By Brooke C.
Approaching graduation, high school and college seniors world-wide are starting to get nervous.
High school seniors are facing the common problems of transferring into college, and learning how to get adjusted to a way of life that is completely unfamiliar to them. These teenagers need to pack their belongings and school books, and head off to colleges in towns they’ve never lived in before. They are looking forward to enjoying whatever version of the “college experience” they have ahead of them, and the world seems filled with opportunities.
However, for the current college Class of 2011, graduation is presenting far fewer opportunities. Four years earlier, these students embarked on a journey they thought would inevitably end in success, and now, when their moment has come to step into the world, there seems to be no room for them.
Time Magazine recently published an article by Roya Wolverson entitled, “Now What?” The article presented statistics, quotes, and surveys on the subject of life after graduation from a university.
Time cited a Rutgers University study, which found that from 2006 to 2010 more than 30% of the recession-era college graduates didn’t secure a job within six months of graduation. Wolverson also wrote that a poll conducted by consulting firm Twentysomething Inc. found 85% of graduates are now living with their parents.
This problem, while specific to college graduates, is definitely on the horizon for students just heading into college, and it doesn’t seem to be fading away any time soon.
For a current high school graduate, this fact is unnerving. I got in all my applications, spent hours on the phone with college advisors, alumni, and administrators. I faithfully checked my email and portal accounts.
After finally securing acceptance to Fordham University, I thought the hard part was done. I was under the impression that college graduates had a relatively good chance of landing a job and being successful. However, it turns out I might be wrong.
Time quoted Michelle Obama from her speech to Northern Iowa University graduates on May 7. She said, “the path won’t always be laid out neatly for you. Sometimes you won’t be able to find that perfect job. Sometimes you might momentarily take a job just to stay afloat.” These words aren’t very comforting.
The government, the corporations, the schools, and many other establishments have been blamed for this. Currently, however, the academic community is receiving the majority of the backlash. Employers blame universities for the abundance of Liberal Arts degrees and the lack of degrees in science and engineering.
However, for a lowly aspiring journalist, there seems to be no solution. I guess I’ll just have to keep on going, and see if I can make the poverty-striken-artist life work for me.
Bob Dylan once said, “20 years of schooling and they put you on the day shift.” Yet again, Mr. Dylan has provided the youth of our generation with some important insight from the 60s.
A degree is no guarantee; schooling doesn’t necessarily mean a better chance in the future. I guess the only solution for me is to throw away my idealistic dreams, buy a mini-van, put in some genuine hard work, and join the rest of working-class America.