Feb 27, 2020

The Senior Slump: “What about after graduation?”

“So what’s your plan?”

“Do you have a job lined up?”

“How are you going to make a living with that degree?”

“What about after graduation?”

These haunting phrases seem to be all I’m hearing lately from friends, family and my colleagues. Even though I know they mean well, they are driving me completely crazy.

This stigma that a college degree is equivalent to having your life planned out is ridiculous. Let’s face the facts: by the time I graduate I will be 22 years old with over $35,000 in loans and entry level experience as a reporter with a Media Communications and Journalism degree.

So when my peers want to know how I’m going to magically become an independent functioning adult with a career in my field, I naturally get a little ticked. The truth is, the education system is not set up for the average student to have a slew of interviews lined up as soon as they turn their tassle, especially not for jobs that directly correlate with their major.

I am fortunate enough to have a job waiting for me when I get out of school, but it has absolutely nothing to do with journalism. But for me, that’s not what matters. This job is what is going to pay back my loans and keep me alive and once I get a handle on “adulting”, maybe I’ll apply to write part time for a local newspaper or maybe I won’t.

There is no shame in putting your “dreams” on hold. I’m not saying that people should lose sight of their goals for money, I’m just think that your dreams don’t have to instantly come true the day you get your diploma. Though I wish it were true, no one ever said that a career and a degree come in a package deal.

So my response to those dooming questions is: No. No, I don’t have a plan. No, I don’t know what’s happening after graduation. But once I do, and when it becomes any of your business what I do with my degree, I’ll be sure to let you know. I am perfectly OK with waiting it out and taking care of myself before living up to those unrealistic expectations.

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