The graduate job market
It’s hard enough finding a decent job in a regular, upbeat economy, and Covid-19 has decimated most people’s career prospects. Studies show that graduating in a recession has a negative effect on your lifelong earnings and this pandemic has plunged the UK economy into the deepest recession since records began. I don’t want to think about the implications of that. The Harvard Business Review claims people who graduate during recessions “tend to be happier with their jobs” despite earning less, but I’d chalk this up to the fact that they’re simply grateful for the scraps that have been thrown at them.
It seems obvious to say, but us extroverts have taken a fat ‘L’ in this pandemic. And no, don’t tell me the Houseparty app is a good replacement because it’s not. I miss actual house parties. I miss pub crawls. God, I even miss the cavernous pits of Zoo on a Wednesday night. I long for a time where it was safe to go out, pay to drink myself into oblivion, gather in a crowded room full of sweaty people, and dance to mediocre Pitbull remixes. Dale.
This isn’t totally lost, but it is even more of a pain in the arse than it was before: long boarding times, wrap-around queues, and a shorter fuse for people not following the rules. Also, entry forms have reached a new level of invasiveness – recently, I had to fill out a four-page immigration form just to get clearance to go to my own country. Having to spend two weeks in quarantine after arrival in most destinations makes international travel quite the hassle, coupled with the possibility that you could be stranded in your destination indefinitely if they decide to close their borders while you’re there.
Hugs won’t fix my unrelenting mental health problems, but the absence of them definitely hurts. What’s the point of complaining about things if no one’s there to give me a good hug afterwards? I never thought I would live in a society where hugs felt risqué, but here I am. I am big on hugs, but not big on dying. It’s been hard for me to contend with losing loved ones to Covid-19 and other causes, being unable to attend their funerals, and being unable to even release some of that grief through hugs.