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Leaving college is hard to do: The bursting 'broadband bubble'

Many students return home after they leave college or university, but the bubble bursts and many are left with surroundings that no longer feel familiar.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

It is one of the hardest decisions that a graduate has to make: what to do after they leave university.

Some turn to a masters degree to delay the inevitable leaving of student life, while others jump straight into an entry-level job. But the jobs market is bleak and still in recovery, and many can only get a job if they know someone who is willing to give them a chance.

Moving home is, unfortunately, one of the last remaining options for students who finish study.

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(Source: Flickr)

For many of my friends who have left university, the two hardest things to deal with are: the lack of independence, and poor broadband speeds.

People forget that universities and colleges provide a "bubble" of surroundings, from always-on high-speed broadband to the community sense of belonging for budding academics.

But at home, often parents are so enjoyably glad to have their children home, but cannot accept that their children do not want to be there. Parents, who have had the same space of time away from their children, have lived their own lives, and can struggle with their independence also.

People of the Generation X have different priorities. A steady pension, a mortgage and things around the house that need fixing. The cultural difference between the older and the younger in the realms of shared family home-life is apparent — even when I go home to visit the parents.

Super-fast broadband is not a requirement for many in their middle-aged lifestyle. It is to younger people, who rely on fast mobile data and constant 'on' activity to reach friends on Facebook and to upload content to their online social circles.

Returning home to the urban life or the sticks — depending on where you are from — needs a lot of mental preparation. From slower broadband speeds to a constant overlooking of one's lifestyle and an inability to be free around the house; someone else's house, in effect, will be a challenge for most people, not just the young.

It's an observation I come across year on year. Though I still visit the family home in the north of England, and it still feels like my home, I do not treat it as such. I treat it as if it is someone else's. But the hardest challenge for me when I go home is the broadband cap and the inability to move as freely as I would like, technologically speaking.

The broadband cap is limited at 20 GB per month, which means I cannot stream my news channel on my laptop and have to resort to working downstairs where a television is. I cannot torrent until midnight when the rules are relaxed until 8am, and all hell would break loose if I need to reinstall my Windows partition on my Mac — because the ISO installer image files are online.

Taking away one's independence must be one of the hardest things for students to deal with if they take the option to return home after study. But dealing with the out-of-bubble nuances will take even longer to recover from.

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