feels like this pandemic has completely ruined my life [LONG RANT]

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1001frames
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#1
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#1
Context: 23 year old white male (if that's relevant)

Backstory
I come from a deprived area in northern England to a single mother, yet I excelled in school and attained as and a*s at GCSE. Despite my poor background I managed to get into a decent sixth form but I felt so isolated from my peers around 16-18 my attendance ended up being less than 50% and I was almost kicked out but managed to do well enough in my mocks. Needless to say I ended up bungling up my exams and left sixth form with two Bs in English lit and history. I tried joining the military to do engineering but was disqualified on some pretty trivial medical grounds. So faced with no other alternative but working menial jobs or a grossly underpaid apprenticeship I went back to college to study maths and business and managed to get into a top ten university.

My first year of university was probably the best year of my life. I don't think I have felt happy since I was around 13 years old, but for one year I finally had a social life again (I outgrew a lot of my childhood friends as they turned into gang violence and drug addiction; they looked down on me for being in school). I was active in society and even visited China as my minor was in Chinese. I managed to get a first in first year and went into second year auspiciously applying for internships for summer 2020 including places like Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, but then the pandemic hit and my life suddenly became much worse. My GF who is foreign left the country, I went from having a decent social circle to being completely isolated. My uni gave us the option to do exams or keep our average on second year to data. As my degree is 40/60 coursework/exams I took my average at 59% as I thought I could easily maintain it and increase enough to get a 2:1 minimum.

I heavily considered intercalating third year as I knew university was my best route to increase my socioeconomic status but I could not bear the thought of spending another year of my life stagnant with my mum in some *****y council estate so I opted to stay in the year in the vain hope that the pandemic would soon pass and life would get back to normal again. Honestly the final year was the worst year of my life as I seemed to spend a whole year doing nothing. I didn't complete a lot of my coursework resulting in fail and Ds for late entry. This caused my average to tumble from 59% to around 50%. It might sound funny but I think the gyms being closed played a big role in my mental health as the only times I felt motivated again was by going to the gym. Faced with the prospect of failing I sat my ass down in the library in the final six weeks prior to my final exams and studied my ass off around 8 hours a day for 8 modules. As I hadn't attended any online classes all year and had not really studied my subject since around March 2020 (over a year prior) I had to teach myself the basics (things I learned in first year) as foundational knowledge for my third year modules. This was a lofty order but somehow I managed it by getting around 70% in my final exams which raised my average up to 59% (which is .5% from getting a 2:1 according to my uni's way of determining degree classifications), which was bittersweet as I was proud of myself for showing that I can actually do my degree but it still was not sufficient to raise my average to a 2:1.

Now I graduated three months ago and have had my results since then I've been too ashamed and embarrassed to do anything. I feel like a failure. I am now stuck where I was from 2016-18, depressed in my room all day in some s***hole council estate with no prospects and due to the dangers I don't feel I can leave my house. (I was robbed and assaulted at knife point for going to the shop outside my house at night four years ago). So I wasted 50k on an economics degree for three years to get a 2:2 which is essentially worthless due to the sheer number of people who attain 2:1s and 1sts. My only option is to do menial minimum wage jobs which are too depressing. I have already done them for years but only persevered because I thought at least it's only temporary to put me through uni but now with no light at the end of the tunnel I cannot be motivated to work these min. wage jobs coupled with the fact I have a degree from a prestigious university it makes it even more embarrassing. Plus I don't intend to sound conceited but when I've worked jobs that require cleaning or other dull operations like being sat behind a till for 8+ hours on end it feels tantamount to physical torture. In my spare time I prefer to play challenging video games, learn foreign languages or read books on philosophy/history, it seems my brain requires mental stimulation at all times which may indicate the potentiality of ADHD which would explain why I could not concentrate on coursework as I would spend hours on end in the library but would end up reading books on various subjects that had nothing to do with my degree. I had books on python programming, AI and was teaching myself Italian and Arabic. Unfortunately these skills mean nothing without qualifications and contacts.

