I had heard about the notion of “living for the weekend” before I moved out of Nottingham, now here I am in London embarking upon the next chapter of my life. But whilst playing ‘Grown Up’ in the Real World, I was certain I wasn’t going to let that become my way of life!
From uni days when I was committed to only 8 hours of contact time per week, I got to play boss and determine just how much time I would spend ‘working’ and ‘playing’. With that power my motto was “work hard, play hard” and that’s exactly what I did for three years!
For the first year, there was a definite 90% of playtime which mostly required having small talk with the next new face you met in the laundry room, lecture or walking down your corridor in halls! In the second year I savoured the fact that, unlike many of my housemates, my marks didn’t count towards my final degree so I upped the ante! Literally every week was Freshers’ Week in my mind and living in Trinity Square accommodated that lifestyle; I could roll out of bed at 8.50am for an early lecture and be back in bed by 10:10am (post sausage roll and cup of tea, thank you Bonington café) – and the beauty of that? The hangover hadn’t even hit me yet! Third year though and a whole heap of work away from actually qualifying with a degree, I’d say it became more of a 90:10 ratio but, as the saying goes, “duty calls”.
Now, one year on from the DDD (Dreaded Dissertation Deadline) I have to realise that my “duty” has shifted from Trent Army comrade to Dolly Parton’s working girl (how many of you just thought of Oceana’s disco room when you read that?!). But soon I realised working 9-5 means there’s still plenty of time to have a life outside of your office building; I would just have to forgo the daily nap I had become accustomed to as a student! With the shock of the early mornings and long hours of concentration required in the adult world (sadly there’s no Jeremy Kyle or Loose Women TV breaks allowed), my initial reaction was to savour each evening for pure relaxation; rushing home for a cosy night on the sofa watching episode after episode of Mad Men or Mistresses with my housemates. It quickly dawned on me though that with over 50% of each week spent sat at a desk, that statistic was far too scary for me to remain in my sofa-hugging rut! I needed to get out more!
This routine breakthrough required two things: a Filofax (because every working girl needs to organise her social calendar) and the energy of a first year (cue memories of a Monday night at BZR). Suffice to say, it’s simple really: there’s no point earning your money if you don’t have fun spending it!
A working week in the Life: After a Fashion Degree
Monday: Book Club – an excuse for a gathering of working professionals to discuss love lives, dramas and gossip…oh and books.
Tuesday: Lecture, yes that’s right, a lecture at the V&A Reading Rooms. You might think you never want to attend another lecture in your life right now, but imagine yourself out of the sterile environment of Newton’s lecture theatres and in a cosy floor-to-ceiling book-shelved room. Add to it a mug of hot chocolate, listening to the curator of a fashion exhibition, previous editor of a leading magazine or designer of a luxury fashion-wear brand and you’ve got yourself an ideal learning situation!
Wednesday: Make that Orange Wednesday.
Thursday: Theatre Club –harking back to A-Level Theatre Studies days with the inclusion of some very un-academic observations of the actors in Clockwork Orange and Lord of the Flies.
Friday: Drinks with the team – the weekly ritual when your colleagues de-camp from the office and relocate in a pub down the road. You just have to hope some of them make it home before work again on Monday!