Sophie Heawood: The interns generation must stop feeling sorry for itself


Related Topics

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, London flats rent for more than villas in Calvi, and you're expected to take an unpaid internship that lasts until you hand over your first-born child.

David Cameron says you can't have housing benefit because you must stay with your parents until you're 25, even if they live in a cave and they beat you. 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 I read a newspaper article complaining that you thought the world of work would be like Sex and the City or The Devil Wears Prada. 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.

You've been watching the wrong telly. My generation grew up with The Young Ones, which taught us that students were to be laughed at, because they were almost entirely useless. We still went on to become them, but we knew our worth, and wore it with a touch of humility.

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 if you want to create entrepreneurs? Bring back Neil from The Young Ones and Biggie Smalls.

A responsive Aga? No, thanks

I recently spent the weekend with some friends who left London a few years ago to move to the country, have babies, keep chickens and grow their own veg. As dusk falls, they pull their food out of their own garden and cook it on the Aga – living the dream.

Ahh, that lovely big warm Aga, with its lack of settings, its oil guzzling, its lazy expression. How it made me yearn for a simpler life as it sat there, lording it over their kitchen witlessly. It slumped like a sloth; unbudging as a stubborn relative in their favourite chair at Christmas.

So I was horrified to learn that Agas are to be made more responsive. Apparently, they are being redesigned to be programmed by remote control – yes, you will be able to text your Aga. This feels so wrong, it's like saying they've changed the law and the postman now has to come inside your house and fold your letters into your hand himself. It isn't right.

So I rang the friends in their rural idyll to discuss this distressing Aga saga. Turns out they didn't share my horror. "That stupid old thing?" they said. "Binned it. We've just bought an Electrolux instead."

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teacher Cornwall

£21500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: ***KS1 & KS2 Teachers ...

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Day In a Page

Read Next

i Editor's Letter: A huge step forward in medical science, but we're not all the way there yet

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
David Cameron has painted a scary picture of what life would be like under a Labour government  

You want constitutional change? Fixed-term parliaments have already done the job

Steve Richards
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album