II’m 21 years old, and a junior at Bible College. I’m nearly broke; I haven’t been able to find an employer willing to work around my school schedule. I was able to get a job on campus, but it only allows me to work about 5 hours a week—10 if I can convince nearly all of my coworkers to give me their shift. I’ve tried to get other jobs on campus, but because I already “have” one my name is automatically sent to the bottom of the list.
I’ve been trying to get a summer job, which is just laughable. No one is willing to hire me for just the summer, and because I went to school out of state, that was my only option. I eventually made the decision to get a place to live in the same city as my school, in the hope that I could get hired on for the summer and continue working there throughout the school year. But by now it’s too late to be putting in job applications, and no one has called me back. My parents are breathing down my neck, disappointed that I’m not coming home this summer, disappointed that I don’t have a job yet, disappointed that I have no money to speak of.
Also, I’m a Biblical Studies major. The job options for when I leave here are practically nonexistent. My plan is to go to grad school to increase my chances of having a career capable of paying off all of my debt. But there’s no guarantee that a Master’s will help me get a job—and plenty of guarantee that grad school will bury me even deeper in debt.
College was never optional for me. My dad didn’t have the chance to go to college, and he and my mom worked hard every day of their lives to make sure my brothers and I could get there. And I was always told to study what I love, to pursue whatever education I felt led to. I still believe that God has brought me to this city, to this school, to this degree program…but I can’t for the life of me figure out why.
What’s your story? Are you in school and pursuing a degree because you love it or because it will lead to a well-paying job? Do you think students should pursue practical degrees or chase their dreams? Submit your story and we’ll publish it here.
Love this project by National Journal.
I’m not sure my generation *whisper* baby boomers did the next generation any favors by encouraging them to follow their bliss like we did. When I graduated high school in the 70’s jobs were plentiful. The economy was doing well…at least in Canada where I live. Also it wasn’t looked down on if your bliss happened to be in a trade and not university. I think this was a backlash to MY parents generation where we saw our parents work at jobs they didn’t seem to like. Yes, I do believe it’s still valuable and wonderful to follow your heart. But I think it also requires an adjustment to our expectations of the life we will live. There was a popular book when I was in my 20’s—“Do what you Love and the Money Will Follow” now I think it’s more “do what you love and the money MAY follow.”