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Generation Gap: Undergraduate degree in hand, looking forward to more classes

With graduation quickly approaching, the question on every college senior’s mind is what to do next. Whether it be graduate school or entering into the workforce, the sudden realization that we will not be returning to our undergraduate school in the fall is slowly starting to sink in.

For me, I will graduate May 17 then make the transition to Connecticut, where I will attend Quinnipiac University Law School in the fall.

For many of my friends who are not continuing on with their education, they have been forced to start the process of applying for real “grown-up” jobs. All of us have had summer jobs over the four years we were in college, but these jobs, for most, will no longer cut it because in just six short months the dreaded student loans will no longer remain in deferment and the long road of payments will begin.

Even though I am not jumping into the criminal justice field and looking for full-time employment, I still need to keep some sort of part-time income to help me cover some of the expenses I will encounter in the fall when I enter law school. I have been fortunate enough to work at two really great part-time jobs while in college, and I am hoping to continue working at these jobs throughout law school when I am home on breaks.

Since my senior year in high school I have been working for the Uno’s restaurant in Tilton. This has been the perfect job for me because they allow me to come back every time I am home on break and they are very flexible with my schedule. I also work as a substitute teacher at an elementary school with students in third through fifth grade and with children who have autism. Both of these part-time jobs have helped me to perfect my people skills, which will be very useful once I pass the bar after law school and start working.

Even with law school being the next step for me, I have still given a great deal of thought to what I would like to do once I have my law degree.

My dream job would be to work at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. I want to be able to help children and be their advocate.

So many children do not have a voice in the criminal justice system because they are too young or scared to understand exactly what is going on. My main goal is to be able to give those children their voice back and make sure decisions are made in their best interests.

When I tell people my dream job, they usually give me a very confused look. They want to know why I would choose to work at a place where I would have to deal with bad things happening to innocent children.

I understand that it would be emotionally difficult to work in such a place, but being able to help or save just one child, or bring peace and closure to a grieving family, makes it worth it.

My hope is that maybe 10 years down the road I will find myself working in Washington, D.C., working for the organization.

I may not be entering the workforce after graduation in May, but I do have a good grasp of what I would like my employment to look like in the future. I wish all my fellow graduates, whether they are starting their careers after graduation or choosing to further their education, the best of luck.

The future is ours for the taking, and I for one am excited for what the future holds.

(Molly Wilcox is a senior at New England College in Henniker.)

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