Monday, 3 December 2012

We're The Customers Now

Normally for this type of article I'd use The Stag, but unfortunately, I really can't on this occasion. I've not been expressively told not to slag the University off, but I feel it would not be met with positivity. 

Universities have suffered a slump, with applications in England falling by 10% (BBC News) from 2011 to 2012. The University of Southampton’s vice-chancellor revealed in, The Independent,  that UK student intake had fallen by more than 600. This comes after little surprise after the coalition’s controversial decision to raise undergraduate tuition fees to an eye watering £9,000 a year. This legislation came after Clegg promised to cut student fees, leading to student protests in Autumn 2010, culminating in the storming of Millbank’s Tory HQ. 

Here at Surrey we are feeling the slump too, with applications down significantly down on last year (I have found it very difficult to find exact figures, I wonder why?) and rooms being still available in student accommodation. Southampton’s Vice Chancellor describes the slump as a ‘wake up call’. This slump was blamed on the rules surrounding admissions, currently the government caps the number of students a university can recruit with grades lower than AAB. 

However, perhaps universities should be looking closer to home. Surrey prides itself on its impressive employability rates, even though they have fallen on last year. In the current economic climate, coupled with the huge amounts of debt graduates face, employment is paramount. More and more, students seem less interested in furthering their knowledge of their degree subject, but see the degree as a means to the end. The end being a graduate level job.

These grad jobs have become harder and harder to come by. We have been forced into a culture were the degree subject is becoming more and more irrelevant, and the thing that really matters is a full CV. University is a great place to fill up your CV, getting involved in a society or with the Student’s Union will put you in good stead. The long holidays allow for a plethora of paid and unpaid work experience. But what about work experience during term time? Surrey focuses heavily on work experience, with the Careers service more than willing to help out with CVs, and even to help students source companies to apply to for a placement. However, academic studies come first surely. Students shouldn’t have work experience during term time as then they can’t attend lectures.

Well why not? When I was offered work experience at The Times, during term time, I was met with a stiff response from my Programme Director. They couldn’t stop me from going, but they could not condone it. Universities need to change their perception of the nature of a degree. If Surrey was really savvy they’d support people who want to conduct work experience during term time, a cap could be placed on how much study time can be missed, and Lecturers could e-mail notes round. Particularly with subjects with very low contact hours, such as arts based ones which have been hard hit by the fee hike, this could be a brilliant way to hook students in. 

Work Experience could even become a vital part of the Degree experience, much like the success of the Placement Year, which is not viable for everyone. Two weeks work experience could be a mandatory part of your degree. Regardless of whether students have their hearts set on one career or aren’t sure, no can argue that work experience isn’t useful. 

If you went into a shop and they weren’t selling what you want you’d simply walk out. We’re the customers now, and universities aren’t selling us what we want.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

My Celebrity Best Friend

Since my beautiful, funny and intelligent best friend Jade moved out of GPA I’ve been left with a best friend shaped space. There is essentially a hole in my life that only a best friend can fill. It’s no polyfiller job, this is a massive cavernous gap in my heart. So I decided to come up with my ‘Celebrity Best Friend’ (CBF). I’ve always wanted a CBF.  In my friendships I tend to take the back seat as the less interesting one, I’m so boring (OH WOE IS ME) so I reckon a CBF would be perfect. I would happily let them be the superior one, whilst eating Doritos on their sofa. And I would never hog the limelight at parties or red carpet events. I am like the 2012 equivalent to the noughties gay best friend, I am the perfect media event date. Forget bringing your Mum, bring me. 

This could be you

Of course, the CBF can not just be any old celebrity. We have to gel on a personal level. They need to be the ying to my yang, the bacon to my butty. They need to rival Jade in humour and intelligence. They need to enjoy a good night out and not be into this lettuce leaf and herbal tea bollocks. Their tipple of choice should preferably be wine or hard liquor, but I am sure we can negotiate.

The first CBF that springs to mind is Kate Middleton. She is the kind of person I’d rather like to be: dignified (even in the face of certain photos), well dressed and kind. Except, however great and beautiful K-Middy may be I’m not so sure she likes sitting around in tracksuit bottoms and eating bread sticks dipped in Nutella (trust me, it’s good). Unlike Harry I’ve never seen K-Middz tumbling out of Bunga Bunga or some other godawful West London club so I’m guessing she won’t want to swig wine from the bottle with me then party the night away. Also, as an ardent Feminist K-Mid is sort of a moot point for me. I love her, yet I know she’s wrong. A bit like cheesecake.

