Isn’t it amazing? I’m graduating this week.
“Oh it’s brilliant – I can’t wait,” sputtered one soon-to-be graduate in a bout of late-onset prickishness.
The latest victim of my Twitter cull joins thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, up and down the country in congratulating themselves for somehow miraculously achieving what droves of their peers have also somehow miraculously achieved.
Beaming images of former students are draped all over my Facebook page, mostly in selfie form, eyes widened and teeth primed as if they’re about to bite a chunk out of an ageing Italian centre back.
Isn’t it brilliant?
Well no, it isn’t brilliant. And yes, I can wait.
Humble bragging gone mad: It must be results week | Eleanor Doughty
‘Stop being so bitter’, ‘Why are you being so bitter?’, and ‘Do you even have a soul?’ are a few of the statements I have had to shrug off last week.
The wonderful university education I had grown up to expect, aside from completely failing to prepare me for life beyond its gates, has been, well, anticlimactic. And the half-baked graduation ceremony that is imminently due may well be the final insult.
The dreaded procession, to begin with, has cost me £90 – a hefty fee for the pleasure of being herded like a farm animal into a seating area littered with uncomfortable wooden chairs; a hefty fee for the pleasure of being thanked by the principal for my ever-so-kind £9,870 donation in return for a scroll; a hefty fee for having my name mispronounced in front of hundreds.
From the age of around six or seven, a ‘university education’ was painted as some definitive, glorious, ethereal sort of achievement that trampolines life’s most brightestest to the top of the pile.
What pile? Well it doesn’t matter – but it will almost definitely take you to the top of it, leapfrogging you above millions of other twentysomethings engaged in a lifelong game of ‘who can go go the longest without topping themselves’.
To attain a university degree, as told by those who had done it about 30 years ago, was to embark on a sort of spiritual transcendence otherwise exclusively experienced by the most dedicated Buddhist monks following 67-years of solid, undisturbed meditation.
But what they didn’t realise was that everybody else had exactly the same idea. Cue hilarious pictures of teenagers all chaotically leapfrogging each other like plush toys in a tumble drier while employers line up to pick one out every now and again using a claw crane.
The wonderful university education I had grown up to expect has been, well, anticlimactic.
No. Scratch that. It’s been a lie. A total lie. Dressed in a funny black gown with a funny hat to match.
Happy graduation week!