Despite Dismal Job Market, Hold on to Your Dreams
It’s that time of year for us seniors when we are all waiting around anxiously, hoping for those acceptance letters, or dreading those rejection letters, whether its for graduate school, medical school, law school, internships or jobs.
I’d put this off long enough. College provided me with a clear path and with security—I knew where I was going and how to achieve my goals. For as long as I know, I’ve always had my path planned out and I’ve always known what was next.
But now, as my graduation nears, I’m getting nervous, and I’m sure many seniors reflect my worries. I’m learning the hard way that it’s a tough world out there and that there aren’t many jobs.
I used to think that after graduation, I’d get a summer internship, then get a job, work for a couple years as a journalist, eventually go back to graduate school for Middle Eastern Studies and from there, continue on my path to become a foreign correspondent.
I got my first rejection letter this week, and to be honest, it was a hard blow to deal with. I had considered myself completely qualified and everybody I talked to would say, “Of course you’ll get it!” or “You don’t have to think twice about it, they’ll take you.”
I got worried; I started thinking, what if I don’t get any of the internships I applied for? That had never occurred to be before, but now reality is settling in.
An SPJ reports that the job market has improved slightly from 2011 for journalists, but that it is still weak, especially compared to pre-recession numbers. Total newsroom employment at daily newspapers declined by 2.4 percent in 2011, according to the article.
For college graduates in general, an article from April 2012 reported that 53 percent of recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed.
Of course, we all wish to be that 47 percent that do receive job offers, but in a job market like journalism, that seems to be difficult.
Perhaps I do have the qualifications, but so do the hundreds of others who may have applied to the internships.
These past few days, after the rejection, I sort of gave up on my dreams. I thought that if I couldn’t get this first step achieved, there was no way I could move on to the others. People kept telling me that one closed door means there is another better opportunity elsewhere.
Keep your head up, they say. And I may have ignored that for a couple days, but now I’m telling all you seniors who are in the same position the same thing: Keep your head up and hold on to your dreams.
Giving up is the ultimate failure. You won’t achieve anything that way. I’ve realized that perhaps I won’t achieve my goals the way I planned, but there are other avenues, and perhaps this is an opportunity for me to explore those.
There is something out there for everybody. It’s just a matter of determination, of patience and believing in yourself.
Saba Naseem is the opinion editor. She is a senior journalism, Middle Eastern Studies and French major.