Given that Kate’s out, I swung to the other extreme: Ke$ha. The girl who sang ‘TiK ToK’. Ke$ha’s similarity to Kate begins and ends with the letter ‘K’. Ke$ha’s a bad ass, she’s the chick who ‘brushes [her] teeth with a bottle of Jack’. We’d have mental nights out together and bond over jokes we’ll never remember. Then we’d get off with each other, photograph it and make it our Facebook profile pictures. Because we just don’t fucking care. Problem is, after an exceptionally debauched night out, I think I’d wake up feeling less like ‘P Diddy’ and more like ‘so shitty’ and then Ke$ha would call me a ‘pussy’ and ring up some other backcombed, denim short wearing mentalist and do it all over again. All whilst I’d be left sobbing on my bed with no one to watch hungover TV with.

Racking my brains yet further, I went on Twitter. Maybe I was in fact following my CBF already and I just didn’t know it. Entirely possible. It turns out I was. The best things are, indeed, always under your nose. Or fingertips. Whatever. My CBF is Caitlin Moran. She dresses like I want to dress, writes like I want to write and talks like I want to talk. She’s tweeted at me twice, both times saying ‘Aww, thank you’ but I still think there’s potential there. We both have an unhealthy and truly unruly obsession with ‘sexy sloth faced’ (as Cat Mo described him) Benedict Cumberbatch. Along with our mutual love for Doctor Who, Lady Gaga and FEMINISM. Caitlin wrote the amazing How to Be a Woman, which won the Galaxy award and generally changed 90% (made up statistic) of women’s lives and probably, like, 50% of men’s as well. As well as Feminist polemics, Caitlin pens Celebrity Watch, the sole reason I buy the Saturday Times. I really think Caitlin and I could be best friends. We could sit around sipping Whiskies (which I know she likes from reading Moranthology), get drunk and bitch about The Man. Seeing as she’s a TV journalist I’m sure she’d be fairly up for an ice cream and pizza date with my sofa and the TV. Even geographically speaking she’s a more viable choice than Ke$ha as she lives in London. And unlike Kate, she can travel without a full entourage of body guards. 

So Caitlin, how about it? Do you fancy being my CBF? I can promise you banter filled nights out, coffee and lunch dates which last hours and hours because we can’t stop gassing, witty text messages, constant Twitter banter and of course, TV and ice cream. 

Me and my CBF enjoying a tipple and a ciggie.

Monday, 11 June 2012

"Just a Coke For Me Please": I Can't Drink and It's Ruining My Life

My favourite thing in all the world is a really, really good Gin and Tonic.

3 ice cubes, a slice of lemon (or lime), Hendrick's Gin and Brittvic Tonic Water.

Or a glass of red wine.

Or a Havana Club and Coke.

Or a pint of Tribute.

Or any cocktail containing cream.

Basically, I really like alcohol.

My tutor, the amazing Amanda Finelli, once told me I was a 'lightweight pussy' because of the unbelievable levels of hungover I once exhibited in her class. We're talking running out to be sick midway through seminar. My friend Gen looked at me seriously, 'I don't think you're a lightweight Alex, I just think you drink too much.'

Gen would be right. I never know when to stop. Much like when I'm writing, I tend to labour the point over and over again, desperately trying to squeeze out the laughs. I am the same drunk. I drink until I feel physically ill then I desperately try to squeeze a few laughs out of the onlookers (my friends) and then usually crawl home holding my shoes in one hand and my dignity in the other.

I get head crushing hangovers. We're talking the kind of hangover where just standing under the shower is like being shot in the face by a hundred super strength pea shooters. My gut mutinies against my body and has a mind of it's own, either forcing me to consume copious amounts of grease or rejecting all intake AT ANY TIME. Walking along Twickenham High Street, gut demands I vomit into a bin. In a seminar, gut demands I leave and vomit NOW.

As for my head, it feels like someone's placed an extra tight 3 inch elastic band (that's about 2 sizes too small) around my forehead. Mt brain is a cracked egg, with a chain saw whirring through the middle.

In short, I get really fucking hungover. When hungover I neck Nurofen and pints of water in my dressing gown. I can barely move without a bowel movement and I'm never sure which end to stick over the toilet.

