Sophie Heawood: Don't pity the interns generation

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Oh, graduates. At first, we all felt bad. The statistics came out and they weren't pretty. You've come out of university with 2:1s that you paid for and you can't get jobs. The industries you were preparing for are in flux. The economy is all tangled up like Medusa's hair.

We felt pretty sorry for you – until you started moaning. Until I read yet another blog post from somebody who is, like, totes miffed that she did a degree in journalism and now she can't get a job in it. Until you went around saying that this is the worst time ever to be 22 and looking for a job and that you now feel your arts degree was "pointless".

Arts degrees were always pointless; that's the point. I'm sorry you paid so much more than we did to find this out, but seriously, what did you think they were for? Honing your brain, helping you find out what is written in all the brilliant books, understanding how power is distributed? Yes, yes that's what they can do. Getting you a job? Never.

Internship culture has gone bonkers, but you can help yourselves here. Do not, like the intern recently employed by the director of one human rights organisation I know, send an email on the day you are due to arrive saying you have decided it is much better for everyone if you devote these months to working on your novel instead. Do not, once you start work, tweet about what a bitch your boss is, as I have seen younger friends do. I'm relieved I had no chance of becoming a journalist at 22 – I was nearer 30, having spectacularly messed up other careers first.

Still, it's really not your fault – not only has the telly misled you, but you've got the wrong sort of hip hop. Back in the 90s every rap song I heard was about the hustle, about how everybody had to fight their way out of the ghetto by dealing drugs. Now you've got the enlightened ennui of Kanye and Drake saying how miserable they are at the top, which is no use to anyone. My advice to the government is if you want to create entrepreneurs, Bring back Biggie Smalls.