A Word of Advice for College Seniors

September 22, 2015 in Alive Campus, Career

The Job Quest for Millennials

The Job Quest for Millennials

One of the burning questions we consistently ask ourselves throughout our senior year is whether or not we will be able to successfully enter the working world. We’ve pulled countless all-nighters to finish that paper and study for that ridiculously hard final, yet there’s no guarantee that we will be rewarded for our hard work. We’ve interned, worked part-time jobs, held decent grades, and still, we’re still unsure of where all of this exhausting work will lead us. The real question is, why is finding a job so difficult for college grads?

About 35 percent of the average American holds a Bachelors’ degree, and that’s only increasing with time. Naturally, there has become an increased competition rate for entry-level positions that all seniors desperately seek upon graduating. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to find a job as the time of our parents’ generation, where an Associate’s degree was plenty. We, as millennials, have been challenged for our skills, defined as lazy, told we’re not team players or hard workers, and the list goes on. However, what some companies may not recognize is that we are the generation who is most technologically proficient, which is essentially what all companies are turning to in regards to work. Some companies have moved to only working digitally since it’ progressively becoming the dominant method through which we complete tasks. After all, it’s efficient and speedy, so it makes the most sense.

I think there are a number of reasons why the job process has become nothing short of arduous for recent graduates. To name just a few, there’s the problem with not having experience, more students overall searching for jobs, the need for particular degrees to fit a certain position, lack of connections, lack of job openings, etc. The truth is, you may spend months or even close to a year searching for an entry-level position. I think one of the biggest words of advice I can provide is to never give up the search, no matter how many times you receive a rejection email. Those are bound to happen more often than not. While I am not in that position myself, I have watched close friends search up to a year to finally land a job related to their future career. The unfortunate truth is that you oftentimes need to have connections to even be considered for an interview. That’s why interning is key in college, but this still does not necessarily guarantee a job after you graduate. Another issue is that several companies also seek to hire people with experience in the field. How, though, how can we have experience if these companies never give us the initial chance to start?

Job Search

Job Search

It’s evidently difficult for people who haven’t experienced it to really know how current college students and graduates worry about their future. 83 percent of college students do not have a job lined up before graduation, despite their active search through various career sites, attending job fairs, etc. Finding a job is so demanding and exhausting, yet we’re still criticized for being lazy. As a senior who graduates in just 7 months, I have been asking myself the question more than ever. What happens when I graduate? Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers, but I like to tell myself it will all unfold properly in the end. If we can get through a difficult 4 plus years of college, then we can certainly get through the long and frustrating process of job searching. Tackle it just like you did that biology final, and you’ll eventually be rewarded in time.

The Grown-Up World

May 7, 2015 in Alive Campus, Career

GraduationAs I’m about to graduate college in about a week, I’ve come to the realization that I will be entering the adult world. I finished my last exam yesterday and it was one of the best feelings in the world! I’m done with my undergraduate studies! What a huge accomplishment, especially at a military college. However, that night it hit me like a brick wall…I’m about to enter the real world and I will be on my own.

I don’t think that anyone can really prepare you for that moment. No one really tells you that you will be on your own figuring out your life and how to live it. Up until now you’ve had the comfort of a daily routine of school since you were five years old. Now you have to get a job, pay taxes, pay for an apartment, a car, insurance, groceries. You have to learn how to cook, do laundry, and find your way in life and there is nothing scarier than that.

When I came to that realization last night, I questioned whether or not I was ready. But are we ever ready? For me, I’m not a big fan of change. It scares me. Plus, I have the mindset that if something isn’t broke then why fix it? But at the same time, I think it’s the shove into adulthood that we all need. Since I haven’t experienced it yet, I don’t know what it will be like and they always say don’t let your fears overcome your ability to try something new. You have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to do great things and live your life and that is so important to remember. I think I often let my fears and insecurities get in the way of what I can do and I’m sure other people are the same way.

Once we overcome those insecurities and realize that, yes the adult world might be scary, but we all have to face it, then we can push forward and live the life we deserve. No one wants to live an unhappy life, but if you give up after failing so many times then you will be miserable. The quitters never win and the winners never quit. If anything else you always have to remember that.