I don't go out a lot. I probably go out once a month. But when I go out, I go hard. Go hard or go home. (Sometimes I do have to go home, carried by my long enduring housemates at the embarrassing time of 1am, I love my housemates I really do.....). So my point is I enjoy and cherish my night outs. I have never been able to fathom why people would go out and not get riotously, wonderfully drunk. How can you go out and get 'merry' or 'tipsy'? Nah mate, you GOTTA GET FUCKED UP. I can't imagine anything worse than pretending to dance (jiggling your breasts and bum with your hands awkwardly static) in a smelly room full of sweaty people and sticky floors whilst not being completely, utterly off your face.

Today is the last day of my exams (I really should be learning something instead of writing this but I've never done anything sensible so why start now?) and tonight the whole of English second year (the formidable LitSoc) are going to be hitting up Legion. I don't really rate the Legion, it tries too hard to be cool and forgets it's in Surrey. Legion, you have a GU postcode, not an SE one, please let's all stop pretending. Aside from that I don't mind. It is a place, where alcohol is available and where I can embarrass myself in front of a willing audience. Perfect.

However, I am on medication. No, I'll be honest. I'm on anti-depressants. Such an awkward conversation stopper that one. Well, get over it. Let's just pretend their antibiotics so everyone can get their eyes off the floor and refrain from asking me if I am 'mentally unstable'. I am perfectly lucid I assure you. And no, I'm not planning to kill myself any time soon.

Anyway, my fragile mind aside, I cannot drink on my meds. Because they are hormones or some shit.

When I told my Mother she responded with a shocked, 'But what about your social life? Drinking is...errr....such a big part of your life.'

Oh, Mum. Drinking is such a big part of my life and now I don't know how to have a social life.

I am regularly told you don't have to get drunk to have fun, and I strongly believe that. I've had a fucking RIOT in the library with Faye and Gen before. But there is nothing I want to do less than wear a skimpy outfit in 9 degrees whilst a drunk man tries to grab my arse, stone cold sober. Everyone else will be drunk (and rightly so) and I will be painfully sober and  tired. No amount of coffee or godforsaken RedBull will give me the same buzz a Jagermeister would. 

So it with a heavy heart that I will not be attending. And now I'm stuck with the painful realisation that the foreseeable future will be just like this.

Maybe I will become a sort of carrot juice drinking hippy who rejects alcohol for the rest of their life. Maybe I will stop liking meat (unlikely) and only wear cheese cloth (impossible). In fact if my permanent state of sober induces me to start wearing cheese cloth and become a vegetarian, just shoot me. It'd be kinder on everyone.

When I do, eventually, inevitably, brave a night out, I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe I'll enjoy it, doubtful. Most likely I'll hate it. If I hate it, I'll write about it and make pleasant reading for you all. Over and out x

Monday, 5 March 2012

I Decided To Give Up Bitching In Order to Save Myself From Insanity

“If I looked like her I’d walk around in my underwear at any given opportunity too.”

I frequently say this when looking at magazines, facebook profile pictures or girls at parties. When I tell my friends they look nice and they reply with something like, ‘Is the top too low cut though?’ or ‘Is my skirt too short though?’ I always reply “if I had your boobs/legs I’d wear it too!”

So I regularly champion dressing in short/non existent clothes but if I see a girl who’s not quite ‘pulling off’ (not literally) that micro mini skirt I’m the first to say...'That girl looks like such a slut.’ Or ‘that top is way too tight for her.’ I justify this frequently by saying things like, ‘I’ve got a really similar figure to her and you’d never catch me wearing anything that short/tight/low cut etc.’

So this led me on to the bigger picture. I should be opposing to bitching, to quote the eternal genius of Mean Girls, ‘You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It makes it OK for guys to call you sluts and whores.’ I totally agree with Tina Fey on this one. So why am I bitching about girls in short skirts? Why the hell am I calling girls fat when I could hardly be described as skinny? 

As a Feminist, a label I’m still not sure on all the time, I think I should be promoting female solidarity. Or maybe I should be promoting dressing for yourself and not the ‘male gaze.’ As in, who are these tight dresses being worn for? Is it to fulfil some expectation that we are scarcely even aware of? The problem seems so deeply rooted in socialisation that sometimes I’m not even sure if I am dressing for me or for someone else (be it male or female).

