As a recently graduated college student, by one week, I am beginning to wish I was still in school.
For the first time in my life I don’t have school to look forward to at the end of the summer. It’s been a constant theme the past four years that I work over the summer, and usually attend one or two summer classes at the University of Washington, then head back Oct. 1. But this summer, on top of working my part-time college job, I am faced with the problem of finding a job in my field of study, journalism, and fighting the increasing unemployment rate.
My whole life I have envisioned my college graduation, and pictured myself going straight into an entry-level reporting job. But instead I find myself lined up for unpaid internships. It’s not that I am complaining, especially because internships are becoming hard to get, but I feel somewhat lost. I have to move home, I have to look for insurance, I have no job to support me as far as benefits are concerned, and for the first time in 18 years I am not heading back to school.
Many of my friends are in the same position. We all are moving home to save money over the summer, and then continuing on in our search to find jobs. Most of us would like to stay in the Seattle area, because it’s so beautiful, but are realizing we’ll take whatever we can get, even if it’s a job in the middle of nowhere.
College is supposed to prepare students for the working world and life, but I feel more lost than ever. I am ready to begin working at a newspaper, and am thankful for the internships I have landed, but when in school I didn’t think about life after graduation. I thought about the good things, like the excitement of a possible new job, not having to pay tuition, and no longer having to take midterms and write 10-page papers. But I didn’t think about things like trying to find health insurance, landing a good job in my major, or having to move back home with my parents to save money, after four years of living on my own.
Although this is all a part of growing up, it is an awkward transitional period that will hopefully not last too long. I am sure though, after this summer my close friends and I will find ourselves spread out across the country, working various jobs and finding that new niche that we will grow accustomed to, just like we did when we graduated high school and went off to the strange new world of college.
Brynn Grimley is a newsroom summer intern for The Enterprise Newspapers.