Since writing last, my life has taken a rather big change. I no longer reside in the back of beyond. The Northern Star is still a star but definitely not northern. For what reason you ask? Well, for those of you who have been to or lived in Hull, you will know that although the standard of living is cheap, the wages are very low. It’s hard to live and save which is what I was trying to do.
I believe it’s very hard being a graduate anyway. But to stay on in the city where you studied, just because you like the place, makes it even harder. Especially when the city in question has few job prospects. I stayed in Hull for 6 months after graduation, when most of my friends have high-tailed it to London.
Being a student and living and working in a place, are two entirely different ways of life. I have never been to a cheaper place than Hull. It has more pubs per square mile than you know what to do with. Most of those I wouldn’t go near for fear of my life. But the pubs and clubs in the area that I lived were student friendly. Well they had to be because we were the only people to drink in them. My rent was never more than £32 a week either.
For my remaining time in Hull I lived with a friend from university. We both found jobs, but found that the pay, like the city is very poor. Also, looking for a career job in a city like this is impossible, as, basically there aren’t any. Not in field that I want to go into. Media. I also found my social life dwindling, as the cheap club nights that I had enjoyed as a student are on mid-week.
There are 22,000 students in Hull. This makes up the majority of the inner-city population. So when I became a ‘local’ after graduation, I began to feel completely ostracised. Gone were the days of going out in a big gang, and knowing yet more people at the chosen venue. A new intake of students had arrived and taken my place in the queues at nightclub doorways, and were looking much younger than I ever remember being.
I found myself starting to resent them – for two reasons – one was that I wanted the life they were leading, the one I had not so long ago. And two, they are just so bloody noisy. The street I lived on after graduation was also a popular street for students. So without double-glazing in my flat, I was able to hear everything that went on outside. It seemed that people always stopped outside my flat to talk drunkenly, just when I was trying to get to sleep. Or the people downstairs would have a party and being the conscientious working girl I am, I needed my beauty sleep.
So with all things considered, it was time to go. The place wasn’t the same without that drunken, student rose-tinted glow to it. So, after much deliberation, I have done the sensible thing and moved back in with my parents, got a respectable job at an Internet company, and have thus begun to ease myself into the real world. I still have moments of relapse when I’m forced to get out my packed photo album and reminisce, or phone a friend for a good old “do you remember…” session.
But times change and the main thing is that I have a degree. So instead of using it and following my friends down to London (like I know I should), I’m going to put it on the back burner for a while and plan my next escapade, which is travelling. I’ve not decided when, where or how yet, but I’ll keep you posted.