I was drawn to Feminism because I’m not very good at being a girl. I’m loud, I swear a lot, I sometimes forget to put make up on and I hate sitting with my legs crossed. I always felt, before The Female Eunuch (actually I’ll be honest the text that really got me into it was Reclaiming the F Word by Refern and Aune) that because I hate kids, don’t want to ever wear a white dress or shave my armpits there was something innately wrong with me.  Feminism taught me that there’s nothing wrong with me, in fact there’s a lot right with me. I’m resisting the the patriarchal pressure put upon women by mass media and consumer culture. I mean, I thought I was just being lazy in the morning with the mascara...

Today I was looking at facebook pictures of people I barely know, because let’s be honest it’s always fun to facebook stalk someone you haven’t seen in 4 plus years. And these girls are very beautiful. Traditionally beautiful. And so, so, so thin. I wanted to hate them, with their perfect lipsticked mouths, fake nails and tiny tight dresses but I think I was just jealous.

It got me thinking...I wouldn’t give a shit about Feminism if I looked like that. If no one had ever called me fat, if no one had ever turned me down for being ‘ugly’ I wouldn’t care about a women’s movement promoting (amongst many other more complicated issues) the right to look however you want.
That left me feeling pretty crap. I actually am just a shallow girl who doesn’t care about what’s on the inside.

So here’s my plan: I’m going to try to stop bitching about people, namely girls and what they choose to wear. And I’m going to stop facebook stalking people, again girls. In fact I’m going to delete all those haven’t-seen-you-in-4-years-but-i-love-to-stalk-you people from my facebook entirely. Out of sight, out of mind.

It’s very, very easy to tell people what you want them to hear. “Yes, I’m a Feminist, which means I don’t care about society’s expectation of what women should be. I believe in the right for women to dress/act how they want and not be labelled a slut.”

But it’s much harder to enact these aims. But I have to. For my own sanity. I can’t keep beating myself up because I’m a 12 and not a 10. I can’t keep comparing my figure to every single person I see every single day.

If you feel the same, why not join me? I'm going to talking shit about other girls, because let’s face it when I'm  bitching it’s to make myself better. Except it doesn’t really work because of the curse of comparison. I have a great bitch session with my girl mate, and then at home later I start thinking, ‘Well we both said she’s fat...but she’s actually got skinnier thighs than me....what if I’m fat?’  So, really I'm  just bitching about myself and projecting it onto someone else. 

So I'll just stop. Stop bitching about myself and stop bitching about others. You better all hold me to it.

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Cost of an Unpaid Internship: £3000

After going back to the drawing board and giving up on journalism (See here for more info) I decided to throw myself into my role as Literature Editor for The Stag (University of Surrey's student newspaper) as this was probably the best it was going to get.

Part of 'throwing myself in' was acquiring interviews. Not the easiest thing to do when you're a 20 year old with no connections. So  I got on to Waterstones, Guildford and asked them to tell me about events coming up with authors. Sure enough the lovely people at Waterstones emailed me confirming that Sarah de Carvalho would be appearing at the store. I did a quick bit of research on Sarah and she sounded cool. Author of 3 books, she'd also founded Happy Child International. Happy Child is a Christian ethos charity which works with street children in Brazil. 

So I emailed her, asking (nay, pleading) for an interview. Charmingly she acquiesced and a week later I was sipping a coffee with her in Costa, Leatherhead.

The interview was a success. Sarah was lovely and answered my questions with enthusiasm. After the interview she asked me a few questions about myself. Surrey offers its students a placement year scheme so I was telling her about this when she asked if I'd secured my placement. I told her I had not. She then asked me what areas I was looking in. At that time, after giving up journalism, I'd been thinking about an arts administration type role. So I told her this.

Then it all got very strange. Her eyes lit up and she began to ask me questions about my competency at an alarming rate. I answered them as best I could and then she gave me the best piece of news. She was looking for an intern to work for her charity Happy Child International and promote her book Solomon's Song. It was the arts admin based internship I was looking for!

Sarah asked me to send her my CV and covering letter, so I did, that evening. She quickly got back to me offering me a role as an unpaid intern for a year. I was not expecting a paid role and it was 3 days a week giving me a chance to earn some money. Not the best scenario but the best I was going to get. She asked me to meet up with her and her colleague Caroline to finalise these details after Christmas.

Over Christmas I began to have serious doubts about whether this placement was a good idea. How would I live? Would it really look that good on CV? And then I realised I had no idea what the role actually would be... 

I met up with Sarah and Caroline again. That's when they laid the bombshell on me.

