Sunday, May 13, 2012

Congratulations on your Graduation! Hope you're ready. It's about to get real from here on out...

Holy hell! The attack of the graduation caps!
Ah, the month of May. Final exams are at last behind us and many of us have Google and Wikipedia to thank for that. So many people across the nation and the world spend this month preparing for that glorious day they get handed a rolled up piece of paper that symbolizes their diploma while Randy "Macho Man" Savage's theme music blasts over the intercom. For some high schoolers, this date is their biggest and for some their final noteworthy achievement of their lives. They are out of the system and are released to the real world--often with little to no preparation for what lies ahead. They are told that they have made it and are fed that tired line of the "world being their oyster". The possibilities are endless now and they can choose their path to success. For a number of those beaming faces, its their last stop, subsequently followed by finding a minimum wage job, knock up somebody/get knocked up (if they haven't experienced that already), and go from paycheck to paycheck hoping that at least their kids can do them one better.

For others its a more brighter future. The prospect of college. Most have picked out their college of choice and will be packing their bags to live the dorm life. Many salivate at the thought of acquiring that coveted college degree, ignoring the fact the majority of them will have the diploma (still symbolic) supplemented by a mountain of student loan debt. But alas, it will be all good. They have that Bachelors/Masters/Doctorate which automatically means an enormous income. I mean when they see this young cat full of life and vigor, a degree under his belt, that's a surefire hire, ain't it? This just in: It's not.

Yeah, I reacted that way too.

What a shock! There's no phone calls. You go job searching and you don't have a single iota of experience. B-b-but....diploma...equals...q-q-qualifies...meaning....m-m-money! CareerBuilder,Jobing, Monster, Craigslist, your school career services can't help you. Seems to these hiring managers out there that being in a classroom for four years, rushing in your exams, chatting on Facebook while the professor rambles on doesn't constitute you as an asset to them that they should invest in. Soon enough you get phone calls and emails from your school and those pesky lenders telling you to start coughing up the dough they gave you so you could achieve higher education. Soon enough, you're moving back in with mommy and daddy because the real world hurts too much.

To sum this all up, all I can say is that from my experience College is not all that its cracked up to be. I'm not saying don't go. Yeah lots of jobs require you to have a degree but that's just like an arbitrary thing nowadays. Either you put that on your resume or they pass you over. I've learned that it's not about what you did in a classroom for four plus years, it's what you have legitimately accomplished in terms of projects and actual real world work. If you're a graphic designer did you intern at a magazine, do you have a portfolio of work that you've done for businesses? If you're a writer, do you have anything published, has anyone read your crap? If you got a degree in business administration, did you administrative work for a business? It's weird. We're told the opportunities will be abundant because we know a good load of some textbooks and circled c) a good number of times on a scantron but it isn't enough for us to receive a paycheck because all we've been is in a classroom not legitimately accomplishing projects in our field of study.

I graduated...Make no mistake, college wasn't a total waste and there are some success stories but for the most part you get a job based on who you know or what you've actually done in that past that generated revenue. A person once said that "College isn't the end-all be-all of learning and attaining knowledge, it's just the start." and that definitely rings true. Heck I learned that when I found certain texts at Half Price Books for five bucks that summed up entire courses I took in college in a concise, straightforward comprehensive manner better than any college professor can dream of! That could've been 2 grand saved had I just read that book and not gone to the class! It's really about how you use that degree you get. For some it's just a foot in the door but you gotta have some stuff in your arsenal if you want to be truly successful. What that is depends on who you are, what you want to do and what your passion is.

I wish the best of luck to all the grads out there cause if you just look out there, a lot of people need it. Or maybe they just need a little bit of help from The Creator of all things.

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