As I don't think I have a chance of getting any grad schemes the past three months I've considered my options, I got accepted into some internship in finance in Tokyo but unfortunately it would cost me a total of 6k which is unaffordable at the moment. I have researched the best masters I could get into with a 2:2 which seem to be places like Exeter (international business) or blag my alma mater into letting me in seen as I was only .5% grade a way from the requirement for masters programmes. I have applied for some grad schemes starting in 2022 but have either not had feedback or have been rejected. I also just applied for a year to teach English in China (But tbh teaching is not a career I want to get into) TBH when I first started uni I hoped to get into investment banking as I feel like I am (WAS) motivated and ambitious enough to do it, (I had previously worked 70 hour weeks at my menial jobs during summer 2016-8 to save money for university) but obviously that I have no chance in now. I haven't worked since before the pandemic when I worked uni and fortunately I still have some money saved enough to survive for another year or so with universal credit pop ups. I just don't have any motivation to work crap jobs again (in my spare time I've either been playing video games or learning Thai).but I have no idea how to progress with my life as these past three months have been the most depressing time of my life, as I am back in my home town with no friends, money or prospects. Due to the pandemic I have no internship and I know for almost certain I would not have got a 2:2 if it didn't happen. I should have just intercalated a year and I would not be in this position but I did not want to spend a year stuck at home, yet alas I am now almost 24 and stuck at home indefinitely.
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Roberts 64
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#2
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#2
A guy I know in a similar situation bombed out of university and took a job working at a bank call centre. Turns out he is insanely good at selling stuff. Eight years later, he’s got a management role at a tech firm and has relocated to California.

If you’ve got the ability and talent you think you have, you can succeed without a good degree. Just get on with it and apply for entry level jobs in sectors that have progression routes.
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ReadandBench
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#3
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There are similarities in our stories, im 22, I was also brought up in a working class area, 2 B’s etc looking to leave. Im not sure if it was just my uni but I heard that due to covid if you were close to the next grade they would round up your score, you could call them back because you’re very close to a 2:1. I’d also recommend using your alumni status and trust to get into their Masters program, if you do well that would offset the Bsc and you’ll be able to get a really good job by the sounds of it. I’ve had the same issue, when gyms closed down I had to resort to working out at home, it was a pretty isolating experience but you have to just focus on what you set out to do.
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Admit-One
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#4
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I also graduated with a 2:2. Ultimately I don’t think it hampered me too much, but like a lot of graduates I struggled getting that first job.

I ended up taking a data entry role, then went permanent, then moved on to other positions. I spent over ten years at HSBC in the end, ending my time doing credit underwriting despite the fact that I had no relevant qualifications and an underwhelming degree classification.

It is hard, yes. But I’d encourage you to look at alternative ways into big/mid sized companies instead of grad schemes, which as you note are very oversubscribed.
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1001frames
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#5
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(Original post by Roberts 64)
A guy I know in a similar situation bombed out of university and took a job working at a bank call centre. Turns out he is insanely good at selling stuff. Eight years later, he’s got a management role at a tech firm and has relocated to California.

If you’ve got the ability and talent you think you have, you can succeed without a good degree. Just get on with it and apply for entry level jobs in sectors that have progression routes.
I applied for a real estate recruitment event so maybe that will lead to something.
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1001frames
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#6
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(Original post by ReadandBench)
There are similarities in our stories, im 22, I was also brought up in a working class area, 2 B’s etc looking to leave. Im not sure if it was just my uni but I heard that due to covid if you were close to the next grade they would round up your score, you could call them back because you’re very close to a 2:1. I’d also recommend using your alumni status and trust to get into their Masters program, if you do well that would offset the Bsc and you’ll be able to get a really good job by the sounds of it. I’ve had the same issue, when gyms closed down I had to resort to working out at home, it was a pretty isolating experience but you have to just focus on what you set out to do.
many of my friends got rounded up/extensions. It's just my economics department are very strict, they wouldn't allow me a one day extension in the middle of a pandemic and marked by essays which would have been a B as a D. Also the economics and engineering department were the only ones to give students 2 hour exams instead of 23 that all other disciplines receive. Yes I am bitter in thinking I got a raw deal. I have emailed about masters but they more or less told me that economics isn't something they'll met me in for (I don't think I want to study economics again anyway), I'm looking in to something like business. I'm saving my money so I can potentially find a way to afford it rather than waste it on an internship in Japan which may be a good experience but might ultimately not lead to any permanent position. I didn't work out at home my flat was too small and more or less just gave up, I've started working out again and my mood feels better temporarily, but now I feel as though I have nothing to channel my energy into and just end up feeling depressed.


I have submitted an appeal (even though they more or less told me not to bother as my average at 59% is the same as second year and my only extenuating circumstances (mental health/financial difficulties cannot be proven)), I get feedback on that at the end of October.
Last edited by 1001frames; 1 month ago
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t.s.r.
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#7
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#7
I'm sorry this happened to you. There's not much advice I can give you, but hang in there.

