The Job Hunt

So I just got another job rejection, for a grad scheme that sounded awesome. The company contributed to medical research but also had a branch which showcased art which related to medicine and the body. And now I’m back to square one, with no job lined up after graduation and no idea what to do next.

I failed the ‘situational judgement test’, which asks you to say what you’d do in a certain scenario. Now this is the heartbreaking bit. Because it wasn’t that my maths skills weren’t good enough, or that I didn’t write the right thing in my application. It was that they didn’t like my decisions, or the kind of person I was. But these things are so black-and-white. You tick a box saying “I’d email this person and ask that person and do that thing” and they decide that you’re wrong, and that you’d fuck up if you were actually employed to do that job. It doesn’t say time scale or who you’re working with, or anything else that we all use to decide the best course of action in real life.

It’s hard to pick yourself up again, and tell yourself that you are employable, and you could get a job, and that you won’t be stuck working in Spoons for the next ten years. It’s hard to find another job just like it, especially in the charity sector where there is so little money to employ new people. You re-evaluate so much: is this actually what I want to do in my life? Am I right for that line of work? It fucks you up.

But life goes on. I have to go to a lecture and do my work and keep on plugging away to this Masters certificate. I’ll find something else, right?

Right??

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The Navy Blue

TW: depression, mental illness

So this post may come as a shock compared to the last two light-hearted, music-related posts. But I started this blog to talk about everything that affects a 21-year-old uni student, i.e. what goes through my head on a daily basis.

I just came across an old diary entry, dated July 2013. At that time, I had just finished my first year of uni, had bright blue hair, and was terribly depressed. I just hated myself, simple as that. It was an illness, a disease I couldn’t find a cure for. And I wrote this:

“Most days are fine. Most days I know that I’m not ridiculously ugly, stupid, and unloved. Most days I smile and do things I love. Most days I’m normal. But there will come a time when it feels like someone’s put weights on my ankles and taken away the floats, and I go sinking down into the dark.

But ‘dark’ isn’t the best way to describe it. ‘Dark’ is death, nothingness, a void. Depression is… navy blue. The murky blue of the bottom of the ocean, where no light will ever reach. And instead of exotic animals and discoveries, you just find anxiety and fear.

People try to pull you up, your friends and family taking you by the hand and tugging with all their might. But they can’t take the weight of the load around your ankles. No-one can.

I’m sinking.”

I eventually found my cure, in the least healthy way possible. My former best friend turned out to be the worst person on the planet, and made my life hell by punching me in the face, breaking my laptop, telling me to kill myself, and generally making me terrified to enter my home. It was the worst time of my life.

But it helped, in some weird, crazy way. Before, it had just been me telling myself I was shit and terrible and didn’t deserve to live. When someone else told me that, I realised it wasn’t true. I realised I was worth something, and that I could be happy. I recovered.

The number of students with mental health issues increases year by year, especially in Exeter, with the strained Wellbeing services. The list for counselling is so full that they’re not taking on ANY new patients. Like, at all. And it gets worse in postgraduate study and academia, because research is so lonely.

Something needs to be done, and it can start with people speaking out. I was so ashamed of my invisible mental illness, and that’s just not good enough. We need to start a discussion before it can start getting better.