Posts Tagged ‘cynicism’

Disclaimer: I wrote this about 4 years ago and have let it sit.  I wrote it in a bad place in my life, but I think it does say something about the current generation of college grads having a tough time post-graduation.  So, I guess I might as well share it with the world.  It might be a little..ok very cynical and angry, but it came from a place of self-perceived failure.  Read at your own risk.



Dear College Students/Recent Grads:

Welcome to Hell!

Some of you are lucky enough to be currently enrolled in a school of your choosing!  You’re learning all that you need to be a “well-rounded” individual and ripe for the picking right after you get that diploma!  The future is vast and bright and you’re living in the best days of your lives!

Some of you have just entered the workforce, or are looking because you just graduated!  Congratulations, you’re screwed!

All sarcastic pessimism aside, I’d like to take you on a journey through what I can only describe as two and a half years of pure torture.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying my life is a literal gutter of shit, but I’m saying I’ve been struggling for the entirety since my graduation in May 2011 and there seems to be no end in sight.

College isn’t necessarily something I wanted but more of a journey I felt compelled to have to do.  The problem with this outlook, as I’m sure many current students are facing in their early-late college careers, is that I didn’t know what I wanted or what was best for me.  College isn’t going to fix that for you.  I thought it  would, even when I was contemplating skipping college and heading straight for the workforce.  There are subjects and fields you’ll find you’re good in, but those do no necessarily mean you should major in those fields.  In my experience, that becomes an entrapment of circle jerking yourself into believing that you found the solution.  You will then take that belief to everything that you choose from that point on for classes and “dream jobs.”  You must look further.  You must look further into yourself.  College will not fix your identity crisis.

I chose to be an English major because I’ve had plenty of close friends and a teacher here and there tell me that I can write well.  That was something that stuck with me when I was beating my head against a wall to figure out what in God’s name I wanted to do with my life, and how I wanted to treat my latter college years.  I got the necessities out of the way in the first two years: the core classes everyone has to take.  When taking English classes in those first two years, I found myself doing well because I could normally structure a coherent sentence and do some slightly upper-level reading comprehension.  Was this a passion?  For creative writing: sure.  I enjoy it, and I still try to dabble in it from time to time.  So, with this and some positive reinforcement from the aforementioned people in my life, I locked myself in.

Nope.  I’m mediocre at best, but I truly thought this is who I was so I stuck with it to the bitter end.  Until doing the same shit, from reading a book and writing a paper, to reading a book and writing a really long final paper, until the day I graduated made me realize this wasn’t a full on passion, but it was probably a field that I wouldn’t excel in.  Not to mention the few times I wrote for an upper-level creative writing class I got such horrible feedback from not only students but harsh professors that I will probably never write a story again.  And I’ve repressed that to the point where I don’t even know if I’m able.  That’s a different psychoanalysis for another time.

The point of my (long, pissy, sobby, cry-baby) story is that when you allow college subjects to be your only source of self discovery, you’re really going to find that you will latch on to something hollow instead of something fulfilling, and end up like a lot of current gradated: trapped and underemployed.  And that’s if you’re lucky.

A lot of current college grads are either unemployed or underemployed.  That means people, like me, are stuck in dead-end jobs, if we can find one, for smaller wages, and didn’t even need a degree to be there.  That’s why picking a major is so vital.  Because even if you can’t get something in your field right now, at least you know what you did was worth it.  You know that when that day comes, you’ll have the drive and the love to land something you will be doing for the rest of your life.

My suggestion to those of you, like me, who aren’t sure their direction in life: wait.  Leave college alone until you’ve discovered more about yourself.  The debt isn’t worth it.  The stress isn’t worth it.  Class stress is hard enough, but post-college money stress is tenfold.  Once you find what it is you would love to be doing, then I say get your degree and network the hell out of yourself.  You won’t do that if you don’t have the passion for it.  Without the drive behind it you will go through the motions until the bitter end and then be stranded saying: now what?