It's Hard Out Here For a Graduate

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

#professional #thegrind #college #adulting

Hello world, my name is Miya Jones. I didn't mean to start this off on a negative note, but life is a struggle and aduluting is no joke.

I'm a recent graduate of Temple University and received my bachelors in journalism. I love to write; it's my passion. I loved college and gained a lot of great experience during this time, but college and the real world are two different things. (I just sounded like the Black mom in that Huntington Learning commercial. If you're too young to remember, fast forward to 0:16).

I keep flashing back to those moments when I was still in college and asked college grads what's life like after, and they would give me the enjoy-college-while-you-can-look and say, "it's hard". Now I actually feel what they meant. I'm starting to realize why people struggle to find work despite earning their bachelors. Colleges put more of an emphasis on grades than experience. I'm not saying every college is like this, but enough are to the point where 43% of college graduates are underemployed — meaning we are working jobs that don't require a college degree.

Many colleges stress the importance of having new experiences and exploring the area, but if you don't get a B- or higher in this class you fail or you can't graduate. It almost seems like an oxymoron. There are only so many internships, programs and experiences you can have when trying to maintain your grades. How about instead of striving to achieve a GPA, colleges make us strive to achieve a good review or successful project from an internship. There are degrees that require an internship component, but that's it — just one component of the many requirements needed to graduate. There are opportunities to work in your field through extra curricular activities. Those extracurriculars help you get your feet wet in the industry, but if you take them on you take away from studying, homework and possibly graduating.

With such an emphasis on grades, we forget the real reason why we go to college — to gain real world experience. If college graduates were required to spend most of their time in the field for their major instead of the classroom imagine the difference it would make, especially when going up against veterans in their field who already have experience. And just to clarify, I'm not anti-college; it offers great opportunities. My mom helps people get into college for a living so don't come for me too hard. But, tough love is needed sometimes.

Although colleges may not make progress any time soon, my advice to those who are still in college is have fun, but work your butt off too, so it's not as hard on the other side and so you don't have to give other college students the same enjoy-college-while-you-can-look.

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