We’ve barely met and now it’s time for you to go. Presently, the final final presentation has been presented, I’ll likely not see you in the flesh again until you graduate. A solitary certificate and thousands of pounds of debt are all you have to show for it. However, I wish you well in your future endeavours whatever they may be. In the few short months I’ve known you affectionately as “Level 6” your group has done stuff, some of it well. I kid, I kid, you were all awesome at what you did. Sometimes. No, really, you achieved something. Each and everyone of you showed me work that impressed. Ok, ok, some of it was embarrassingly bad, a total clusterfuck of inadequacy, but in an amusing way (for me).
It’s at times like this that students are often found looking for a direction some signposts to the future indicating where to go next. Naturally they look to their older, more experienced and wise beyond comprehension tutors to help them select the right route. Sadly for you, in some cases that is me. Frankly, you’re doomed and I say that with genuine affection.
To look forwards it’s sometimes best to look back and when I look back I think of what I didn’t appreciate after I graduated that I wish I had. Perhaps most prevalent in my thoughts is this: For those of you leaving education to get a proper job it’s now very unlikely that you will ever be asked to perform a task that doesn’t have some transactional value.
What do I mean by that? Well, you may, if you are lucky, get a job in the creative industry, however, your performance will not be graded on a sliding scale of numbers and letters, but in cash. Your value and contribution is now something that an accountant can measure – this can be a wonderful thing especially when you are down to receive some of that money – which will promptly be taken off you to pay for your education and other taxable items. It can also be a pain in the arse as your creativity is curtailed by ‘The fucking suits’, however, the faster you come to terms with it the better in my opinion. Learn what your ‘value’ is and exploit it. Also, you are now at the behest of people who will judge your work without knowledge, reason or, in some cases experience. Get used to it.
The other thing I wish I’d realised was that failure is often as good a learning experience as success. I’m not going to lie to you (well I am, but that’s my prerogative) not getting that job or, worse, getting that job and completely cocking it up and being fired can hurt like hell, it makes you want to hide away and feel sorry for yourself, just ask Gordon Brown, if you can find him. However, I’ve had more job offers off the back of ACTUALLY doing something even where it went tits up. Don’t wait for permission, do stuff – do it and win or do it and get it horribly wrong. Yes, people will mock and criticise you if it all goes wrong, but those same dickheads will be mocking and complaining if you succeed too. The cunts*.
Felix Dennis published a magazine and that’s the only difference between you, me and he. He’s very, very rich now and the only thing separating him from us is three security guards, a million pound mansion, 13 rottweilers and the fact he didn’t think ‘no one will like it I’d best not’ he thought ‘fuck ‘em SEND IT TO PRINT’ It’s marginally more complex than that, but you get my drift.
Know your weaknesses and ignore them. You have maybe a five year window where good people will give you the benefit of the doubt if you’re a bit shit at something but enthusiastic. Not everyone will, but then they’re cocksucking motherfuckers who don’t deserve your time. If, in five years time you’re still shit, well, perhaps reevaluate what you want to be before others do it for you and make you redundant.
It’s been a privilege to see your work even for just this short time, the things I have learned from you will stay with me for at least a week, maybe more – all of it was interesting and challenging in equal measure.
One final bit of advice: unsolicited advice is generally shit, ignore it at all costs.
It’s customary to end this sort of thing with a famous quote because you’ve run out of your own wisdom, often from the likes of Churchill – one of the less well known ones like: “Oooh Yes multi-car insurance is great” or “if you’re going through hell keep going” a personal favourite of mine is “never ever ever give up” however most inspirational quotes only apply if you’re willing to ignore reality. Charlotte Bronte, for example, said “I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward” when you think about it her neck must have ached like a bastard. Benjamin Disraeli liked to quip, “Sucess is the child of audacity” but really all that means is that Audacity must have been fucked at some point so be careful where you show your audacity off. Aristotle believed that “happiness depends upon ourselves” Doesn’t take a genius to work out what he means there, but if you do it too much you’ll go blind. Neville Chamberlin said “My good friends, this is the second time there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Now I recommend you go home, and sleep quietly in your beds” Which, if nothing else proves that politicians are much dumber than even we give them credit for, they are constantly thinking about bed and they lie about all sorts of shit just to get a round of applause. The greatest lyricist of recent time Olly Murrs has words of wisdom too “Our faith is the bullet, hope is the gun And love is all we need Now fear’s on the run We’ve already won Now march with the band, raise your right hand We’ve only just begun” No, I haven’t got a fucking clue either, but it’s pushed this post over the 1000 word count and that’s what matters. However, there is one quote I do like and even if it’s not quite inspirational poster material I have found it to be mostly true in any situation
“Decisions are made by those who show up”
Now go enjoy the future, it’s what you make of it.
Jokes and frippery aside, I’ve really, really enjoyed working with you this past few months and for that I thank you very much, there is nothing better than getting up going to work and actually, honest to goodness loving it. Thanks
Brennon, Broonon, Brown, Brennen Brennan