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Graduate finds degree doesn+t guarantee satisfaction, happiness in chosen career

Sept. 27, 1996

Graduate finds degree doesn't guarantee satisfaction, happiness in chosen career

The issue:

After his earlier dreams fall through, a University

graduate searches for the job and the future he wants.

His view:

Students should be

careful and devoted in choosing their majors and careers in their search for work and


Here I am. I've graduated with a 3.4 GPA from an esteemed university. I've involved myself with various extracurricular groups and I've been accepted to national honor societies. Overall, I've become a more well-rounded individual. That's great isn't it?

Wait. Before you answer, I have another question. If it is so great and wonderful and fulfilling, why do I feel the way I do now? I am sitting here writing this little essay in anguish.

I was supposed to jump from the spinning merry-go-round and land flat on my feet. Instead I have found that I landed flat on my face. My parents are through sending me money, the small part-time jobs just won't cut it anymore, and I have not a clue as to how I am going to pay for the $20,000 plus dollars in school loans I had to take out for my glamorous education.

Before now I was relatively detached from hardship and enjoying the security of the college bubble. I went to class and studied hard and maintained the trained thought, 'If I go to college and make good grades, I can do anything I want.' I majored in political science and made the good grades, thinking that my calling was in the law profession.

For four years, I'm dreaming big dreams of fat settlements and breathtaking closing arguments, fancy cars and immaculate houses. I'm thinking I'm going to be the next mack-daddy lawyer of one of John Grisham's novels. I take the Law School Admissions Test (a test that on any given day a chimpanzee could take and circle in the small ovals and do better than most) and what happens?

I find out law school may not be for me. That is just as well because as everyone says, 'There are too many lawyers out there anyway.'

I have my options. I can still pursue the misleading dream. I can pay $1,200 and take an LSAT course and the LSAT (and hope that the 'force is with me' on test day), go to law school and add more to my massive debt; or I can shell out two hundred bones and take the GRE and maybe get into grad-school and get my master's in who knows what (and, in the meantime, once again take out more loans and amass more debt). Or maybe I can go out and get a part-time job somewhere doing the old labor (precisely what I wanted to avoid when I went to college). Or, if worse comes to worse, I can admit utter defeat and sit under an interstate highway bridge and hold up a sign that reads, 'PLEASE HELP THE IDIOT WHO GRADUATED WITH A DEGREE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE.'

So I ask you once again, now what? And finally, after we get through with all the hubbub about working at a job you hate and money and school loans and car payments and insurance and utility bills and mortgages and children and their education and your retirement and the regret of a wasted life, you would finally answer: 'Do what you love.'

And my response to that would be: 'I would love to do anything that deals with writing. I would really enjoy working in the field of journalism.'

And you would wrinkle your brow and purse your lips and say: 'Sorry kid, papers only hire people with degrees in journalism or writers with experience in the field.'

So now I sigh and look at the spinning wheel coming round once again, and I should probably hop on, but I won't because I want to start what is called 'my life.'

I don't need more college, more worthless classes and more credentials. I don't need those things to do what I want. I know what I want to do, and I've come to the resolve I want to do what I love. I want to write. And if it takes me three months, twenty-thousand phone calls, and ten-thousand interviews, I will find my niche in the writing field.

Greg Love graduated from Baylor with a degree in political science earlier this year.



Guest Columnist

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