Well, I said I'd put a reason why I'm leaving here if I got the chance, so here it is:
For the last 2 years now, I've been stuck in an endless vicious cycle when trying to find a job. Because of the whole recession crap, the only thing anyone in the industry I want to work in cares about is experience. Being a graduate (as of 2 years ago), I have little to no "real" experience of the industry I want to work in. Ergo: No experience = no job; No job = no experience. Me = buggered.
Now, if it were that simple there'd be several ways around said experience problem. However, because it's me (or rather, pretty much every circumstance that makes up my life right now), there are several more problems confounding the issue:
1. The graduate and training job markets have literally died here.
There isn't a single employer anywhere near where I live that deals in the things I want to deal in, and is currently willing to take on people without a proven track record. And the problem is only going to get worse, as:
2. The industry itself has literally died here too.
It was never very strong to begin with, but there still used to be a good 20-30 companies that did what I wanted to do before the recession. Now, there's 3 left. Of those 3, all of them are in such deep financial trouble that hiring anyone is out of the question. I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a single one left by the end of this year, which means:
3. Voluntary work, the only way out of said experience vicious cycle, is now impossible around here.
The only other way of forcing an employer to take notice of you is via an apprenticeship, which would've been a good idea since apprenticeships still do go on in places close to my home, but:
4. You can't do an apprenticeship if you have a degree already.
Yup, thanks to a lovely little piece of government red-tape, an apprenticeship counts as a 'level 3' qualification whereas a degree counts as a 'level 4' one, and you're not legally allowed to go backwards on their (somewhat backward in itself) scale of education.
So that's the experience side of it. If that were the end of the problems, this wouldn't be too bad, since there ARE places that would let me volunteer in other parts of the country. But that would be far too easy, wouldn't it? The other side to this is money... or rather the lack of it needed to move.
There are lots of agencies and government funds set up to help people move in search of work. All I'd have to do in theory is sign up to them to be given a fair amount of financial help, enabling me to move somewhere less hopeless. Simple, right?
There are 2 major types of help available: JSA and housing benefit. And neither of them are any use in my case because:
5. JSA can't be given to people doing my kind of voluntary work.
Apparently, they DO allow you to do voluntary work as per their own definition of it, but one of the technicalities of their definition is that it must be in a not-for-profit organisation in order to count as voluntary work that qualifies for JSA help.
Guess what type of organisations make up the entirety of the industry I want to work in. Yup; correct.
6. Housing benefit, in addition to having the same problem as JSA, simply isn't enough to cover rent in the areas where my preferred industry still lives.
Anyone who lives in England will know there's a big damn North / South divide in it, and living costs are no exception. Up where I am now, £50 a week will get you into most rented houses easily. Down where I actually need to be, You need at least £80 a week for so much as a box room, let alone anything pleasant. And the maximum housing benefit isn't anywhere near that amount. So I suppose it's no surprise then, that:
7. JSA + Housing benefit = nowhere near enough to live on, even if I were entitled to both.
Whoever did the calculations for this shit really needs to get a better grasp of numbers. Or economics. Or simple reality, for that matter.
Oh, and just for added fuck-you-in-the-face factor:
8. My immediate family have easily enough money to help me out here, but they just plain won't, out of petty childishness and spite.
I could write a goddamned book on why my family is not worth the effort of chasing for help with this, but suffice to say, rich people don't get that way by being altruistic. Asking for help is pointless, and would take far more time and patience than I'm prepared to give it. Fuck every last one of the backstabbing cunts, thieves and liars.
So what does all this have to do with leaving NG? Well, that part's much simpler:
Due to all of the above, my options are limited. In fact, there's only one left. It turns out that I have just enough money to move out of here down to where I need to be for 3 months. There, I can do the voluntary work I need to get a meaningful job with. Of course, it's not that simple: To do it for long enough I need to find enough menial jobs to fund myself for at least 6 months down there, and this is where all my free time and effort must now go.
The odds of me finding a job are definitely better down there than they are up here, but it still won't be easy by any measure. Add to that the time limit (basically 6 weeks, boring calculations excluded), and you can see why I'm not liking my odds of finding one in time, before what little money I have runs out and I'm forced back to the middle of nowhere with regards to volunteer work. I'm effectively gambling every penny I have on finding a better life down south, and I don't like my chances, but however hopeless the odds, gambling it down there is still better than pissing it away up here, and what choice do I have anyway?
I start packing up tomorrow. This computer will be boxed up and not used again until I'm down in my new house, and when I'm down there It's going to take pretty much every spare hour I've got to have a chance of pulling this off, which means no more dicking around on the internet all night every night. On top of that, the house I've found to move into has a BT connection, and is almost certain to be in a BT blackspot as far as watching flashes is concerned. As a result, there was little point in keeping membership in the EGB if I can't even watch flashes anymore, even if I did find the time to post there.
I do not like this situation one bit. I'm having to gamble my entire future (not to mention my enitre bank account too) on razor-thin odds, and even then it's a no-win situation. Its success will mean I lose what little connection I have to my uni friends / old life; its failure will spell the end of the last hope I have of finding a purpose for myself. Were this not the only option, I wouldn't be doing it, but I've simply exhausted every other possibility, and there are no more options to explore.
I'm going to miss having the time to play with this site and all of the awesome people I've met on it, but to be honest, lack of free time is the least of my concerns right now. This isn't the first time I've had to abandon NG for an indefinite period of time, but for all the previous times I was just an anonymous randomer who didn't even have an account, and no reason to explain where I'd gone either. Hopefully, I'll be back one day (just like the other 3 or 4 times I had to leave), but that day is probably a long way off yet.
Hope. The only thing I have left.
I suppose there's a message here, which I'd like to share with everyone (Yes, this is your TL;DR if you were looking for one): Don't make the same mistake I did. Use your time at school / college / whatever to get some proper experience (or at least in an employer's good books). Qualifications alone will get you nowhere in this world, but most of you are still in school and thus in a position to avoid being caught in the same problems I am now. Don't come out of your education before you have some kind of employment track record, however short or irrelevant you might think it is. It's better than nothing, and you'll be surprised how much more it does for you than the same old qualifications everyone else has.