There’s More To College Than Finding A Job

As I sit down to reflect on the past four years I’ve spent at Colgate, it is sometimes difficult to see clearly through the dark shadow hovering over the Class of 2013 that is the job search. Though there has certainly been general feelings of nostalgia and appreciation for the time we’ve spent here, many seniors can probably agree there is an overwhelming sense of alarm, a rather irrational fear of graduating without a job. My senior reflection, therefore, is a plea to my fellow seniors, as well as a warning to underclassmen, that finding a job should not take precedence in our final semesters.

For the past year, and especially during these final weeks, I have heard conversation after conversation about applications, interviews, internships, cover letters, starting salaries, etc.. And I get it, to an extent. There is something very thrilling about entering this new stage in our lives, building careers and moving out of our parents’ houses into our own apartments paid with our own money. As much as I loved my college years, I’m just as excited to kick off my 20-something-life as I was moving into West Hall my first year. But at this very moment, we are all still undergraduate students, and the truth is that these moments are fleeting. We can apply for jobs at practically any point in our lives, but we can’t be college seniors forever, and I say we ought to enjoy it while it lasts. Yeah, this all sounds very clich?e, but I would much rather spend my last few weeks reminiscing and reliving the fun and crazy memories than hear about so-and-so’s interview next week.  

This obsession over the job search should not take over senior year, as well as this upcoming summer. In the grand scheme of our lives, being employed the first three months out of graduation is unlikely to make a drastic difference. To those who do have a job and are starting in late summer/early fall, kudos to you. I hope you take advantage of those few months, traveling or doing whatever it is you love, because it’s unlikely any of us will ever have such an extended amount of time with limited responsibility. But to those without a job as of yet, don’t spend every post-grad day in hysteria. This is also an opportunity for freedom without responsibility, and as much as economically possible, you too should take advantage.  

This wisdom has been imparted down to me by my boyfriend and many of his friends, all of whom are recent Colgate alums. For the past year and a half, I have spent a lot of time with them in New York City, each with different job search experiences that are now extremely irrelevant. I learned that it doesn’t matter when you get your job, or how many rounds of interviews you have to go through first. What’s really important is doing what you makes you happy, which could be working at your absolute dream job, or even spending the summer going to music festivals.  Though a degree from Colgate is supposed to provide various career opportunities, there’s no reason it can’t provide other opportunities as well. Finding a job is just one part of being a post-grad, and since we’ll eventually become alumni for life, it should not stand in the way of our happiness right now.  

Whether you’re a senior with a job, a senior without a job or an underclassmen still unphased by the process, I urge you to put your post-grad life in perspective, as well as take advantage of the present. This could be our last opportunity to live among all of our friends, to nap in the middle of the day, to go to the Jug. Let’s not use the job search as an excuse to forget that.