Young Britain: `Everyone needs to feel secure, to have some stability'

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Chloe Beattie, 19, of Workington, Cumbria, is in the first year of an English and art degree at Keele University.

"I've always done part-time work from an early age. When I was 16, I was doing the tills in Marks & Spencer and during my A-levels I did some waitressing. Most summer holidays I worked in a factory.

"People said I shouldn't do a part-time job when I was studying because they thought it would be hard to combine with the amount of homework I got. But I needed the money and you can always find a way of fitting everything in.

"Apart from my job and studying for my exams, I had to decide what to do in the future. It was all very stressful because I was worried about making the wrong choice. I was bogged down with everything and didn't have much time to think.

"In the end things didn't turn out very well. I took an art foundation course at a local college, but dropped out because it wasn't right for me.

"I ended up having a year out. I didn't go travelling or anything, but I went to live in London, which was a long way from home.

"I got a job in an office which gave me invaluable experience and turned out to be the best thing. I got the chance to learn things about the working environment which I would never have known if I had gone straight to university. Plus I've got real work experience, which is really important in today's job market. Now when I leave Keele I won't fall into the trap of having a degree but no experience. I definitely made the right choice about not going travelling.

"The society we live in is unstable. There is no security in the job market and a lot of people are worried about that. There is no guarantee that after doing a degree you can get a job. We need something stable in our life. That is why most young people want to get to settle down in a relationship because everyone needs to feel secure.

"Most young people I know are optimistic. I don't go around saying I'll never get a job. I know the job market is insecure but you can't just give in. If I carry on working hard I'll get a job and do something with my life."