Graduation does not guarantee occupational success

Cassie Resendez / The CollegianGRADUATION IS FOR QUITTERS.

Fresno State quitters are probably horrified about graduating. I know I am.

After a good 15 years in the public education system, I only know how to do one thing well — I know classes, for all my whining.

What I don’t know boils down to merely everything else, anything about the outside world, including what it’s like to have a full-time job without a nametag.

I doubt a typical Fresno State student knows any of those.

At best, college classes don’t teach real-life skills, but a clinical understanding about the outside world. All the wider college experience has to offer involves ping-pong balls and plastic cups.

Typical McAverage is an average Fresno State student, and he knows it as best as anyone.

Graduating after five long years, McAverage spent the last four years cleaning up after that mess of a freshman year in the dorms.
His expertise at grade substitution is unparalleled. Joyal knows him by name.

McAverage didn’t get here on much of a scholarship if anything at all. His fifth-generation Anglo-Irish heritage didn’t lend itself well to scholarships.

McAverage is stuck with student loans, because he came straight out of high school.

His high school held him back a few years and charged for books — community college. He scraped by with an almost-B grade point average.

The average worked through college as food service engineer and Starbucks team member/drone #435023B.

He’s never had a real job, but that’s why he went to college to begin with.

Like most Fresno State students, you don’t have an internship and never applied.

McAverage doesn’t have a clue about how to succeed in life. He’s not prepared to do well, even if he has any confidence in the abilities he lacks.

The college experience does not and will not prepare you for life outside college. Your successes and failures at college will not transfer.

Do well in college, or poorly, and it doesn’t matter. Your driving and criminal records will follow you, but McAverage doesn’t have anything to really worry about from either.

His friend, Perl, already found a job, and with just a C+(+) average. She may be an information technologies major, but her success
isn’t just because there will always be a future in computer maintenance.

Perl succeeded because she took the initiative. She bothered finding an internship, and learning early on the skills in the job world.

She doesn’t need to pad her résumé with phenomenal personal greatnesses humbly veiled as weaknesses. She doesn’t need to exaggerate her job experience. That she has any job experience at all is a leg up on the McAverages who graduate in her field.

As much as Fresno State should prepare its students for the outside world, it doesn’t.

You do.

All Fresno State departments should require internships. Not having an internship in college is setting yourself up for failure.

But Fresno State doesn’t require internships, in part because there aren’t enough to go around.

Then again, maybe internships aren’t required because that’s the sort of initiative students need to find on their own.

Even though students aren’t taught initiative in today’s schools, not having any still hurts them.

After all, McAverage will go back to waiting tables. Perl will do something she likes, and will get paid a lot more.

When that inevitable graduation date comes, which will you be?

Are you a quitter with or without initiative?

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