By Olivia Hanna
With the start of my final semester my mind has turned both to maintaining my good grades and to life after final exams. At the end of May, I, and my fellow classmates, will be going from undergrads to unemployed: a prospect I don’t think anyone is taking lightly.
On 29 January I had a few hours in between lectures so I wandered down the Bailey Allen Hall to the jobs fair in search of potential job prospects to ease my concern about life after college. After a nervous wander around the hall I left disappointed. My best prospect was as a customer service representative which I could do regardless of my degree in my arts subjects: journalism, sociology and politics, and philosophy.
The rest of the stalls were for those getting degrees in science, technology, engineering, business, and finance. I love my subjects, but when I left, I felt like I had chosen the wrong ones and that after college I would become unemployable.
I know this isn’t entirely true, but I know that my feelings are shared by others in my courses. The future is scary and as far as finding a career, I feel absolutely helpless. Yes, there are employability courses, but quite frankly I do not even feel like I’m employable at all. I don’t believe that the courses I’ve taken have prepared me for any career in the field. Journalism is the best prospect I have, but every time I turn on the news more and more journalists are getting fired from their jobs, and newspapers around the country are closing their doors.
It makes me angry to think that people in other courses are having an easier time preparing for their careers. Companies are lining up to hire them whereas I feel completely left to my own devices.
Getting a master’s degree is my next clear option, but I’m at a point where I don’t even know what to study. I plan on taking a year off to decide what to pursue, but it’s hard to be optimistic given the lack of support I feel we’ve received. I know that at 22 I’m not supposed to have everything figured out, but I wish I didn’t feel as lost as I do now.
The college definitely can’t do anything to guarantee me a job or discover my life’s “passion”, but I do wish there some programs directed at employability specifically for arts students. I also wish that there were classes throughout the three years that introduced us to how our subjects are practiced, instead of just the theory.
College is on an academic pedestal soaring above the rest of the world. It would help with the transition if once in a while it could touch back down to Earth. Moreover, I’d like to feel as if the College of Arts were more supportive of us as we make our way into the world. As it stands I feel like a cog in the machine of academia that will just get spat out at the end.