Editor’s Column: What You Want

Editor's Column: What You Want

Sara Steinfeld

As I’m sure many seniors already know, this job market is impossible to break into. It gets even harder when you’re trying to make it into an industry that is supposedly dying. Anyone trying to make it in the book or magazine publishing world has a very slim chance of entrance, and an even slimmer chance if one doesn’t have any sort of connection or “in” with the industry; someone like me. However, I very recently had an interview for my first internship with a local magazine in my hometown. Not to rub it in, but I’m extremely proud of myself, especially since I grew up in a house full of lawyers. Until fairly recently, when I made it very clear that law school is a path that I will never, EVER go down, I was expected to do what was practical rather than what I wanted to do after college. After all, law school is always there, but that Associate Editor position probably won’t be. And honestly, that just sucks.

Let’s pretend for a second that the job market isn’t what it currently is. Even then, people were, in general, ignoring what it was that they actually wanted to do because it wouldn’t rake in a lot of cash or it wasn’t what other people thought that they should be doing. It’s incredibly discouraging when your parents consistently try to persuade you to get a degree in something that you couldn’t care less about just because it might make your life easier in the long run. Sure, your parents want you to have an easier and more successful life, but a big part of their eagerness to get you to apply to grad school is so that they feel a sense of pride, maybe even gain bragging rights. After all, there’s always that parent at the block party ranting and raving about his kid Jimmy and how great he’s doing at Harvard Medical School. How much do you hate that parent? Honestly, he kind of sucks. What if Jimmy didn’t want to go to med school? What if he wanted to go to art school instead? Do you even care, obnoxious-parent-whose-audience-is-getting-bored? Probably not. But the good news is if the person whose ear you’ve been yammering into all afternoon starts dying of boredom, your son is learning how to save his life!

But I’m getting a little off topic here. What I’m trying to get at is the fact that, even though jobs are few and far between, you shouldn’t have to settle or even resort to doing the job that someone in your family has lined up for you. I understand that this is rather unrealistic at the moment, and maybe it’s easier for me to have this opinion because I still have two and a half years of college left, but why shouldn’t you do what you want to do? We go to Colgate because we wanted to go here, and maybe that wasn’t the best fiscal decision for some, but we did it anyway because, in the end, we all know that we’re going to get more out of our experience here because we are enjoying every minute of it. Well, maybe not necessarily the minutes spent in Club Case writing a research paper on rocks, but hopefully you’re not spending a majority of your time on that kind of work.

There’s something to be said about being good at what you do and wholeheartedly pursuing what you want, even if it doesn’t necessarily seem feasible. Even though getting the job you’ve always wanted seems unlikely right now, why not at least try your hardest to get as close as you can? The worst thing that can happen is you fail, but only for now. You have the rest of your life ahead of you, and remember, when one door closes, there’s always a window open somewhere.

Contact Sara Steinfeld at [email protected]