A Graduate’s Dream


Unless you went to university to spend three years drinking, partying, living with your mates and sleeping in lectures, you most likely went to get a degree in something you enjoy.

I love to write, therefore a degree in Magazine Journalism was right up my street. My course mates and I were passionate, hardworking and still managed to live the full uni experience.

Working in Journalism requires dedication, good time keeping skills and the ability to work for free. Because having experience behind your belt is the only way you can get your foot anywhere near the door, let alone in it.

I followed the protocol, spent weeks travelling up to London in the cold, rushing around on the tube and losing money on train fares; all of this to get a glimpse of the journalism world and to put it all down on my CV.

Course mates did the same; running to London, exhausting themselves at magazines that send you to buy their lunch and don’t even remember your name (they’re not all like that) and sending you on impossible missions. It’s hard, tiring, sometimes demoralising, but you have to do it.

After it all, you pick up your scroll, throw your hat into the air and that’s it. No more living with your friends, or midweek fancy dress parties; you’re on your own. And it’s tough.

Nobody warns you that you will apply for a job that 700 other graduates will pin their hopes on, or that you won’t hear back from employers, even if you spend ages writing a cover letter, perfecting your CV and having that  ‘good feeling’ in your stomach.

It’s hard, and once you’ve worked for free enough times, you just can’t anymore. It’s exhausting.

Nobody warns you about the people who will give false promises.  There are ‘professionals’ who will steal your ideas, ask for some more, steal them again and promise you the world, to then never contact you again.  All of this happens whilst you’re young, hopeful and full of dreams.

A graduate will leave University with the world at their feet.  Some travel, some get their dream job, and some do something completely different. However,  at the end of it all, a graduate will have three years full of the most amazing memories and experiences.

And if it doesn’t work out in your chosen field, you still succeeded. You pushed yourself to achieve your degree – you showed yourself you have the stamina to complete something so impressive, and you should be proud of that.

University teaches you to believe in yourself, no matter what you do. Keep believing and life will all fall into place. Just wait and see.

  • Delilah Burke

    “magazines that send you to buy their lunch and don’t even remember your name (they’re not all like that) and sending you on impossible missions”

    If you’re having trouble getting a job in journalism, perhaps edit your work a little more carefully and learn something about grammar. This isn’t a piece that is of the quality I’d expect to read from somebody who has spent three years studying magazine journalism (or anything else, actually) at university.

    • Suzie Toogood

      It’s actually called ‘writing tone’, and if you know anything about journalism, you will know (or should know) that online writing is a whole different ball game. I’m not writing for The Guardian.

      At the end of the day, you read my whole article, so you’ve done what I wanted. I think my tutors that awarded me a 2:1 for my degree and a 1st for my dissertation may disagree with you somewhat.

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