They expected me to start in July 2012 but before that they wanted me to raise £2000 for Happy Child International through events at the university. Caroline said to me, 'If you can't do this, I'll know you're not serious.' 

She also wanted me to go to Brazil to see, and I quote, 'the vision'. I explained that this not financial viable for me and Caroline said I would need to raise the money for my trip as well then. So that's another grand.

We then went on to discuss working hours and I stipulated that 3 days was the absolute maximum I could do. They seemed disappointed with this. At no point did I get to see a contract. I was not told who my line manager would be and when I asked them to tell me what I would be doing day-to-day they seemed vague answering that some days I would be working from home.

I was then given 2 weeks to decide whether or not I wanted to take up the placement. I was having serious doubts. As a full time student, how the hell was I going to raise 3 grand?

I talked to my tutor and she helped me compile a list of questions to ask Sarah and Caroline via email. Caroline did not get back to me for 10 days, seriously limiting the amount of time I had to decide.

When I eventually received an email back from Caroline; she told me I would be assisting on projects in schools. Something which I have absolutely no experience in. I thought I would be publicising the book and the charity.  The official job title would be Administration Assistant. Even though I asked for one I was still not given a contract.

I was also told I no longer needed to raise the money. Apparently Sarah thought this would be too difficult for me. If this was the case why was I asked to in the first place? 

After asking for detailed Health and Safety precautions in regards to my trip to Brazil, Brazil was immediately taken off the table as well.

I turned down the placement with Happy Child International. Maybe I'm an idiot. But, I feel that being asked to raise 3 grand before even taking up the placement was ridiculous. I also disappointed with the lack of communication between Sarah and Caroline. The nail in the coffin was the amount of time it took Caroline to e-mail me back.

Happy Child International is an amazing charity; I have researched their work and was so impressed with what I saw. However, perhaps they should think hard about how they treat the people in the UK as well as those in Brazil.

This comes at a time when unpaid internships have been met with criticism. I am not opposed to unpaid internships in principle, and would happily take an unpaid one if I could afford and I felt it would be beneficial. However, being asked to essentially pay 3 thousand pounds to work unpaid for a year seemed far too steep for me.

My experience with Happy Child International scared me and opened my eyes to the big, bad world of work experience. If this is how a Christian ethos charity treat their interns I shudder to think how those at less scrupulous companies are treated.

I'm no longer going to do a year's placement. I want to finish my degree and crack on. And I don't want to work in Arts Administration. OK so I went to one conference and I didn't enjoy it. But since then I've done some amazing work with The Stag. All I've ever wanted is to be a journalist, and you have to stay true to what you really, really want. 

I've since been applying for work experience over the summer with magazines, regional newspapers, and when The Guardian opens their internship scheme in 2 days I'm going to apply for that.  Why work for a charity whose principles I'm not sure I agree with in a role I don't really want?

Only 27 per cent of bylines on the front pages of newspapers are written by women (Centre for Media Literacy) but that's nearly a third of all front page stories. What it really boils down to is: I want to be in that 27 per cent.

Monday, 24 October 2011

One Of The Boys

'Are you going to do some weeding? Garden's looking pretty bad...'
'Nah, that's a boy's job.'

'You're a really shit Feminist.'

It's funny how thirty seconds of dialogue can really get you thinking. I'm all about declaring that I'm just as good as a man, that I don't believe in gender stereotypes and that women are equal to men.

Basically, I'm the first to say I'm a Feminist and this all got me thinking maybe being a Feminist means doing some of the shit stuff too. You know what, men get a tough time in society too. Fuck it, men are just as stereotyped as women. Whilst I'm often fond of saying that women are presented with an impossible and unrealistic image daily by he much maligned media. So are men! This in part links to my views on the phrase 'Man Up'  but how often are men presented with a ridiculous or stupid image?

We ask a lot of men. Women want a man to sensitive and gentle, but God forbid he should be 'girly'. Growing up if a boy expresses an interest in a typically Feminine pursuit he is labelled as 'gay' (Hello, Homophobia). As for fashion, to an extent, women have much more freedom than men. It is not socially expectable for a man to wear a skirt. Why the fuck not? Skirts are comfy. Why shouldn't a man wear girl's clothes if he wants?

 I've read in countless women's magazines about different types of males: Metrosexual (great, lovely and sensitive, but OMG WTF is he crying?!), Alpha Male (breadwinner, strong, probably has deep seated issues), Beta Male (Mummy's boy, bit of a loser, but in recessionary times he's the one to watch!), and of course The Lad (a right laugh when he's had a few drinks, likes football, unreliable.) 

