Upon learning of the news that UK unemployment (youth unemployment especially) has hit a 15-year high, I wish to address the beleagured jobless members of my generation...or any generation for that matter. My message to you all is this: *ahem*
GET OUT OF THE COUNTRY!
I'm serious. In times of weak economy, many members of a beleagured nation pack up their bags and seek fortunes elsewhere. Centuries ago, many people migrated en masse to places like America purely on hear say, others at the behest of relatives. In this day and age, we have information at our fingertips. Yet so many of my generation choose to stay in their parents' houses and look for work nearby. I understand why they do this, but they need to understand this isn't wise. You've basically got low-qualified yet enthusiastic teenagers competing against graduates for waiting or retail work, while graduates are competing against those with more experience for jobs they're overqualified for. So all of you looking for a job, stop looking for a job close by. If you find an opportunity someplace else, take it and steel yourself for a challenge. Hell, you could even take gap years or go volunteering, doesn't matter, just as long as you gain some experience and avoid slumming around the house and feeling miserable.
Take me as an example: I found a great job opportunity in Ostrava, Czech Republic. I'm now here, living well in a flat. There are still things I'm adjusting to but I'm at least optimistic. Admittedly, I've committed a somewhat extreme act, moving to a city that has few expats and only a few more English-speakers, but there are plenty of international cities that would happily welcome English-speakers of all kinds. Moving here demands a commitment to learning the local language.
Now speaking of my flat, there are some novel things that I'm getting into the habit of. The cooker and oven here is splendid, so splendid that, with the absence of a microwave, I've gotten used to reheating food in the oven (like the old days). Mind you, there's the annoyance of buying my own furniture. Not all of it! But I needed to buy my own desk, which not only meant an extra expense but meant I had to figure out just what I needed, or wanted. (My desk is red - happy days!) I still don't have enough wardrobe space, partly because I find it difficult to figure out what it is I need. Throughout my entire life I've been provided wardrobes. When I was very small, my parents bought them for me (duh). When I outgrew that one and moved house as a teenager, my new bedroom had a custom-built freakin' massive wardrobe-shelf with a matching vanity waiting for me, a present from the previous owners. Being too young to understand the value of good storage space, I squandered the space I had and found it difficult to store things later in life. And as a student-come-traveller, I was provided a wardrobe-storage-object in every place I rented and became very good at utilising the space I was given.
But now I'm here, where it is unusual to find furnished flats. Being partially-furnished, as this flat was, is already generally considered generous. The reason is that a Czech right-of-passage is for a new adult to find a flat of their own and take all of their bedroom furniture with them. Certainly interesting and logical, although personally I would hate to bring with me the furniture in my bedroom (in my parents' house). It's unstylish, tacky and immature -_-.