Try to put your percentage in your resume to show you were very close to a 2.1. Also, apply to as many jobs as possible, you never know. With the pandemic improving, there might be more jobs available so they might take you with a 2.2.

All the best, and something similar happened to me during this pandemic. It's been hard on everyone. Just try to keep exercising to keep your mental state and if you keep trying, it will work out.
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Napp
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#8
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mmm whilst the 2;2 isnt ideal its far from the deal breaker you think it is, i got one as i royally ****ed up my 3rd year (in a similar manner to your 2nd) but managed to pull my socks up and got a masters with a better grade and eventually got the job i had been angling for, more or less, after all. I noted in the job process most employers couldnt give a toss about your degree its experience they want. A degree is just a tick on the application form for most of them (although IB is likely a different story) but for most jobs so long as you have the degree theyre not overly bothered. So just find yourself some decent work experience and go from there
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Anonymous #1
#9
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#9
(Original post by 1001frames)
Context: 23 year old white male (if that's relevant)

Backstory
I come from a deprived area in northern England to a single mother, yet I excelled in school and attained as and a*s at GCSE. Despite my poor background I managed to get into a decent sixth form but I felt so isolated from my peers around 16-18 my attendance ended up being less than 50% and I was almost kicked out but managed to do well enough in my mocks. Needless to say I ended up bungling up my exams and left sixth form with two Bs in English lit and history. I tried joining the military to do engineering but was disqualified on some pretty trivial medical grounds. So faced with no other alternative but working menial jobs or a grossly underpaid apprenticeship I went back to college to study maths and business and managed to get into a top ten university.

My first year of university was probably the best year of my life. I don't think I have felt happy since I was around 13 years old, but for one year I finally had a social life again (I outgrew a lot of my childhood friends as they turned into gang violence and drug addiction; they looked down on me for being in school). I was active in society and even visited China as my minor was in Chinese. I managed to get a first in first year and went into second year auspiciously applying for internships for summer 2020 including places like Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, but then the pandemic hit and my life suddenly became much worse. My GF who is foreign left the country, I went from having a decent social circle to being completely isolated. My uni gave us the option to do exams or keep our average on second year to data. As my degree is 40/60 coursework/exams I took my average at 59% as I thought I could easily maintain it and increase enough to get a 2:1 minimum.

I heavily considered intercalating third year as I knew university was my best route to increase my socioeconomic status but I could not bear the thought of spending another year of my life stagnant with my mum in some *****y council estate so I opted to stay in the year in the vain hope that the pandemic would soon pass and life would get back to normal again. Honestly the final year was the worst year of my life as I seemed to spend a whole year doing nothing. I didn't complete a lot of my coursework resulting in fail and Ds for late entry. This caused my average to tumble from 59% to around 50%. It might sound funny but I think the gyms being closed played a big role in my mental health as the only times I felt motivated again was by going to the gym. Faced with the prospect of failing I sat my ass down in the library in the final six weeks prior to my final exams and studied my ass off around 8 hours a day for 8 modules. As I hadn't attended any online classes all year and had not really studied my subject since around March 2020 (over a year prior) I had to teach myself the basics (things I learned in first year) as foundational knowledge for my third year modules. This was a lofty order but somehow I managed it by getting around 70% in my final exams which raised my average up to 59% (which is .5% from getting a 2:1 according to my uni's way of determining degree classifications), which was bittersweet as I was proud of myself for showing that I can actually do my degree but it still was not sufficient to raise my average to a 2:1.

Now I graduated three months ago and have had my results since then I've been too ashamed and embarrassed to do anything. I feel like a failure. I am now stuck where I was from 2016-18, depressed in my room all day in some s***hole council estate with no prospects and due to the dangers I don't feel I can leave my house. (I was robbed and assaulted at knife point for going to the shop outside my house at night four years ago). So I wasted 50k on an economics degree for three years to get a 2:2 which is essentially worthless due to the sheer number of people who attain 2:1s and 1sts. My only option is to do menial minimum wage jobs which are too depressing. I have already done them for years but only persevered because I thought at least it's only temporary to put me through uni but now with no light at the end of the tunnel I cannot be motivated to work these min. wage jobs coupled with the fact I have a degree from a prestigious university it makes it even more embarrassing. Plus I don't intend to sound conceited but when I've worked jobs that require cleaning or other dull operations like being sat behind a till for 8+ hours on end it feels tantamount to physical torture. In my spare time I prefer to play challenging video games, learn foreign languages or read books on philosophy/history, it seems my brain requires mental stimulation at all times which may indicate the potentiality of ADHD which would explain why I could not concentrate on coursework as I would spend hours on end in the library but would end up reading books on various subjects that had nothing to do with my degree. I had books on python programming, AI and was teaching myself Italian and Arabic. Unfortunately these skills mean nothing without qualifications and contacts.

