As a student coming up to the end of my degree I’ve been getting a reasonable amount of comments about what it’s going to be like once I’m in this ‘real world’ that everyone’s been talking about for my 21 years.
But what really annoys me is the apparent competition between people about their workload. Like they ‘win’ if they work the most.
One family friend recently said ‘it’ll be a shock to the system when you get into a real nine to five job.’
Like I don’t work as much as a nine to five job now?
I’m on track for a first, and most of my friends are. I’m sure we’ll all agree that it’s a lot of work to stay at that level. It takes up your evening and weekends and most of your waking thoughts.
Especially when deadlines come up… Which is most of the time. You spend all of your free time either doing the work or feeling guilty if you aren’t.
No amount of ‘you should do something fun, get your mind off it, stop stressing’ will help.
I have friends who are doing a nine to five job in a year of work experience between years of their degree and every single one loves it. They are dreading coming back to the never ending work of a degree. At least in a job you get to leave your work there (in most jobs) and have your weekends all to yourself.
I assume, even in the busiest times of most jobs, you don’t have periods twice a year where you are working from dawn till dusk, barely getting any sleep, the sleep you are getting is still work and doesn’t really count, crying from the stress, and collapsing from pure exhaustion at the end.
I mean, not that I don’t admit that there are jobs out there that are as hard as hell, and do bleed over into your home life, but the ones I’ve been compared to are office jobs. The ones that I know for a fact aren’t hugely work intensive and are ‘leave at the workplace’ jobs.
Have people really forgotten so much what a degree is like that they now think it’s so little work?
Maybe the people that think it perhaps had a slightly lighter work load during their degree?
Maybe they didn’t work as hard for the top grades? Maybe they didn’t need or want the top grades?
Either way, demeaning the amount of work I do isn’t going to make you feel better about what job you’ve chosen. And admitting someone works harder than you doesn’t demean what work you do.
When I finish my degree, at least to start, I want to get away from my subject for a while. I want my brain to take a break, to not be having to remember everything I’ve been told for a test on it later. I want to not be literally pulling out my hair for a while. I want a rest. And a nine to five job could be that.
Anyway, my point is: stop telling me that I don’t do a massive amount of work, or that it’s not as much as any nine to five job. That’s rude and just makes me feel like my stress and hard work isn’t worth as much as I thought it was.
And, praise for people doing a degree. You all work damn hard.