So for all those seniors about to graduate you are not the only ones facing the anxiety of the adult world. There are thousands of others in the same position as you. We are all uncertain and scared, and if you aren’t then kudos to you! But for those of us who are, everything will work out in the end, as long as you keep trying. When you have admitted defeat is when you have let the adult world win. But just remember, it’s only as scary as you make it. Plus, you have to fake it till you make it! Confidence is key, but you’ve made it this far so there is no stopping you now!

Pre-Graduation Jitters

April 30, 2015 in Alive Campus, Career, Colleges

You’re a senior that’s graduating in just a few days, and you’re having your quarter-life crisis about where your life is headed after you walk across that stage. You’ve just reached a huge milestone in your life, but you can’t help but think of all the possible things that can go either completely right or entirely wrong. Will you get a job? Will you have the chance to move to your dream city? Will you find your soulmate? The questions are endless, so here are just a few thoughts I compiled to make you feel just a little bit better about your potential future.

Career: Finding a job is hard. Chances are, you won’t get a job right out of college, and that’s completely okay. Statistics show that it can take about 8 months to find an entry-level job, even with an outstanding Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. So take those few months to enjoy your free time, because as we all know, college is extremely stressful. Everyone deserves a break at some point to enjoy themselves. Also note that your first job may not always be completely related to your degree. That’s normal, because this is what will ultimately allow you to work your way up to your dream job. Don’t become discouraged and take it personally when companies don’t email you back after you sent in a picture-perfect application. There are so many factors involved in the hiring process that it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what a job may be looking for. Expect rejection at some point, and stay positive no matter what. You WILL get hired at some point.

Getting Engaged: The norm has become getting engaged immediately after graduation or even during senior year of college, but don’t think that you’re obligated to just because everyone else is. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your significant other. Finding a job and supporting yourself is important to do before completely settling down with someone else. You should always follow your dreams and your career plan first. If your significant other loves you, they will support you no matter what. So don’t panic if your boyfriend isn’t down on one knee immediately after you graduate. Really, there’s no rush!

Living on Your Own: There’s a good chance you’ll have to live back at home with your parents for a few months or even a year as you work. This is probably the best option so you can save up for an apartment. We’ve all said at some point that we can’t wait to be officially living on our own, but there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of your parents’ home for just a little while longer. This will allow you to save up and won’t put you in even more debt so you can comfortably live on your own when the time comes.

Salary: Don’t be picky when it comes to earning a salary. Entry-level jobs are just to get your foot in the door. As much as we’d all love to be making a huge salary our first year of working, this probably won’t be the case. Just remember that you’ll eventually be able to work your way up the ladder. Whatever a company offers you, take it, because they’re essentially offering you the chance to jumpstart your career.

Take these pointers into consideration as the real world welcomes you with open arms. Always have patience and stay optimistic. And of course, a big Congratulations to all of those graduating this spring! Embrace this wonderful moment, because I’m sure you’ve worked extremely hard to get where you are. Take a moment to breathe, toss your cap, and just remember that it’ll all work out.

Congratulations to the Graduates!

Congratulations to the Graduates!

State School vs. Private School

December 11, 2014 in Alive Campus, Career, Colleges, Reviews

Life is full of tough decisions. Trust me, I went to McDonald’s today, so I should know. That dollar menu is something to talk about. One of the biggest and most difficult decisions you’ll make in your young life is which school to attend after high school. You’re going to have a lot of different people giving you opposing advice, and that’s not going to make your decision any easier. You’re going to have to decide between a city or a town school, going to a school with a friend or avoid that situation all together, and of course, the ever-relevant state of private school. So ignore all the advice you’ve heard, and listen to me: a complete stranger who threw up from my hangover today at 3pm, like any other responsible adult would.

Let me preface this advice by saying that I attend a state school. In my four years, I’ve never regretted my choice to do so. Of course, I see people I graduated with on Facebook uploading pictures from their private schools and it looks like the best time anyone’s ever had in their entire life. I think to myself “Wow, that would have been a really awesome school to go to,” but then I remember what my bill looks like every semester, and then I think of what their bill must look like at the end of every semester. You can go to the cheapest college around, and you’ll still be strapped for cash, taking out loans and stripping at the local biker bar just to get by. Can you imagine paying for a private college yourself? I sure can’t

“But Paul, money isn’t everything.” Shut up. Yes it is. You cannot succeed in life without money. And before you even get your career started, do you really want loan sharks coming to your parents’ house to break your legs with a tire iron? I sure as shit don’t. But that’s me. I’m an Anglo-Saxon, good Christian male and I was brought up in a manner that trained me to dislike when loan sharks break my legs with a tire iron. My family is so old-fashioned like that.


