Well, it’s getting closer to graduation. Maybe I should do one of those neat retrospective bucket list columns that seem to be the new trend amongst Equinox staff members. You know, talk about how I want to have a drink at every bar in Keene and set foot in every building on campus, then wrap it all up with some deep and meaningful quote about how life is too short and that we need to make the best of it. Just kidding, I’m too honest for that, which is why I’ll be surprised if this introduction actually makes it to print. That said, instead of talking about what I wish I had done in college, I’m going to use my supreme authority as writer of this column to talk about life after college.
While some of us may have a plan for after college, I’m well aware that many of us don’t. So, let’s take a quick look at the facts. It’s the opinion of many that our economy is in a recession and while college is an institution meant to provide education, when it comes down to it, it’s a business just like any other. Though it’d be nice for a college’s primary goal to be providing the best education possible, making a profit typically comes first. In these hard times, a college does this by going out of its way to recruit more students, thus ensuring a high graduation rate.
But let’s think about this for a minute; according to an article published in the Wall Street Journal, those who graduated in 2010 were 22 percent less likely to get a job than those who graduated in the last ten years. So are more students and a high graduation rate really what our economy needs and what we, as students, want? Does that add to the value of our education? No, it subtracts from it. In fact, that’s precisely the reason why having a bachelor’s degree in anything seems meaningless now days. The only meaning your degree has are the student loans that come along with it.
Now, to be fair, there’s very few people in the world who probably could have seen this coming. Not even the college institutions wanted this for their students, so there’s no point trying to portray them as the bad guys when they, like anyone else, are just trying to make an honest buck by providing a service. What’s done is done, so all that’s left to do is find a solution. So what do we do to pay off these blood-sucking, life-killing student loans? Well, you get a blood-sucking, life-killing job. After all, that’s why you got your degree; it’s supposed to help you find a good career. However, there’s just one problem: core classes.
We’ve all been to college. We know all too well about those useless classes outside of our major we’re forced to take in order to graduate. How does this relate to finding a job though? Well, now employers don’t care what your major was in college. Thought you could get that awesome radio-station internship because you majored in communications? No, some English major got it because as far as the job industry is concerned, college taught you both the same stuff. Think your advanced computer abilities will give you an edge on your resume? Thanks to core classes, now anyone who has taken a single course in how to use PowerPoint and Microsoft Word is just as good as you are on paper. What one really needs to standout is a graduate degree of some kind, which means several more years of education and thousands of dollars more in debt. Starting to see a trend?
So this column has been kind of a downer thus far, so let’s try to end it with some good old comic relief. What can we do? Well, you could live with your parents, beg them for money, and if they give you any crap, remind them that you probably wouldn’t have a college degree and the loans that go along with it if it weren’t for them. If you don’t like that idea, you could try to plan accordingly. Yeah, college is supposed to be the best four years of your life and you should definitely have some fun, but if you’ve gone through four years of college and you can’t figure out what to put on your resume, you messed up somewhere and had one too many thirsty Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
It’s not enough to just take your classes and expect that will be enough to get by. I do close to 24 hours of volunteer work a week that I don’t get any academic credit for whatsoever (surprise, haters) and that’s really the stuff that makes your resume — not that piece of paper they’re going to mail you after commencement. So, for all you reading this who aren’t seniors yet, my simple advice to is to you is to find your passion, work hard at it, and the success will come naturally.
Matt Miracle can be contacted at