This time last year, I expected thousands of students across the UK to graduate, Jamie Morris writes.
After a few more months of solid adhesion, exams and deadlines, the world is my oyster, or so I thought
My travels were cut short due to the corona virus, and I ended up working at a local brewery. At age 22, I felt like the world had stopped.
Aside from going abroad and studying at university, I lived in Henley for the rest of my life. I live on Nicholas Road with my mom Justin, brother Sami and sister Susu.
Like Ella and James (above), I attended Trinity Elementary School and then Gillette School.
I studied creative media at The Henley College before moving to the University of the West of England in Bristol, where I graduated with a second-class degree in journalism and a journalism degree last year. During the holidays I worked at Rebellion Liquor in Marlow at the age of 14.
It was only after Christmas, during the third national lockout, that for the first time in eight years I was told I had no job. Knowing it was time to join the job hunt and discover something new, I remember going home that day was so exciting.
The novelty of submitting job applications did not take long to go away. As many of my friends have been doing for almost a year, I realized that I would be at home every day, searching endlessly and applying for jobs.
At first I focused on applying for jobs related to my studies, journalism and jobs within the media. But it wasn’t too long before I started applying for other things like teaching and gardening.
After weeks of not responding to more than 10 job applications, I was isolated and frustrated. However, talking to friends and realizing that almost everyone feels the same is somewhat reassuring.
This made me realize the extent to which the impact of the epidemic is affecting young people and that many graduates are seeking unemployment benefits. I went to the BBC with an idea for the news about graduate unemployment that aired in February.
Ironically, the day before it aired, I was told that I would be successful with my job application to work at Waitros in Henley (which I never expected to do after graduation).
The response to the story has been incredible, especially from those who feel the same way as me, but not sure if they can talk about it.
Having been in waitress for over a month, I found this to be a very positive experience. Communicating with clients and co-workers and learning new things continues the current situation.
After all, like James and thousands of new graduates, the 2020 class still has a long way to go, but walking through friends, talking to each other and applying for those jobs you don’t expect to do can be something we see through this mess.