When I Grow Up

Latest posts by Mitch Cole (see all)

I want to be one of those ‘professional’ gays. You know the ones. Yes you do, get off of your high horse. That one with the buzzcut and the wonderfully fitted suit, with a Superman physique under the aforementioned clothes. Sitting on the park bench, eating what is probably a chicken, chorizo and parmesan salad (but might be a New York deli sandwich: real big bucks kind of food). The one who has that classy gay air about him, but doesn’t pollute it with Chance by Chanel. He’s probably a lawyer (Will Truman, you’re a dreamy kind of fictional creature) but could just as easily be a well dressed manager at Specsavers. Either way, it’s obvious that he’s got his shit together and he wants the world to know.

As a 21 year old directionless pocket homo, I can’t help but look up to people like this (quite literally. At 5″6, I’m hardly breaking any records). Here I am, gritting my teeth through university work which is better suited to a middle aged woman whilst paying an offensive £400 rent a month for a house situated in a rowdy, run-down (albeit “happening”) area. I moonlight as a barman in a seedy little underground club, packed to the brim with drug-addled regulars and wiry, flakey students. Hang on, did I just say “happening”? Anyway, whilst it may sound as though I’m drinking nectar from a chalice of the gods, this is far from the case. I like my life, I really do and as much as I moan, I’m alright where I am. University is just a bit of a grey patch at the moment and I can’t wait to finish and have something a bit more… concrete.

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I don’t think I’m alone in wishing away my days either: I’m sure there are plenty of other young people who are looking forward to having a ‘real’ job, settling down, maybe even getting a little kitten or a baby somewhere along the way. Regardless, I should be paying heed to One Direction and living whilst I’m young but I can’t help but wonder how seriously young people are taken nowadays. To the elderly, we are just a rag tag bunch of yobs, riddled with ASBOs and STDs, ready to destroy the world, one piss-riddled alley at a time. Okay, I’m being melodramatic but young people, especially students, are definitely portrayed as villains far too often.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to hold my hands up when I’m guilty of being a grade A moron. A few weeks ago, I had a bit of a tough time and hit up the town for a few bevvies with some friends. Overdid it, of course, and ended up sleeping on the street. Woke up in a charity shop doorway, burst blood vessels from the eternal spewing and dressed to the nines in a stranger’s vomit stained jacket. I even got given a charitable £10 by a passerby for a taxi home because I was “dirtying the streets of Bath”. Welcome to 2013, guys. THIS is the future. Acts like that are, obviously, drastic and a blatant rarity but I’m still waiting to shake off not just the cataclysmic hangover, but the endless guilt too. To the public who saw me that morning, I was just another silly student who had frittered money away on tequilas and ruined a lot of brain cells. But they don’t see us at university, or at home finishing our dissertations or even behind the bar at our own job, cleaning their chunks off of the floor. We’re people too – just younger, poorer and naive to the hardships of the world.

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What I’m trying to get at is that you’re not alone if you’re frothing at the thought of being older. We’ve all had a phase where we feel like we’re waiting for something better to come around the corner but from my experience, I’ve learnt to just appreciate what you’ve got right now. There always is a silver lining, you’ve just got to try harder to find it. But as for now, just bloody enjoy what you’re doing : be it eating your pretentious sandwich in a park; sobbing into your empty shot glass; or quietly hating everyone younger than you. You can be sure of one thing though – you’re going to get older no matter what you do, so sit back and enjoy the ride. After all, I got a tenner and a new jacket. Win win.