So, I guess this is the beginning...

In the first entry to his journal, Ben reveals how graduate life is not living up to his expectations

For the past 18 months or so I have often been told just how lucky I am. I am reminded that I have completed school, college and university with relatively little effort and then have somehow managed to land myself a challenging, well paid role within the public sector, almost entirely by chance. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

Why then am I sitting at my desk looking so damn grim?

Well the role itself is little more than a tick-box exercise and when the success of your work is determined by the engagement of others you rely on a "get up and go" attitude. Unfortunately, I am surrounded by the opposite... "sit down and stop!"

So with a rather hefty sigh I look around my surroundings to find what? Outside is a town more drab than the word itself with skies so grey and fog so dense they warrant new terms in their own right. Inside, the mood is just as invigorating; an office full of people awaiting to hear their fate from above, avoiding at all costs the opportunity to take the bull by two horns and shape their own destiny.

So all that education and £20,000 of student debt results in this? Excuse me for not sounding grateful and perhaps I will be proved wrong in years to come but this doesn't exactly feel like a fulfilling life. And at 22, come on... I can do better than this, right?

Or, is it as my Gran would say, fate? Is it just meant to be? Will me working here lead onto bigger and better things? Now whilst I'm not a big believer in fate, if my Gran is right, then what they say is true... fate works in very mysterious ways.

Now I'm not somebody who is going to just lie here and rot away the years like so many of my colleagues appear to have done. Absolutely not. I am 22 years old and am pretty sure that when I am old, grey and stinking of piss, these are the years I will look back on with affection. These are supposed to be the best years of my life, aren't they!?

Well they're not.
My Mum always said "do what makes you happy" and surely that is what it's all about!?
The question plaguing me therefore is "what is the solution?" Some say grin and bare it and enjoy the easy earnings whilst you can. Others say find another job. A few have even suggested travelling.

My Mum always said "do what makes you happy" and surely that is what it's all about!?

Considering the options, I reckon I could stick my job for another year - its not ideal by any means but if I have an end date to work towards, it should make it at the very least bearable.

Find another job? Well what's the point? I don't know what I want to do and don't want to waste more time studying or training until I have at least some idea what it is I want to do. Else, six months down the line the novelty will have worn off and I'll be back in exactly the same position I am right now.

And then there is the less obvious option of travelling. Having never been abroad at the age of 22, I think it is fair to say I'm not exactly renowned for travelling great distances or seeking foreign adventures! I mean come on, I have only just got my hands on my first passport.

But during the past year many people have made little comments that have made me seriously rethink my attitude toward travel.

Last Autumn I even bought myself one of those massive maps of the world for my bedroom wall. Why? Well I wanted to make myself more aware (as the logical person I like to think myself as) that there is a whole World out there and since I was 'put' on this Planet I have only ever sat on this tiny little island with little to no desire to leave. And this seems to have had a real effect because every time I have come into my bedroom I have been reminded of this fact and of late, I am increasingly asking myself "am I happy about this?"

And whilst contemplating the idea of breaking out in to the World, people often remind me that I have nothing tying me down like a prospering career, a mortgage to pay, or a person to love (cue the World's smallest violin). I am, as they say, in the "perfect position" to just get up and go - or at least I would be if I weren't so crippled in debt.

But back at my desk I look out of the window onto what has to be the most consistently dull and drab landscapes imaginable. Fortunately, far beyond what I can see, lies an entire world which until now I have been quite content to know it is just there. Well this week, I am no longer content.

So, I guess this is the beginning...