deadline for applying for next year is at the end of November. I began looking on the internet to see what it was all about and discovered that in 2008 there were 22,000 applications for the 500 places on the scheme. I’d dread to think what that number is now.

It’s also quite daunting to read about. As it’s a scheme for “future leaders of the civil service”, you are posted to several different departments over a number of years then thrown fairly quickly (by most standards, by govt standards especially) into management. Thinking about me, somebody who is just coming out of university, with no relevant experience, to be thrown headfirst into something like that is crazy. Not that I’d get onto it at this stage. The only thing working in my favour (well, in only one sense) is that the tests for the opportunity for an interview (which is basically what the initial online tests are) is based on competency rather than experience. I say in only one sense because I have no experience, but at the same time I don’t know if I’m going to be any good at the competency tests. If there are any that involve maths, I’m screwed.

Even if I do pass these online tests, I doubt I’d get any further. They’d take one look at me, a fresh-faced uni graduate with no experience, not even involvement in running a uni society on my CV, and say “next!”. So, I am thinking about doing some unpaid internship work with a local MP. Sure, it’s not exactly great work, in a constituency office (since I doubt there’s any chance of getting anywhere near Westminster) with no idea what work you’ll be trusted with, outside making tea and stuffing envelopes, but it’s a start.

Although, saying that (the not-getting-anywhere-near-Westminster bit), my mum’s friend’s son has said that he knows a Lord that is in need of an intern. I’ve said that I’m interested but would like to know what sort of work I’ll be doing. The thing is, I can’t imagine that Lords need many staff. Most of them only turn up a few times a year, vote on something, maybe debate a bit, then leave. They certainly don’t have constituencies, or being a minister (usually; there are one or two Lords that have govt jobs I believe) to worry about. He could be a Lord that sits on a Committee, which would need some extra work and so maybe a few staff, but surly those would be permanent staff, paid by the House? I can’t see Lords needing their own staff to do that work. Anyway, who knows. It might actually be interesting, useful. Certainly it would be nice to get a taste of the real Houses of Parliament, even if I would be dealing with Lords, the less interesting people (certainly compared to MPs).

Who knows what will happen. Certainly if nothing comes of these things I will have no idea what the hell I’m going to do for a job that would actually give me the sort of experience that might help me get into the Civil Service another year (the Fast Stream scheme not just being for graduates straight out of uni). Certainly if nothing comes of it then I will have no reason, I should think, to move to London  and have another shot with J-O…

A Train-Full Week and 1/2

From Saturday (8th) to Monday (17th), it’s going to be a week full of train journeys. I bought a 18 – 25 railcard on Saturday so my future trips up to London will cost 33% less, and I of course went to London that day. Sunday and Monday were train-free, I’m somewhat glad to say, but the rest of the time will be full of trains.

Today, as well as tomorrow, I have to take the train to and from uni. I always feel like going to sleep on the train for some reason. Those seats aren’t really comfortable, but they seem to be comfortable enough to almost nod off on, especially in the mornings.

I’m also hoping that I can go and see J-O again on Thursday, the reason for which I’ll explain in a minute. However I still have to ask her and it’s very likely (around 88% likely) that she’ll be too busy, or too tired, or just thinks it’s too early to see me again. Besides which, I’ll only be able to see her in the late afternoon because I have a lecture 10am – 12am.

So if I don’t go there’s no train-ness on Thursday, but Friday it’s back to the station as I’m visiting a friend at his uni, Kent. I’m staying there until Monday. That should be fun and interesting.

Anyway, all in all (apart from going to uni) it’s nice to be able to get out of the house, as I’ve been pretty much stuck in here for the last two years due to lack of friends. This year there’s the prospect of visiting three of my other friends at their unis, and with the railcard will be much cheaper. Third year should be a good year. Who knows, if all goes ok with J-O I might even make friends with her friends in halls. I hope all this happens anyway (people talk about inviting you up but don’t always really, seriously mean it).

Back to Uni

Well, I just finished my second week back at uni. I’m finding it hard to believe I’m in my third year, it seems like I’ve been there much less – college felt much longer and that was only two years. I suppose that’s what happens when you live at home and commute – you’re not there all the time, and you feel it.

I found my timetable quite deceptive, I’ve only got 2 units apart from my dissertation, but it seems like a lot more work than previous years. They expect a higher level of work, that those that are still at the university in third year are there to do the work, and so you have to put a lot more effort and thought in.

The dissertation is what I’m finding really daunting. I met up with my dissertation supervisor last week and we basically decided to change it quite radically, so I’m having to re-plan it before I start writing it. My first chapter draft has to be in by mid-November, and it’s difficult with having to keep on top of seminar work as well. It should be interesting!

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