I’m a graduate… Again

I’m almost done with my masters, bar a few weeks of dissertation writing left to go. I’m far from freedom but for the days since finishing my second semester, I’ve found myself waking up at 10am, sitting around in my pants and wondering if I could possibly live off bowls of Chocco Wetabix so I don’t have to go out and do a food shop. Am I right back where I was when I first graduated three years ago, or have I evolved Pokemon-style? Eliza 2.0, who comes with an almost-masters degree and NCTJ certificate (excuse the qualification plug, you never know who’s reading).

The other day I was reminded of my graduation from Brighton University from those helpful posts on Facebook ‘On this day X number of years ago you were hotter, younger and funnier than you are now. Yes, we will keep reminding you of your downhill life journey’. Despite being hotter, younger and funnier at my last graduation, it didn’t help with my thoughts that I was back in square one, just with a couple extra letters at the end of my name.

In a turn of events, I quickly disregard my idea that I haven’t progressed and that I was back stuck in the same position I was in three years ago. Even if I am technically in the same position watching reruns of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. One thing has definitely changed since I left Brighton University as a fresh faced grad in 2014, and I don’t mean the fact I’m almost the wrong side of my mid-20s, it’s that I don’t have that wondering and wandering feeling I did a few years back. I’m overcome with this weird feeling, I don’t know what it is… But I think it could be enthusiasm? Wow.

I stumbled into my first job, not really sure what I was doing but keeping my fingers crossed as I fumbled around in the dark hoping I was making some kind of progress. I thought I was doing kk at the time, but looking back, I don’t think I actually had a clue. But isn’t that how all first jobs go? You’re ill-equipped, slightly ill-fitted, under-qualified and over-exhausted. Eliza 2.0 is better-equipped, extra-qualified but still just as tired. Some things never change.

As my second degree comes to an end, I felt the need to write about feeling a bit lost, and the fact it’s okay to feel a bit lost, and the fact that it could just be a natural feeling when you’re about the enter the abyss of the 9-5 world you’ve been putting off for 7 years since you were 18. I’ve also ended up staying in a city where journalism jobs are kind of far and few between. Is there actually any media outside of London? Does the rest of the country have any news? Obviously it does, but waiting for someone to leave the local newspaper is like waiting for rain in this drought – useless and disappointing.

So I’ve decided to freelance. 

I’ve found myself reading ‘self-help: how to be a freelancer’ articles whenever I get a spare moment. Just thinking, how am I gonna do this and make a living? On this one published on i-D, the author said “You have no shame now. You’re a freelancer” – and boy do I feel that. Forget sending multiple texts to a potential bae and not getting an answer, what’s worse is trying to email an editor and get them to notice you. “Hey” “Hi” “Hey there” “Hi sorry, me again, did u see my pitch? pls pay me for writing words”. That’s pretty much my sent box on mail right now.

Am I only going to get noticed when I get a blue tick on Twitter? Do being a successful freelancer and having loadsa followers go hand in hand? Does one come with the other? I’m not sure of the answer, but if someone does know… then please follow me @_elizafrost and let me know the answer. (tehe). All I’ve learnt about freelancing so far is that it’s going to be a hard slog. We had a ‘careers day’ (a lot less helpful than it sounds) and a freelancer told us, “Don’t try and freelance straight from university. You need at least ten years experience under your belt. Plus a large social media following and a nobel peace prize” or something like that. So it seems kinda ridiculous that my nobel peace prize-less self is going to try and do it, and in a city where train ticket’s to London cost more than you’d get paid for writing the article you travelled there for. But hey, a journey towards that Twitter blue tick has gotta start somewhere, hasn’t it?

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