Tag Archives: Unemployment

25 Good Things about Graduating During a Recession

7 Mar

When I first graduated from college, I made a bold decision that temporarily staved the broken dreams of graduating in the midst of a recession — I signed up for Americorps and moved to Louisiana to work in a public school. This experience was not, however, all flowers and songbirds, but I expected it to be difficult and hot and trying. Therefore, when it was hard, it wasn’t as life-shaking, because I expected it.

On the other hand, when I returned to Minnesota to begin my alleged “adult life” through the obtainment of a “real job” and all of that, I felt as though the rug had been pulled right out from under me. So little had I expected the rising costs of living, the reoccurring rejection notices for receptionist positions, the difficulty of finding a sense of use and worth, that I would, for a time, find myself pathetically crying about how sad it was that nobody cared about my degree and why didn’t anyone seem to value my time volunteering?

Many of you, like me, had to face the expectation-bursting reality that we were now working for the same pay as when we were 19 0r 20, except we now had BFAs and BAs and Masters Degrees.

At first I felt deprived and angry about my inability to coast out of college and into the arms of “real job” at a publishing house or some other company. But, in time, I started to realize that I might not even want a so-called “real job” after all.

As it just so happens, that there are a lot of pretty awesome reasons why it’s great to be part of a generation of young people who are doing things differently, whether by choice or not.

25 Reasons Why Graduating During the Recession’s Not So Bad

  1. Imagine how much worse it would’ve been if you had a mortgage
  2. The cheaper your car, the less you have to worry about ruining it
  3. When you don’t dress to impress, there’s less pressure to do well or have answers
  4. You can blame missed calls or connections on your crappy computer/phone
  5. No “terrible bosses” that have you trapped in a contract on a shit salary
  6. Admit it, the food is better at home
  7. No one actually wants to work corporate
  8. You don’t have to do the whole rush hour thing
  9. Naps are back in style
  10. No need for office talk
  11. You don’t have to try and wrap your head around the skyway system (or spend any time in it)
  12. No business casual!
  13. No need for a blackberry
  14. No meetings
  15. You can curse and offend as much as you want
  16. You can denounce the 1% and corporate America without as much hypocrisy
  17. Lower carbon footprint
  18. No team projects
  19. Lowering the bar for younger siblings
  20. More time to be well informed
  21. Probably work with less republicans
  22. No cursing the printer/scanner
  23. You actually get to see the sunlight every once in awhile
  24. Can use the “bad economy” excuse as a catch-all for things you simply wouldn’t want to do anyway. I know the family reunion is this summer, but what with the bad economy, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it…
  25. Instead of pretending to be poor–I see you out there, you hipsters and grease punks and serial-bikers–you can actually be poor. Finally, your inner bourgeois desires have been met!

I hope this list puts a little smile on your underemployed or unemployed or underpaid day.

10 Things I Wish I’d Realized Before I Graduated

7 Jul

A friend recently equated my blog to “ranting about things.” This, I feel, probably rings true when it comes to parts of some of my posts. Admittedly, I find a unique and deep pleasure in making fun of what I view as the hipster generation’s (or boomerang generation, or recession grads, etc. – myself included!) myriad of ubiquitous and ridiculous obsessions, convictions, and trends.

But I can’t help but feel a little tinge of frustration at the thought of his remark. I feel like cultural writing, along with the whole slew of other types of writing I’ve posted on this blog, merits a little more acknowledgment than ‘my ranting.’ His comment only reinforced a lesson I’m still (miraculously) learning over and over and over again: there will always be criticism.

Admittedly, being in your mid-twenties is not a super glamorous time. The life stage seems to be rife with hurdles and curve balls and any other sort of sports analogies you can muster. I had a lot of preconceived notions about what it would be like to graduate and begin the next stage of my adult life. All of these expectations were challenged, of course.

In the spirit of saving anyone who hasn’t yet graduated a lot of heartache (and providing a forum for the commiseration of the rest of us—we still have each other, man!), I’ve compiled a list of the things that my counselor actually should’ve told me before I entered the big, tough world.

10 Things I Wish I’d Realized Before I Graduated

  1. No one cares about your GPA.
  2. No one really cares about what school you attended (sorry buddies, but unless you attended an Ivy League where daddy has got a legacy, of course, no one really gives two shits about it).
  3. Don’t expect to find a real job anytime soon (now I’m not sayin’ that it’s not possible, I’m sayin’ it’s not probable).
  4. Everyone in your life is going to be assailing you with one question: “What do you want to do now?” It’s going to suck, big time. My advice: makes something up. That, or avoid people.
  5. Volunteering probably won’t help you get a real job, but it feels really good.
  6. Sometimes the only way to help yourself out of a depression is to drag your ass off the couch and go for a run.
  7. Almost everyone moves back home—what counts is whether or not you ever leave again.
  8. No matter what the new job or project is, just say “yes, I can do that.” You wouldn’t believe the things you can learn on the internet.
  9. Never say “no” to an opportunity to make an idiot of yourself.
  10. With progress comes criticism. Respect the advice of others, but respect your own vision more. Pursue your interests regardless of the naysayers.

When it all comes down to it, life should be about following your interests and helping others to do the same. Sure, there’s a lot of insecurity (on everyone’s part), but at the end of the day you just gotta say Ima do my thing and tell anyone who says you shouldn’t to SHUT UP.

If you’ve got your own slap-in-the-face, post-grad reality-check examples, by all means, do tell!

And for all of you that are still feeling ho-hum: check out this CNN article to learn how to Think Yourself out of a Temporary Depression

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