It is my first week of my last semester spent in the embracing arms of university, before the ice demons of debt and struggling workforce tear me away. Just because I’ve had an internship and think I know what kind of job I want after college doesn’t mean I’m actually ready for the kind of job I want after college.
Let’s make a list of all the bad post-university job things that could happen.
- I don’t get hired because I’m an English major. No word nerds wanted.
- I don’t get hired because I’m an English major and my internship counts for nothing.
- I don’t get hired because, surprise, the field isn’t freaking hiring!
- I don’t get hired because online communications is basically a job that’s been made up by millennials for other millennials, or by pissed Gen Xers who don’t actually care about online presence and expect millennials to solve all their online problems because that’s just what we do. Either way, it puts a strange level of competitiveness on these kind of positions and there is literally no way to tell how effective one candidate is at social media over another unless one candidate is a complete flop.
- I don’t get hired because I just don’t get hired.
Mmm, the sweet smell of anxiety in the morning. Now, let’s make a list of all the good post-university job things that could happen.
- I marry rich and never have to worry about work again.
- I marry rich and my rich hubby gets me a position at his company because he’s that rich.
- I land the job of my dreams! Everything is perfect! I make a steady paycheck and can pay off my loans with minimal stress!
- I land a job, maybe not exactly what I wanted, but I still make a steady paycheck and can pay off my loans.
- I land a job, probably not in the field that I wanted, and struggle to live under budget so I can pay off my loans.
My most realistic option is #5. Wow, that’s pretty sad, says anyone reading this who is my boyfriend, my parents, or over 40. Besides heaven-bent on providing for me always all the time (my boyfriend) and hardcore supportive in all of my endeavors (my parents) – which I love them all for – there is this ironic belief that college students should be optimistic about employment, despite the fact that most employed persons right now went through some serious shake-ups around, say, 2008.
The truth is this: I know I will get a job, and I know that I will never “settle” for a career. Perhaps I am doomed – blessed? – with a career in freelance. Perhaps I will be a stay-at-home mom and find a career later. But the options are endless, and more pressing every day.
The first day of school, I woke up in denial. The fact that I could have several job applications circling right now, that my budget is shrinking because on top of food I have to buy junk like soap, toilet paper, and laundry detergent, that at any minute my car will need a 50 dollar oil change, and yet I still have to take notes on Shakespeare for two hours feels ridiculous. What will Shakespeare do for me in a high-stakes interview? Tell me that one, Bard!
But I have to swallow it down. I have to settle in. There’s no point in rushing headlong into the craziness of post-grad when I’m not even a grad. I have to find that blessed plane between horrible real-world stress and horrible homework stress. The job market will still be there in December.
I mean, I hope the job market will still be there.