Gee, Where We Gonna Go From Here?

5 Jun

Although Mat Kearney‘s song “Where Do We Go From Here” from his 2006 album Nothing Left To Lose is about losing love, the chorus query “Where we gonna go from here?” haunts me in my post graduation limbo.

I have been working my butt off to complete academic assignments and meet work deadlines for as long as I can remember. It is strange to me that I now have to channel that energy into uprooting my life, finding a job, and moving to a new city. It terrifies me that I can’t say exactly where I will be when September rolls around.

The headlines about the college graduates of 2011 are not extremely optimistic. The title of Michael Graham’s June 1 article for the Boston Herald says it all: “Real world falling with thud on grads.” He goes on to tell us that we have been sheltered and babied as we merrily partied our way through college. We couldn’t possibly have a clue what the real world is. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Mr. Graham! I certainly know a few college graduates who fall under this “lazy” label, but I would not say that this is the overarching definition of our generation. Perhaps I only disagree because I was surrounded by driven individuals at a rigorous liberal arts institution. Or maybe Mr. Graham is, in fact, misguided.

Moving on to a slightly more productive piece of journalism… Ellene Zimmerman of the New York Times published an article yesterday called “Between College and That First Job” in which she offers some sound advice to the class of 2011. Zimmerman emphasizes the importance of brushing up on social media skills, researching your desired career industry, and perfecting your particular talents. It really got me thinking about how to make the most of my time before my first job.

The old saying “no rest for the weary” is all too fitting in this scenario. I can’t (and won’t) pause to pat myself on the back for my college accomplishments. I’ve got to keep moving and put those accomplishments to work by networking and honing my crafts. I promise, Mom and Dad, that my education is gonna pay off.

At a family gathering the other day, my uncle turned to me and said, “I’d hate to be you right now. It’s just so tough finding a job.” But I’m not going to waste time hating being me. I’m gonna go against the odds and prove that I can, in fact, put my education to good use and find a worthwhile job. You just watch me.

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