|Welcome to the land of Unemployment. Population: No idea because the government like to fix the unemployment figures to make it look like their austerity measures are working.|
I won't go into the specifics but I quit my job earlier this year and found another job a few months later. But then the application was delayed due to problems in getting a reference so I've spent most of this year without a job. And for anyone who hasn't had to experience long-term unemployment while desperately wanting to work, it sucks. So much.
So this is basically everything that sucks about unemployment because so many people think it's a party of rainbows and sunshine.
The first is that you have no money. Obviously. Because when I left my job, I had enough money to last me around 4-6 months and I got a job within that timeframe but hadn't factored in that I wouldn't start straight away. And then for the last couple of months I've had very little spending money. I've had to scrimp every penny and have had to let my Mum do some of my shopping because I can't afford to do all of my shopping myself. And being 24, that's really embarrassing.
I may have all this time to do arts and crafts or go mountain climbing but I've got no money to do it. So I've been sitting around all day, just doing nothing.
The second is that people expect you to be free. Sometimes, I babysit so I've been asked to babysit so much during my unemployment that I've considered never having children. It starts out with people asking if you can get something from the shops from them or watch their kids for half an hour. And you find yourself spending all day waiting by the phone for someone to call you and ask you for a favour.
The third is that you start to forget what day it is. When you work, you keep your eye on your rota at all times. You know what days you're working. So when you wake up, you know if it's Monday or Wednesday. But when you're unemployed, you wake up every day thinking it's a Saturday because you know you're not going to be doing anything significant.
The fourth is that you can't treat yourself. This is mostly tied to the first point of not having any money but the worst part about not having money is that your laptop is on its last leg and you know a time is coming where you need to splash the cash for another one and your mobile is broken and needs replacing but you can't replace this because again, you have no money. Some people think that these are luxuries that you can live without when you're unemployed but they've become necessities in this life. You need a computer to be able to send job applications and emails. And you need that phone because without it, people will think you're dead or something.
The fifth is that it really hits you're self-esteem. Go and tell someone you're unemployed and you can almost see the judgement in their eyes. It's crushing and you don't have the money to make yourself feel better. I know they say that money doesn't make you happy but I'd rather be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy.
The sixth is that you have little or no savings. I used to pride myself on having savings that most people my age don't have but during my days of no work, I've pretty much lost most of my savings. It's nice to have a little security in case the economy decides to do a 2008.
The final point is that you revert to be a university student. Since I've done my medical school entrance exams and have sent my application to medical schools, I've gone back to being a university student. I've been going to sleep when I feel like it and I wake up whenever the neighbour's dog gets loud. I sit around the house in my pyjamas and eat ice cream out of the tub. At my age, this is not a good look.
But now that I have a job (the salary isn't much and it's hard work but at least it's something and it'll help me get more experience to get into medical school so it's all good and honestly I'm looking forward to it) I'm starting to recover from this experience. And this time, I'm going to keep a strict budget to ensure my savings recover.
Also, I've been waking up before the sun sets too which is nice because relying on my sun lamp to trick myself into thinking it was daytime was getting a bit tiring.
Oh, and Happy Halloween!