As I don't think I have a chance of getting any grad schemes the past three months I've considered my options, I got accepted into some internship in finance in Tokyo but unfortunately it would cost me a total of 6k which is unaffordable at the moment. I have researched the best masters I could get into with a 2:2 which seem to be places like Exeter (international business) or blag my alma mater into letting me in seen as I was only .5% grade a way from the requirement for masters programmes. I have applied for some grad schemes starting in 2022 but have either not had feedback or have been rejected. I also just applied for a year to teach English in China (But tbh teaching is not a career I want to get into) TBH when I first started uni I hoped to get into investment banking as I feel like I am (WAS) motivated and ambitious enough to do it, (I had previously worked 70 hour weeks at my menial jobs during summer 2016-8 to save money for university) but obviously that I have no chance in now. I haven't worked since before the pandemic when I worked uni and fortunately I still have some money saved enough to survive for another year or so with universal credit pop ups. I just don't have any motivation to work crap jobs again (in my spare time I've either been playing video games or learning Thai).but I have no idea how to progress with my life as these past three months have been the most depressing time of my life, as I am back in my home town with no friends, money or prospects. Due to the pandemic I have no internship and I know for almost certain I would not have got a 2:2 if it didn't happen. I should have just intercalated a year and I would not be in this position but I did not want to spend a year stuck at home, yet alas I am now almost 24 and stuck at home indefinitely.
My grandma gained dementia from the affects of the pandemic and her life is well and truly ruined. Maybe you shouldn’t look down at ‘low paid apprenticeships’ because if you took them you’d be in a better position than you are now.

In all seriousness just keep applying for jobs and eventually you’ll get one. I’d also recommend starting a masters next year as it will likely cancel out your 2:2 when applying for jobs.
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kate2809
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#10
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#10
Sorry to hear that you have had a tough time.

I know that it can feel incredibly difficult getting a lower grade than you hoped for (trust me, I've been there) but you can definitely still secure employment with a 2:2.

Lots of graduate schemes state they will receive applications with 'a minimum 2:2' so I would start applying for those and on your application, I would definitely explain why you received a lower than expected grade - the pandemic, your mental health, living in an environment that you didn't feel safe in or feeling like you couldn't leave the house. Any good recruiter will understand that and put your grades into context.
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micholate9
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#11
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I'm really sorry this is happening to you. It sounds terrible.

Are you getting help for your mental health issues?

With regards to doing a master's, please think through carefully and explore your options first. Some employers still won't accept a master's if you have a 2.2 as an undergrad. Have a look at the requirements for jobs you would potentially be applying to after getting a master's.

Some employers do also take extenuating circumstances into account. If you explain your mental health problems to your GP and how they affected your academic performance, you may be able to get a letter to send to the employers. But again, look up which employers will consider extenuating circumstances.

I just want to say that it's incredible that you worked so hard to try and change your circumstances. Don't give up now. I really hope life gets better for you.
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Thisismyunitsr
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#12
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(Original post by micholate9)
I'm really sorry this is happening to you. It sounds terrible.

Are you getting help for your mental health issues?

With regards to doing a master's, please think through carefully and explore your options first. Some employers still won't accept a master's if you have a 2.2 as an undergrad. Have a look at the requirements for jobs you would potentially be applying to after getting a master's.

Some employers do also take extenuating circumstances into account. If you explain your mental health problems to your GP and how they affected your academic performance, you may be able to get a letter to send to the employers. But again, look up which employers will consider extenuating circumstances.

I just want to say that it's incredible that you worked so hard to try and change your circumstances. Don't give up now. I really hope life gets better for you.
That’s genuinely ridiculous. No wonder it’s so hard to acquire employment for graduates these days.
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micholate9
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#13
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(Original post by Thisismyunitsr)
That’s genuinely ridiculous. No wonder it’s so hard to acquire employment for graduates these days.
Yes, it makes you think if there is a point to getting a master's given its so expensive!! Unless you are doing it purely because you are interested in your subject or considering academia...
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Feelingbored
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#14
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#14
I'm so sorry to hear about your circumstance. I'm in very similar position myself so can partly relate; I was a straigght A student before the pandemic with an offer to study at Cambridge. But like many people, really struggled with coping in the pandemic for the exact same reasons as you stated (depression, unstable household, undiagnosed ADHD, etc). I got given grades that honestly means I'll be worse off if I went to uni and I know I would have achieved much better under normal conditions. For that reason, I'm planning to re-sit and hopefully apply to Oxford (I know they're more considerate of re-applicants and state school applicants) next year. It all feels unfair and hurts that the pandemic (something out of our control) could affect our lives this much negatively. I've been depressed and anxious because of how out control I felt and still feel for months now. But reading your post has given me some more courage - I applaud your drive to do better for yourself. Hopefully I'm as adriven as you.

