College Isn’t Always A Magic Wand For Your Career, But That’s Okay

Benjamin Child
Benjamin Child

For the past few weeks since I quit my job I’ve been online researching new opportunities and giving up on so many immediately based on required experience that I virtually have none of. Each one it seems requires a minimum of 2-3 years in the field and a working knowledge of all computer programs that could ever possibly be used in said job or in outer space.

I feel like I’m just a vanilla cake with no frosting, or better yet just the plate that a three-tiered decorated wedding cake sits on, but I went to COLLEGE…so, what does that count for? It seems like nothing more noticeable than my address or my phone number on my over-edited resume. Even worse, I don’t even know what to say I learned these days, I can’t remember hardly anything because it feels like a million years ago (it’s almost been two). And not only did I go to college, but I did do great in college, graduating with honors and even that doesn’t seem to count for more than just a pat on the back. It’s hard to figure out what happened, where I went wrong, except for pure recognition that I spent my time in college waiting tables rather than at an unpaid internship.

Now, I’m in a big city employed in a job capable of a five year old (I know this, because sometimes while this kid is waiting on her parents she likes to do my job for fun). College was supposed to prepare me, but maybe I treated it too carelessly. I tried to pick a major that would get me a job, but I picked the classes that I would enjoy the most rather than the ones I might learn the most useful information from (for example: I took a sports media class that I am still completely confused about).

I’ve said before that if I could do college over again I’d pick a different major that was less practical and more me. I stick by that because it’s not as if the practical one has landed me anywhere. And of course, maybe it’s just me. Perhaps, I’m too easily intimidated by job opportunities, too terrified of being rejected, or even worse, ending up in a black hole of a job I’d hate way more than my current grade-school gig. But I went to college… so shouldn’t I be succeeding at something?

The good news is, I haven’t given up just yet. I went to college. I did college. I did four years of upper-education, four years of reading textbooks, four years of bullshit tests and powerpoints and speeches (that I was graded way too hard on) and I got out with a ridiculously respectable GPA (which would be even more ridiculously respectable if I hadn’t been graded way too hard on that one speech). The point is, I know I’m capable. Sure, I may do better in the structured environment of a school but why wouldn’t I when it’s all I’ve ever really known?

So, I just have to keep applying and I have to keep trying until I can get an opportunity to gain that valued experience and finally end up in the employed side of my college graduate class statistic.

The good news is I went to college, I’ll be fine. TC mark

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