Tom Hitchen

Tom Hitchen

I am a Creative Writing and Philosophy graduate having attained Upper Second Class Honours from the University of Hull. I aspire to make a living as a writer and to enjoy myself while doing so.

Are Graduate Recruitment days just a waste of time?

Your parents arrive, each driving a different car, just so there’s a hope in hell that all your belongings, necessary and otherwise, might make their way back to the nest in one huge effort. The corridors and stairs are a pain to navigate when weighed down with laptop bags full of whatever you managed to cram in to them. The experience is truly a workout for both your physicality and your patience with your parents but once it is complete and the room is empty, so are you. I’m not ashamed to admit that seeing the room in which I based the best year of my life stripped bare and restored to its original state hurt me more than I thought it could. My posters and photos had gone from the walls leaving only fragments of blu-tack on whitewashed walls. My bedding stripped off revealing the less than appealing mattress. My trademark clutter cleared from the floor making the room appear much larger than I thought it was.


All you students think that after all the hard work is done, you’ll be able to waltz in to your occupation of choice with a high salary and a magical golden singing parrot. Perhaps the parrot is only for those with the loftiest of ambitions but the air of palpable optimism around students, particularly those in their first year, is sickeningly inaccurate.

In recent years the Westboro Baptist Church, among others, have gained infamy through their numerous and bull-headed protests condemning homosexuals. They parade around with signs and banners, some quoting bible verses, others merely expressing ignorant hatred. Often, these placards are in the hands of small children, the most famous image of which being that of a small child wielding one such sign bearing the motto “God hates fags”. But does he, really?

Everywhere we look at the minute, particularly on terrestrial television, we see and hear spiel concerning the European championships in Poland and Ukraine. Nearly every company in the land have hired a pocketful of footballers to star in cringe worthy advertisements, the most horrible being this year’s Mars effort. For someone with no particular interest in football or indeed sport in general this can be somewhat of an annoyance. This is not a problem for me, as a bit of a football nerd, but I do have friends and family who are being forced to endure the gripping tension that is international football. Unfortunately, rather than trying to get in to it and enjoy themselves, they sit as if chewing a handful of stinging nettles, shooting bemused glances at people like myself whenever we get excited. But there are ways on how to enjoy football.


Last thing I remember, I was running for the door, I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. "Relax," said the night man, "We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!"  (The Eagles – Hotel California, 1977)

Poppin bottles in the ice, like a blizzard. When we drink we do it right gettin slizzard. Sippin sizzurp in my ride, in my ride, like Three 6. Now I'm feelin so fly like a G6.  (Far East Movement – Like a G6, 2010)

Two examples of lyrical genius? No. One example of lyrical genius, one example of a glorified ringtone. The first, a haunting tale of a weary traveller who happens upon an enticing yet eerie hotel which, he finds out too late, he may never leave. This famous ballad is a commentary on the music industry and Los Angeles lifestyle of the time. The latter is, well, I’m not all too sure. A commentary on being drunk in a club and talking bollocks? The artist rhymes blizzard with a made up word, then six with itself.


“I’ll just write this bit, then I can check Facebook. Oh look a notification. A link to a YouTube video. Seven recommended ones I click on are cool. As are the chat conversations and status threads I join. As are the picture galleries I browse through. What was I supposed to be writing about?”

Is the above you? If so, that means you’re a student. Don’t panic, there’s quite a few of us. Or maybe that is a reason to panic. Either way, if you’re as useless at revision as I am – I am going to assume that you are, in fact, here reading this as a rather ironic form of procrastination – then I am here to help.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t Hull that place that was voted the worst to live in the UK? Didn’t I hear that it’s one of the teen pregnancy capitals of Europe? Isn’t it the butt of most comedians’ jokes when it comes to lifestyle quality? Well, unfortunately, it is. In the 2012 survey, Hull was voted the most undesirable place to live in England.

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