Well, that's just wrong isn't it? All the men I know can be lads when they go out, metrosexual when they go shopping, alpha male when they're having a good day at work and beta male when they're having a less good day...

Feminists fought so hard to break the Angel/Whore archetype, so why aren't we trying harder to break the male stereotypes? We are people. Not types. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about being human is that we are all different, so why are we trying so hard to categorize others?

So if you are equal to a man (and you SO are), you should take on some 'manly' tasks. If we're trying so hard to break down gender stereotypes then we need to do just that. There's no such thing as a 'manly' task, there is just a task.

I agree that it is harder for the average woman to do some heavy lifting than the average man. But we CAN put the shelves up, we CAN mow the lawn, and we definitely can do a bit of weeding. 

There are plenty of nice things about gender inequality. It's nice that men are expected to ask us out, that they are expected to pay for dinner and open the door for us. Chivalry's cute, of course it is.

But, with the good comes the bad. If women want to be treated as equals, we need to act like equals. And that means paying for dinner sometimes. 

So here's one for the boys. Because a lot of people forget that the best Feminists are often men. It's not about a fight between the genders. It's about uniting them. To me, what Feminism truly means is equality of the sexes. So why not cut a man some slack and ask him out? And let's all stop calling everyone and everything gay all the bloody time.

My first resolution is to buy my boyfriend some flowers. Because I want to subvert the gender norm. Because I'm a real Feminist. Because I'm sure he'll love receiving flowers just as much as I do. And, quite simply, because I love him.

Friday, 16 September 2011

What the fuck am I going to do with my life?

I always had this vague idea I wanted to be a journalist. Not an award winning, trekking in the Congo journalist. But a stylish woman who knows the difference between a flat white and a macchiato and who is ‘political’. I suppose a Features Writer for any women’s glossy would have done nicely.  So when I got the chance to attend a conference aimed at those in Student Media wishing to pursue a career in the media it seemed like a golden opportunity. I was so excited, I was going to meet Iain Hislop, Jerome Taylor, Ed name but a few and ‘mingle’ with other like minded people. What could be better right?

Well it just sort of wasn’t good. The speakers were interesting, their stories compelling and their dedication to their profession admirable. And, yet, I just wasn’t feeling it. Everyone talked about Twitter like you might talk about an indoor toilet; assuming that everyone has one. I even heard the phrase ‘The Twitterati’. And I don’t have Twitter. I didn’t realise how Twitter was ‘essential’ to getting a job. And I don’t know if I want to work in an industry where it is.

Then there was networking. My own personal worst nightmare. Imagine a large room full of tables with a few chairs around them, and one famous journalist sitting on a table whilst 18-21s year old’s gather around them and compete hungrily for their attention. I could pretend that I’m too ‘cool’ too ‘above that’, but honestly, I don’t have the balls to hound someone a journalist would. Yep, you got it before I did. I’m simply not cut out to be a journalist. I’m really socially awkward, how would I cope with interviewing someone? How could I be pushy enough to demand to speak to an influential politician when I struggle saying no to a simple request from a friend?
Every successful journalist attributed their success in some way to networking. And while I watched my peers rush forward to Mike Thomas and shake his hands, I was rooted to my seat. A boy barely taller and much thinner than me pushed me out of the way to grab Ed Caesar’s beautifully manicured hand whilst gabbing as loud and as fast as he could. I was shocked. I know I am supposed to be from the ‘go- and –get- it’ generation, but wasn’t this all terribly impolite? Was it really nice to hound the poor people? And for what purpose... I mean was Iain Hislop really going to whip his phone out and take some 19 year old whippersnapper’s number down, wait around until they’d got their 2.1 and then give them their dream job? No.

Ultimately though, regardless of whether or not it would pay off, I was too afraid to try. I cannot shamelessly self promote. I cannot find words to fill the silence that would surely follow when introducing yourself to someone at least fifteen years your senior and who’s work you’ve read in national papers.

In short, I am not cut out for my dream career. And, perhaps I am foolish to have believed such a career would have suited me. The NUS Student Media Summit at Amnesty International  was an incredibly valuable experience, not only was it fascinating, but it also showed me that I need to go back to square one. Back to the drawing board.

So help me, what the fuck am I going to do with my life?