Clemson University

Not to mention that if you go to a private school, and then owe that large sum to the school along with some accompanying banks/loan sharks, you are probably not even done with school! Today, the bachelor’s degree has the same amount of credibility (in some fields) as the high school diploma had 40 years ago. To separate yourself from other applicants in the same job field, grad school is a very realistic option, and in some careers, is necessary. When you apply for these jobs, future employers will be looking where you earned your graduate degree, not where you earned your undergrad. So, in short, maybe spending $40k/year at an undergraduate program for an education you could have gotten at another school for $10k/year, when employers won’t even know you attended said school, is not such a smart idea.

In summation, I don’t know man. Life is tough. I’m still figuring it out, myself. You’re going to go wherever you want to go. We are forced to make a really tough decision when we are 18-years-old with no real concept of money. Sure, we have jobs in high school, and make enough money to buy some beer and a dime bag here and there, but you don’t actually know what it’s like to support yourself yet. You’re going to go to a school that you heard has wild parties, hot girls, and easy-to-match school colors. And that’s a shame. Because it’s probably a private school, and you’re going to be paying for that education until your grandchildren bury you. Wow that was dark. Go to a state school, and start your life of independence with as little debt as possible.

Mastering your English or Psychology major

September 25, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Career, Top 10 Lists

Choosing a major can be a difficult and daunting task; it can be a challenge to combine your hobbies, interests, and talents, and channel them into one specific field. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a variety of classes in different subjects, so that you are exposed to all kinds of disciplines. If you decide to major in either English or Psychology, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Learn to love reading!

Learn to love reading!

1.    If you don’t already love reading, learn to love it.

This applies to both English and Psychology; be prepared to spend hours each week reading books, textbooks, articles, statements, you name it. Though it can become tedious for even the most avid reader, if you enjoy reading then you will be able to appreciate the texts you are assigned more (and you’ll probably be able to read them faster than the average student).

2.    Be prepared for the essays.

This is especially true for English majors; if you are taking two or three English classes a semester, then you’ll not only be reading a couple hundred pages each week, but you’ll be writing tons of papers about those short stories, novels, or poems. Though psychology classes usually incorporate tests, there may be writing involved as well – especially if you’re taking a class about research.

3.    Write. Write. Write.

If you’re majoring in English because you want to pursue a writing career or journalism, then you have to make time to write. Your language and writing won’t improve if you don’t practice, so you need to set aside time to produce work.

4.    Find an internship.

Internships are the best way to gain experience and knowledge about the field you want to pursue. Not only do they help your chances of finding a job after graduating, they may also show you a specific field you don’t want to work in. If you work at a magazine, you may find that you dislike editing and turn to designing or to revising other genres/types of work. In psychology, you may find that you really hate working with kids and that you’d rather focus on developments in adult psychology. Internships will help hone what you really want to do.

5.    Be ready to work with people

Both English and Psychology require interacting with other people; learn to communicate and know when to step up or take a step back. It’s important to know how to listen to other people’s ideas but also to advocate for your own.

6.    Don’t get discouraged.

To those of you who are writers – your work will get rejected and torn down innumerable times. Don’t get discouraged. Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep improving your writing.

The same goes for those in psychology; you will take classes that cover a huge amount of material and concepts that seem to go right over your head. The best thing to do is to go to your professor and talk with classmates – the best way to see if you actually understand something is to explain it to somebody else. Also, if you’re doing research, many of your experiments will prove insignificant. That’s normal: you have to weed through hypothesis’ that are irrelevant in order to find ones that truly make a difference.

7.    Don’t think about the money.

This applies to every field: don’t pursue a career just for the money. The economy and job security are worrisome for everyone, but it’s better to do what you love for a less amount of money, than to be well off and dreading each working day. Money may bring comfort, but it doesn’t bring happiness. Remember: you may have a job in the field you choose for life, so make sure you choose something you will be excited to do each morning.

A career you love > money

A career you love > money