A College Student’s Worst Nightmare

College students in the U.S. are worried, stressed and afraid of what opportunities will be available to them come graduation day. Questions flood their minds such as, “Will there be a job for me? If so, am I applicable? Even if I am capable, will I be replaced by someone with more skills?” These are only a few of the constant concerns that students battle every day.

There are many reasons that students feel this fear, including high unemployment rate, the ever-changing job market and the constant pressure of competition.  Receiving a bachelor’s degree is believed to be right of passage that a student is educated in their field of study and is prepared to take on a full-time job. Meanwhile, as graduates people still see themselves as students, unsure of how educated and prepared they really are.

In an attempt to keep up with ever-increasing job requirements, unemployment rate and competition, students work harder. College students across the nation are doing whatever it takes to prepare themselves for that final moment when they accept their diploma and take their first steps in the real world.

“There is a lot of pressure looking for a job after graduation,” said Nicole Russo, senior criminal justice student. “There aren’t a lot of jobs out there that you’re going to love.” Like most college students, she is left anxiously waiting if the long hours studying, volunteering at clubs and working overtime will finally land her a job.

Russo added that as a result of the unemployment rate, students have to compete against many people while applying for jobs and this can be very stressful.

What is to blame for this emotional tragedy? The unemployment rate may be one of the reasons that students like Russo experience such fears. Although another concern according to The New York Daily News report is receiving a job that is below your capabilities, being underemployed. The New York Daily News recently reported a study by Reuters that more than 40 percent of recent U.S. college graduates are finding themselves underemployed. 

As a result of this fear, some students choose to attend graduate school rather than apply for jobs right out of college. “After I graduate I know I’ll be attending grad school to further my psychology degree with counseling and I hope that once that’s over with there will be a job opening for me,” said Rocio Serey, sophomore psychology major. “I honestly do not think of not landing a job in my future, that’s the only way I don’t freak myself out.”

Serey explained that when she does think of graduating she tries to mentally prepare herself. “I’m a sophomore and although I still have a while to go I know that time will be gone in a blink of an eye. I just try to make the most of my time here to prepare myself well for what is to come after graduation,” Serey said.

Students are left wondering, “What did we do to deserve this?” During high school students work hard to get good grades and get accepted into a good college. While in college, students are then forced to get involved with clubs, Greek life, jobs, internships while paying thousands of dollars and maintaining good grades, and all for this?

Jeffrey Mass, Career Counselor for Career Services agreed with students, that it is becoming more difficult to apply for jobs.  Although, what Mass does believe to be a solution is effort and diligence. Mass believes, “There are jobs available, but they are for those who have demonstrated the ability to succeed not just potential.”

The jobs are available, according to Mass, it just takes the right amount of marketing, preparation and work ethic to receive it. Mass believes that employers are still looking for the same qualities: good grades, leadership, critical thinking and effective communication. Students must focus on the method of reaching out to future employers in ways to demonstrate that they really stand out.

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