I don't have much advice to give but please keep going. If you're driven and ambitious about your career goal, then I'm sure you'll get there. It might take longer, your journey is going to be different from other people and that's fine.

Good luck! and keep me updated
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Thisismyunitsr
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#15
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#15
(Original post by micholate9)
Yes, it makes you think if there is a point to getting a master's given its so expensive!! Unless you are doing it purely because you are interested in your subject or considering academia...
I think there’s no real point in going to university these days tbh
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1001frames
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#16
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#16
(Original post by micholate9)
I'm really sorry this is happening to you. It sounds terrible.

Are you getting help for your mental health issues?

With regards to doing a master's, please think through carefully and explore your options first. Some employers still won't accept a master's if you have a 2.2 as an undergrad. Have a look at the requirements for jobs you would potentially be applying to after getting a master's.

Some employers do also take extenuating circumstances into account. If you explain your mental health problems to your GP and how they affected your academic performance, you may be able to get a letter to send to the employers. But again, look up which employers will consider extenuating circumstances.

I just want to say that it's incredible that you worked so hard to try and change your circumstances. Don't give up now. I really hope life gets better for you.
I am not receiving mental health assistance because I cannot afford it all the money I receive I am saving it so I can progress onto better things, spending ££s on therapy isn't a luxury I can afford. I've managed to save about 2k so far since August it's not much but it will help toward masters or if I get a job that requires relocation. I do put my % down when I can and try and beef up my resume by showing other qualifications I have like Mandarin, I've got an interview scheduled with someone from my university tomorrow about my career progression so we'll see where that goes. Yes I know a masters will also take years off my life due to saving up for it and then studying, if I saved up 10k for a masters I honestly think I'd rather spend that 10k on travelling I don't want to spend all my 20s struggling...
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1001frames
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Anonymous)
My grandma gained dementia from the affects of the pandemic and her life is well and truly ruined. Maybe you shouldn’t look down at ‘low paid apprenticeships’ because if you took them you’d be in a better position than you are now.

In all seriousness just keep applying for jobs and eventually you’ll get one. I’d also recommend starting a masters next year as it will likely cancel out your 2:2 when applying for jobs.
I'm sorry about your grandma and that's terrible but it doesn't mean I can't be upset about my situation either. To go to uni I left a job that paid me £500 a week and I was hopeful that my life, would improve I left that behind for uni for better prospects and now I find myself more broke, hopeless then I've ever been before, the only job I've managed to secure is a 9 hour contract at Tesco that pays me £70 a week that requires 20 miles of travel, I may as well claim universal credit.

When did I say I look down on apprenticeships? I know many people who take that route and have more success than uni grads in their life and career, I tried to join the military when I was 18 for engineering but shortly after I was medically discharged. After trying manual occupations for a few years I've come to the conclusion that they are certainly not for me as I am terrible at them, fair play to anyone that can excel in them though. I only went to uni on the condition that it was a good uni and I was studying a subject I thought would lead to a job, alas, the pandemic happened and what once seemed like an auspicious future turned bleak.
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micholate9
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#18
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#18
(Original post by 1001frames)
I am not receiving mental health assistance because I cannot afford it all the money I receive I am saving it so I can progress onto better things, spending ££s on therapy isn't a luxury I can afford. I've managed to save about 2k so far since August it's not much but it will help toward masters or if I get a job that requires relocation. I do put my % down when I can and try and beef up my resume by showing other qualifications I have like Mandarin, I've got an interview scheduled with someone from my university tomorrow about my career progression so we'll see where that goes. Yes I know a masters will also take years off my life due to saving up for it and then studying, if I saved up 10k for a masters I honestly think I'd rather spend that 10k on travelling I don't want to spend all my 20s struggling...
I meant help from your GP. They may be able to point you to some free resources, especially if you are under 25.

Good luck with the careers interview tomorrow.
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1001frames
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#19
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#19
(Original post by micholate9)
I meant help from your GP. They may be able to point you to some free resources, especially if you are under 25.

Good luck with the careers interview tomorrow.
well I guess I should consider it

thank you
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