You are Not Alone

Students attend college to graduate with a degree. Why do we do this? Well because society tells us this is the way to make a good living for yourself. The reality seems to be that there is a very small amount of decent-paying jobs that will hire someone without a degree. And if you don’t attend college and get a degree, people tend to look down on you or judge you. So what are young adults supposed to do? Some may feel there are too many pressures and not even attend school. But for those who do, the pressures grow as they get closer to their senior year. As I senior myself, I am currently feeling these pressures from every angle.

Although I am lucky to have parents who support me in every choice that I make, there are some students who feel that if they don’t get a 4.0 grade-point-average that they have failed their parents. Some may feel that if they had changed their major, they have failed at something. Others feel that if they choose an uncommon path that they are a disappointment. What we as young adults need to realize is that this is exactly what college is about.

College is for learning how to grow. It’s learning how to live on your own, and it’s learning how to fail and pick yourself right back up. Yes of course college is for getting a degree. But now as a 22-year-old about to enter the last semester of my college career, I have learned way more than how to succeed as a journalist. I’ve learned that it is okay to choose a career path that, maybe not everyone agrees with. It’s also okay to be a senior and not know 100% what you want to do when you graduate. I have a friend who recently shared that she has decided to take a gap year before going to law school. For four years now, she has had a set plan of graduating with a pre-law, justices-studies degree and then attending law school. Now that we are seniors, she has decided to take a gap year to focus on herself rather than just her school. I share this because I want to make it clear that it is totally normal and okay to change your mind. It’s okay to take some time to yourself to figure out what you really want. If you can’t find a job right away that is okay.

Do not get discouraged because there are so many people going through the same exact thing. This is just life. It may get harder, but that is why you must be happy. Because if you aren’t happy with what you are doing, it will be harder to face the many obstacles that may come your way.

It is very common for students to go into a career that has nothing to do with their major. Students do not have to feel like they MUST have it all figured out. I will say, while in you’re in school, you should try to use all the resources you can while you have so many right at your fingertips. In the end, most students who graduate will end up with a job one way or another. You will figure it out. The important thing is to make sure you are happy with what you are doing and where you are going. It is clear that entering the workforce at 22 is not easy but there are thousands of 22-year-olds entering the workforce right along with you and each and every one of them will be okay. Just know you are not alone.


By Hannah Sternberg

Hannah is a rising Senior at James Madison University majoring in the School of Media Arts and Design with a concentration of Broadcast Journalism. She works for her schools weekly newscast called Breeze TV as a reporter. Her dream is to become a reporter but she also enjoys the entertainment production industry. One of her favorite things to do to relieve stress is dancing. 

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