My Turn: A college degree, but still no job
I walked up the stairs with wobbly legs and reached out my hand as the dean presented me my college diploma. I continued across the stage, proud and apprehensive. I was now a college graduate. I got a Plymouth State Alumni pin, took pictures with friends and said goodbye to my professors. I held my head high; I felt proud of my achievements and those of my peers. I got in my car to head home and thought to myself: What now? I knew I was set out to do something great.
I have been out of college since May with a BA in English, Writing. Four months later and nearly 100 applications sent, I don’t have a career job or a steady income. What is left is a major loss of confidence.
What is all the hype about finishing college if I can’t even put my talents to work? I think about this daily. My day-to-day routine is this: I wake up, watch the morning news and then get straight to work on the job search. I set a goal for myself: I will apply to at least five jobs a day on average, sometimes even more. I have been following this routine for months. When I’m on a job website, I hit the refresh button on my Google tool bar and see the same jobs – that’s how much I’m looking for work. The jobs won’t load fast enough.
When I find a job I really like and meet the requirements, I edit my resume and cover letter and – BAM – I hold my breath, cross my fingers and toes, and send out my information, only to never hear back from the jobs I apply for.
Some job applications say to call them, some say to email them, and some say not to follow up with a call at all. Applying for jobs is more brutal then Mario and Luigi fighting their way to defeat Bowser. There seems to be no rhyme or reason when applying to these jobs.
If this is the way it is going to be, I sometimes wonder why I even walked across the stage to get my degree. I’m not the only one who has been doomed by the job game. Other college grads across the country have been struggling with the same concerns. We spend all this money for an education and then have nowhere to use it.
The difficulty in finding jobs does not stop at my generation. My mom this summer applied for numerous internships, went on a three-hour job interview and never heard from the company again. My neighbor, a middle-aged man, was laid off because of age discrimination.
Employers need to know that we work tirelessly to find jobs but feel disparaged. It’s not because we are lazy or because we don’t want a job. We are becoming weak from the nonsense of the job game. We are sick of putting effort into applying for jobs and never hearing anything from them. We are tired from what employers think they can put us through because they know there is a job shortage. We have great potential and will not give up. We will push, fight and claw our way up to the top.
(Alyssa Marie Caruana lives in Bedford. She can be reached at