By: Ornella Kaze
Graduating in the midst of high job unemployment was one of the hardest things my peers, friends and I have ever had to face. What was supposed to be one of the most exciting times of our lives was filled with anxiety and stress of an unpredictable future. Some were lucky and landed their dream jobs, most of us wound up with the first company willing to hire us (better something than nothing at all, right?) and the rest are still on the job hunt.
At the beginning of my college career I knew that this was bound to happen. Articles were circulating everywhere, the 2008 recession had hit and graduates were in for a rude awakening. I was fresh out of high school, I was young and I honestly did not believe that this epidemic would in any way shape or form affect me. Four years later, the panic caught on to me. How will college loans be paid off? Will I have to move back in with my parents? Should I work for less? Have these last four years of my life been a complete waste of time and money??
I was a few months away from graduating and yet still no reply from the numerous jobs I had applied to. Companies were frugal in the opportunities they provided and highly selective in their recruitment process, (which of course I have no problem with). What did concern me was that the pool of candidates who I had to compete for jobs with was steadily rising while the number of available jobs diminished. Professionals with years of experience who were laid-off during the recession and those who held Masters degrees or greater were now in the market and had a lot more to offer than I possibly could.
What was I to do? Take on a job that I could’ve easily pursued four years ago after graduating high school without burdening my parents with the financial stresses of putting their child through college? Sad but true, this is the solution that many have had to resort to. I grew up with the notion that going to college was the path to take in order to have a successful future. I was never told to account for an unexpected turn of events. I know that holding a college degree has never meant 100% job security but now it rings true more than ever.
Whether it’s through institutions becoming more involved in students’ career seeking process from the moment they set foot on campus, or the government funding organizations and programs specifically targeted to college graduates, something needs to be done. Prospective college students shouldn’t have any doubts in the value that higher education actually brings to the table.
As the economy steadily recovers, I have faith that better days are to come. Every successful person whom I admire has a backstory filled with struggle and failure. Although the smooth ride to my future that I had always hoped for may no longer be possible, I can and will cherish every opportunity that comes along and use that experience to build my own success story.
To read more on how different students are handling this click here: