Jan 162006
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

I graduate in four months.

Now, if I were to go back in time and say that sentence to my former self, he'd be all, "Oh, goody-goody gumdrops! I can't wait to meet the challenge of each and every wonderful new day!"

Man, I want to run over that guy in a big truck full of mirrors. Sure, it'll be nice to have my finances go six months without being massacred by tuition. And granted, I loathe tests and homework and long to see their retreating backs.

The problem is what comes after graduation. I've got to find a job. Preferably one that doesn't involve a nametag or vats of grease. Ideally, I'd like it to pay enough so that I can afford to go off the all-pasta diet that's making my bones crunch like pumice.

The worst part is the chain of college-related questions I inevitably get from acquaintances. What year are you? When do you graduate? What's your major? And whenever I explain that my major is English, I get this odd, pitying look. It's like I've announced that my career has cancer.

English isn't a bad major. Most of the literature classes I was in were essentially huge book clubs, where we sat around discussing the reading and our feelings. But eventually, you learn something very important – how to fake competence. Whether or not you did the reading, it's essential that the teacher truly believe that you did. That's a life skill, but it's one that's hard to market.

Since I can't put my best skill on a resume, I'm a little nervous. Then there's the general scary nature of the economy, which is either in the midst of a recession or on an upswing, depending on which economist you ask and what sort of mood they're in. Finally, I'm doomed because I can't make things pretty.

Every bit of education, every volunteer project, every year of work experience all is expressed by one tiny sheet of paper. And if that resume isn't pretty, I might as well have spent the past four years making sandcastles. Ugly sandcastles.

Sure, the campus has resources to help with resumes, but they were against my brilliant innovation of gluing glitter and macaroni to each page. After they turned down that gem, I simply couldn't trust them.

Even if I do get a job, the future is bleak. I'm out of exciting birthdays, as I can vote and drink, at the same time if I really felt like it. I'm quickly moving away from the days when I was young and none of my body parts were falling off. And eventually the universe will have expended all its energy and be nothing but a cold, drifting cloud, which will be a big inconvenience for me, personally.

I'm fairly confident that I can find a job though. It's just a matter of letting potential employers know that I AM LOOKING FOR A JOB. The main point really is to not give up, and to just get your name out there, along with as many saleable facts as possible. For example, I would probably let employers know that I WILL WORK FOR PEANUTS. LITERALLY.

Johnathan Kastner is a senior English major. His column normally runs every Thursday in the Collegian. He will work for food. Just not spaghetti.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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