Post Graduate Struggle


We live in a world reversed from what it should be. Once upon a time a bachelor’s degree from a highly-accredited university was a guarantee for any job you wanted. College was arduous and pain staking, but well worth it because you were ushered into an affluent career, with the highest possible salary ceiling. Young people deserve to apply themselves to higher education with the hopes of attaining their financial dreams.

Those who went to top tier schools with renowned reputations and house-hold names graduated into the best jobs in their field of study. It used to be what you spent in tuition would dictate salary. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in prime education with the aspirations to become financially sound enough to repay your student loans, buy a home, a car and start a family.

Today is a dark time for those who broke themselves in school. Students subjected themselves to endless stress and antagonism on behalf of extremely late nights deep in study. This level of concentration consumed as much time and effort as any full-time job, if not more. Pushing themselves to the brink of melting down but, it’s worth it because you’ll earn a wonderful career and assume a life of comfort and success.This idea has been completely lost on us as a generation. Kids study and work so hard to graduate and work at a gas station just to pay their mounting debts.

Young people are graduating with 120+ college credits to no avail. Banks are refusing to defer loans or water down and spread out payments to allow graduates to gain momentum. Graduates are working 60 hour weeks just to keep bill collectors off their backs. This isn’t what a college graduate should be subjected to. College is an avenue we take to avoid the paycheck to paycheck life. Higher education is supposed to separate young people from the masses, setting them apart in the eyes of employers.


Today’s young people are competing with old war-horses that have been laid off and are doing their best to make enough to retire. Companies aren’t investing in young, eager minds instead hiring the experienced just to maintain a certain homeostasis within their companies. Large corporations aren’t risking loss on failed attempts to groom young minds, and build future leaders, instead hiring people they see as a safe investment. These older people have a low cost of training, and aren’t long-term employment investments.

So, the young are forced to work jobs well below them, spending their days disgruntled and doubting why they bothered with educating themselves. They go about their days with the mindset of; “Damn, if I didn’t go to school I could be a shift supervisor at Macy’s making $18.00 an hour and affording a 2-bedroom apartment”. This type of mindset is sinful.

The young people of our country should aspire for great things. They are our future leaders, our business men and women, lawyers, and doctors. Instead they are mad that they worked hard to excel when they could have easily settled down out of high school and worked an honest job. I hold nothing against those who are shift supervisors at department stores, or dock workers and laborers. Quite frankly, they are the backbone of our country. My point is simple; those who decided to invest in education should be rewarded, not punished. They should live comfortably and happily, not nervous and anxious about how they’re going to repay their loans.


I write this article because I am a graduate of Penn State University, one of the most highly touted, well-known Universities in the world. It is a perennial top-50 school that’s comparable to an Ivy League education in many facets. I spent five years of my life with sleepless nights, studying endlessly in a library. I received my degree in Telecommunications, one of the best Telcom schools in our nation. I earned a 3.2 GPA Cumulative and a 3.8 in-major GPA. I currently unload trucks at a department store and have been turned down for more careers than I care to admit.

I am forced to give up my dreams of a career in broadcasting and seek employment elsewhere just in the hope of starting a meager life. I am a product of our country’s “higher education”. It’s time for young people to stand up to political monsters, tell them enough is enough. We are sick of them forcing their beliefs down our throats to steal the money out of our pockets. Stop convincing young people that paying extraordinary amounts of money is worth it.

Every year more and more people graduate to find that the world isn’t what they thought it was. They are encapsulated in a world of youthful joy in college, barred from the endless winter that awaits them outside the college bubble. They graduate with every bit of confidence that they will rise to the top but, little do they know, all that awaits them is disappointment, grief and debt.


Getting an interview is today’s “job”. I’ve been on a miniscule amount of interviews when compared to the amount of resumes and applications I’ve mailed. I’m met with the same dried-out, abused line every time: “Sorry, we’re just not hiring right now.” Or, “We just don’t have a place for you right now but, best of luck”. Every single time I ebb ever nearer to giving up, running away and never coming back.

My knuckles have been bloodied from all the innocent, inanimate objects I’ve struck. My steering wheel is evidence enough. Frustration has marred my mind, and relinquished me to mediocrity, no longer striving for dreams, but simply pecking at chances to pull my head above the proverbial water. One step forward, five steps back.


Complaining to older people affords you the same cliche responses: “Keep fighting kid, something’s gotta give” or, “Things will get better, just have to keep going”. Everyone has a breaking point, everyone will one day fall apart when enduring such endless negativity and rejection.
I am today’s America, and I demand change.

John Jude

 

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