When I graduated college, our class sat on while all our speakers went up to give us something inspirational. Well, we waited for them to give us something inspirational, but it ended up we got a reality I’m sure we didn’t expect on a day of celebration. One speaker started off by saying “Normally I say to expect the greatest out there with your degree, but the truth is you’re graduating at a bad time in our economy. Best of Luck graduates, you’ll need it.” The sad truth of our times, it’s not a great time to graduate unless you picked the right degree and got the right amount of luck.
I expected it. I knew when I dropped my Education major and went full major in English; that I was going to have issues. I also knew that I wasn’t going to be happy going into that field, and the classes made me miserable. I also knew that dropping out wouldn’t be an option, so I went head on into my English classes, and graduated with a shiny degree in English. A seemingly laughable degree, something everyone gets to laugh at anyways.
I remember being in an English class, and one of the Education majors was sad. Her daughter is going to school to get an English degree at a fancy college. She felt it was a waste of money, what could you possibly do with an English degree? Of all people to say that to, she says it to an English professor. I laughed a little at the idea she would say that to him. He also laughed, but responded back with “There are worse things in the world, like being a philosophy major. Not by much, but it is.” So true.
It really is though, because you can’t quite teach with an English degree unless you get lucky to get into a private school. Then, you can’t really get into a job at a Wal-Mart or another department store because you’re “overqualified”. Really because of your fancy degree, they just don’t want you to want an actual pay rate or the fear of you leaving for something better. Assuming there is something better.
People aren’t so lucky. We tell our children to go to school and you’ll get a fancy job. Adults go back to school to get better opportunities than they had before. But times changed. Getting a degree doesn’t guarantee you anything but a pride of achievement. A pride of achievement that you’ll be paying back for the rest of your life, with that minimum wage job you get if you’re lucky.
I’m by no means saying that you shouldn’t go to college. Education is something no one can take from you. I’m saying a lot of people can relate to this. Sometimes following dreams leaves you behind, and you’re left with a lot of time on your hands and you’re not making money. I get to write, I get to be with my family, I was lucky. Some aren’t as lucky though, and I hope things will get better for them soon.