So the new university year has commenced which, for me and about 500 other students, will also be the final year of a seemingly never-ending degree. The distant reality of finding a stable career path – most likely away from home- had almost become a non-issue. However, now the beast needs to be faced head on. You’ve got to admit, it is exciting, the idea of forming your own identity, becoming a real-life independent adult. I’m sure there are some of you, like me, who are itching to apply what you’ve learnt here, out in the big, bad world and begin the climb to professional success. Though, while I’m itching to get going – I have no idea where to start.
I have a possible theory as to why. I’m what out-of-towners so affectionately call a townie. I’m a Canberra local and I’ve also never had the chance to live out of home. Being a townie has several benefits (as out-of-towners continually remind us) and I’m not one to gloss over these: home-cooked meals, I never have to touch my laundry, moral support during the occasional mid-semester identity crisis, it’s pretty sweet. However, I can’t help but envy my friends who live out of home. Not just because they have no one to answer to after coming home at 5am in a delightful drunken stupor and vomiting all over the toilet seat. It’s that sense of priority and responsibility and general savvy-ness that they’ve had the privilege of developing early on. This goes particularly for those who’ve moved inter-state. In short, you guys have got life skills, and I want em’.
Don’t get me wrong, us townies aren’t lazy self-entitled slobs (aka Brennan and Dale from Stepbrothers). We too are trying to forge our independence and a sense of self-worth, maintain a social life whilst working multiple jobs to reach that elusive fantasy called “total independence”. Moving out just hasn’t been a realistic option. Yet, I can’t help but think, had I moved out, how much more “ready” might I have been for whatever comes after graduation? Budgeting, house hunting, living with strangers, surviving off of cereal and air for the week – the task is no mean feat. Then again, as my out-of town friends remind me, there’s no guilt in enjoying home comforts while they last, you’ll get to be a struggling Gen Y soon enough (goodie!). So while the out-of-towners re-affirm their growing independence, for the next eight months we graduating townies should enjoy, guilt free, our excellent home-cooked dinners.