”You promised to call me when you have some time to see me!” I’ve heard this from a friend a dozen times in a short period of time, and most of my Uni friends tell the same story. How to explain to your friends and family, that there’s a reason why you really feel like you don’t have the time to sleep and the fact that you fell asleep during a phone conversation wasn’t anything personal. And I’m not talking about the la-de-dah partying times of freshman year when you had hard time getting up for the next morning’s Britlit class (although I’m definitely not downplaying the amount of work done that year), I’m talking about the constant pressure of A. getting a job, B. keeping a job and C. studying. My proseminar teacher told us to deal with our writing process as a job. The advice was good; you shouldn’t wait to get inspired, you have to make time for it and you have to do it although it doesn’t always feel nice. There’s only one problem: I already have a job.
Balancing between working, even part-time, and still managing to get your work done for the university is a constant problem all us working students have to face. I feel that on the one hand I’m constantly reminded that us Finnish students, especially humanists, graduate to jobless losers, the first thing employers say to us is that “It sure is great that you can tell me how to analyze Philip Larkin’s poems, do you know anything about payment worksheets? Or a-ny-thing practical?”
Amongst my friends this is one of the recurring jokes, but it’s not funny. Actually it’s really scary. The idea that you have to move back with your parents or work your ass off to get a degree and then get back to jobs you did when you were 17 is really freaking me out during some sleepless nights.
On the other hand the university and the Finnish governmental system pulls us to a different direction: One should start working towards a career when she or he is 18 years old, choose one school after high school, stick with that school and start working when one turns 25. Work until 75, don’t get any vascular diseases, don’t break your hips and die before you start to burden the national healthcare system. Life as it should be.
Okey, just one problem: I knew at 18 that I wanted to take a road trip in USA with a hot guy. I’m going to do that this summer but other than that, I didn’t have any clue what I wanted, what career path would be right for me (the online job test suggested a florist, an art teacher or a lawyer. WHAT) or what choices you had to make to be able to succeed in getting a job (I’ve heard that there are other ways than just graduating, like…getting work experience).
Another problem: I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. To expect such things at my age is ridiculous, every year I grow a little more, gather more experience and oh, here’s a news flash, you don’t get all that experience just by sitting in classes.
So get off my back Vanhanen-type people, I feel my work is just as important as my studying and I don’t want to feel guilty for having a job! And yes, I still want to study in a university, so don’t send me those freaking etappi-letters every time a period didn’t go as planned.
Ylioppilaslehti wrote recently that humanists seem to be very worried about getting employed after they graduate. But a recent study has on the other hand shown that we Finnish students are after all actually not that desperate in getting jobs after graduating. So it seems that there might be a little less reason to worry than we might think.
So, I’m trying to follow my friend’s advice “Don’t worry about the future so much, otherwise you’ll have to worry about the same things twice” and try and get to the same victorious relaxed mood that I had when I first walked through the doors of Metsis on my very first day (even if just once a week).
And don’t worry dear readers; there’s still light at the end of this stress tunnel: some wise people decided to put the period break in the middle of all this hassle.
But before you allow yourself to relax and to forget everything you just studied for the exams, take a look at this month’s awesome BTSB issue!
This month, our editors tell you about their personal experiences about losing a job; they shed light to the mysteries of Laskiainen and direct you to the best bars around the Globe!
We’re also proud to present a sequel to the Birth of a thesis -series and a different kind of A Modest Proposal, inspired by Jonathan Swift.
One of our editors is also going to shed light on the entity called NMES and retell some wonderful stories by NMES visitors, so don’t forget to check that out!
Let this issue make you relax through laughter, be touched by personal stories and strengthen the feeling that you, dear reader, are not alone in this precarious situation of your life.
Yours truly, Kaisa Leino, editor in chief, and the rest of the BTSB staff