Here’s an article I cooked up for The Independent. It’s basically a thinly veiled admission that I can’t get a job. Enjoy.
I always thought graduation was supposed to be party-time. The end of exams, the beginning of an exciting career, the completion of a child’s byzantine introduction to adulthood – and independence. As I sit here writing this, with a can of beer and the ready salted crisp sandwich that I’m unconvincingly calling ‘dinner’, it feels like anything but.
I don’t know why I ever thought it would be party-time. Maybe that’s just what I’d been told growing up? After all, children do tend to believe the things they are told.
This is why we often worry about the effects of reinforcing negative attitudes in our young. We always fear for sapping the belief out of our kids and limiting their ambition.
But what about the hidden menace of positive paternal rhetoric? ‘You can be anything you want to be’ and ‘you can do anything you want to do’ are psychological platitudes embedded in the psyche of the graduates of 2013. They were drilled into us during school assemblies, whispered into our ears as we drifted off to sleep and subliminally underpinned by the vapid slogans of the TV shows we innocently devoured.