It’s OK to be uncertain of life after college

It’s OK to be uncertain of life after college

It’s OK to be uncertain of life after college
June 01
09:00 2017

By The Editorial Board

We hope you’re all celebrating the summer as much as possible. Chances are that you’ve either graduated, you’re almost there or your close friend has donned the cap and gown and called college quits. For such conditions, you’re probably panicking as to what your future will appear to be after grasping the black diploma book and walking the requisite stage.

We’re honestly every bit as frightened as you are, which is OK. Judging by the way universities are structured nowadays, degrees guaranteeing good jobs are not as certain as they may have been for previous generations.

One score and ten years ago, tuition and fees at public four-year colleges cost an average of $2,699 – according to a 2007 College Board study. By the time the study was published, the average tuition and fees of public four-year colleges were about $6,185 – a nearly 129 percent increase over the course of 20 years.

Now we pay even more money to complete college, on top of working part-time jobs, taking internships and studying for the sole purposes of self-marketing and reasonable grades. Occasionally, students have to work multiple jobs to fill in the budgeting gap that federal aid sometimes can’t.

In fact, a February North Texas Daily report found that “about 75 percent of the student population received some [financial] aid for the 2016 year.” While it’s understandable that millions of dollars can’t help everyone, those limitations do little for students struggling to make it through college. The pitfalls of class only increase despondencies within an individual, which can naturally sour life after college.

Fortunately, recent graduates and those are who are soon-to-be are in a much better time than before, especially in regards to post-collegiate employment. The Washington Post once reported that “only 17 percent of May 2014 [had] jobs” lined up after graduation, which sadly made for over 4 out of 5 unemployed graduates. Now, based on new data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers “expect to hire 5 percent more [recent] college graduates” from this year’s class than last year’s class.

Essentially, employers are beginning to pay closer attention to us and our worth to businesses and corporations nationwide. They are consistently posting job listings online in an effort to diversify the age range of their companies. Since economic pundits generally cite a person’s early 30s as the average age to buy homes, most employers visit multiple websites to strike the right marketing paradigm for millennials. And who knows millennials better than we do?

Whether you graduated weeks ago or you’re gearing up to do so, the most recommendable preparations are self-marketing and side jobs. Whether you graduate college at 19 or in your late 20s, statistics alone dictate that we’re not expected to have our lives together right off the bat.

Even if you appear to be set, using social media to maintain professionalism outside of the workplace will take you further in the eyes of employers. A 2015 study from Jobvite found that 92 percent of recruiters check their applicants’ social media – primarily LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

It is also important to seize the scholarship resources and in-house job opportunities that their college offers. Although resume-building is imperative, you don’t necessarily have to work a surplus of jobs to look occupationally acceptable. If time and sanity are both of your necessities, apply for on-campus jobs and scholarships to stay afloat. Both avenues are close to classrooms, and make the college experience much easier to swallow.

Rather than letting stress overtake confidence, take comfort in the decision to attend college anyway. Doing so means that we’ve taken the first steps toward adulthood, and receiving that diploma is still an aspiration every college student should aim for. As we said before, we’re all frightened about the bigger transitions ahead.

But at this age, the ability to surprise ourselves is more valuable than anything else.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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