you are not alone – Massachusetts Daily Collegian
Future opportunities will still be there after May 13
With the weather getting a little warmer every day, “senior spring” is just around the corner. For the class of 2022, this can bring both feelings of excitement but also stress. While many students have secure post-graduation jobs or continuing education plans, just as many students find themselves in a time of uncertainty as they seek employment or apply for programs and opportunities to which they can or not be accepted.
University and societal expectations place great importance on post-graduation plans being fully determined by the time a student graduates in May. At the end of the cycle, I saw many of my classmates accept job offers throughout the school year, some even as early as October. With that came a sense of urgency, as I felt the number of those without jobs was rapidly decreasing day by day, especially as we entered the spring semester. However, as someone who hasn’t fully figured out their plans after graduation, I urge seniors who haven’t yet determined their life plans not to be discouraged.
Jobs and future careers are not to be fully defined by May 13.
Although some programs and opportunities have deadlines, most future jobs will still be there later. Seniors should take advantage of this time to take a step back and enjoy the end of their time at university. Although future employment opportunities will always exist, this time not. With approximately six weeks until graduation, it’s time for senior graduates to spend time with their peers and the University of Massachusetts community. While I don’t encourage students to ignore their future responsibilities, there’s no harm in taking a more generalized and realistic view of the work process.
It is perfectly acceptable to take more time to find a job that suits both the student and the employer and to find a job that a student really wants to pursue. Many students accept jobs or career opportunities simply because they feel compelled to get one in time for graduation. The university adds to this pressure by bragging about students who have jobs or future opportunities after graduation. Often, in the fine print, these promotional brochures and emails read “guaranteed jobs within six months of graduation.” So while it may seem like everyone is accepting job offers, I promise there are an equal number of people who are also struggling to make decisions and plan for their future, some of whom may not not be done before graduation.
It is natural to feel anxious or stressed about the possibility of the future. For many, leaving college will be the biggest change in their lives since moving from high school to college four years ago. I believe that many students would be happier if they took more time in the work process rather than rushing to find a job before graduation, whether they really enjoyed their work or not. In fact, 55.3% of college graduates will quit their first job within the first year due to job dissatisfaction, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finding a satisfying and engaging job is more important than jumping at the first opportunity that comes along.
On the other hand, for those who have already accepted a job or who are in the process of accepting offers, your final decision is not binding. If you find yourself dissatisfied with a job or future career path a year from now, there’s always time to change course and do something completely different, find a better employer, or go back to school.
The conversation surrounding graduate school plans has centered around the idea of the desirability of future job and career plans. Students who accept jobs earlier are praised and praised for being proactive, but far fewer students are asked if their job will be something they are happy to pursue. The work process should be centered around students finding jobs that will satisfy them, and there should be less emphasis on pressuring students to have a job or a future career plan decided by the ‘Graduation. To those who have a post-graduation project, congratulations! For students who don’t, there are many in the same situation.
Next month should focus on memories and moments that will be remembered long into the future and far into any career path.
Alanna Joachim can be contacted at [email protected]