With only weeks left before graduation, college seniors would prefer to be soaking up the dwindling days of sleeping late, going to bed with the sun and dollar beverages. Instead…“Suzanne Block isn’t basking in the insulating embrace of college as she waits the eight weeks until her May 9 graduation from Lake Forest College. When she’s not in class or studying, she’s scanning online job sites, sending out résumés and cold-calling potential employers, anything that might get the frustrated 21-year-old a job.
“Damn me for being born in ’87,” said the English and communications major. “This is just a nightmare. There could not be a worse time to be looking for a job.”
When the economy began its visible descent, journalism majors at U of I joked that our College of Business peers had finally seen the world from our point our view. We had always known a nearly impossible job search was waiting at the end of these four years – five, if we were desperate enough to consider grad school. Our inevitable poverty was an inside joke, akin to journ-uendos now found on @OHnewsroom.
Yet somehow, it still feels like we’ve got the short end of things. I realize most of my friends are journalism majors. It happens when you spend 40 or more hours working together at the newspaper. But it doesn’t seem that I run into many accounting majors still searching for a job, much less an internship.
Like I said, I accepted my lot a long time ago. I knew getting an opportunity post-graduation would take plenty of resume paper, envelopes and postage fees. But I have also sensed that the people around me who joined in the jokes about finding boxes to live in after graduation weren’t as prepared. They thought they would be the exceptions, the ones who got the dream job. Maybe I’m a pessimist or a realist. All I know is I worked hard to apply to at least 50 internships in the last several months. Probably more, I’ve entirely lost count.
The problem with that is, sometimes working hard isn’t enough. I delayed watching Final Edition from Matthew Roberts and other members of The Rocky Mountain News’ online staff as long as possible. But 21 minutes later, with sappy tears forming, I found myself impressed with the real focus of the video. It wasn’t about death really, but about life going on in small ways.
Every journalist in that newsroom picked up a notepad, a camera, a recorder as the news was announced. None (that were included in the video) sat down, gave up, cursed the fates for doing this to them.
If they can handle this and go on in the industry, independently, I can handle rejection. Even 50 rejections.
All it takes is one yes.