Dear A Mitch: Sobbing Jobless

Dear A Mitch, You know that new "Plans" section on the Forum? Well, looking at it makes me extremely insecure. There is a lot of pressure here to have something impressive for this list and most of my friends are on it...but I don’t have a job. Tell me it's all going to be okay as long as I'm doing me or livin’ my life or something else that Drake or Rihanna tells me to do.

Thanks, Painfully Unemployed

Dear Future Vagabond,

I assume you are referencing the 35 people with jobs on the Forum "Plans" page? Of which two are freshman and one is John Faranda? Not to mention Brittany Taylor’s double clicked Oxford twin. I know what you mean though. Folks around here are skewing the post-grad unemployment rate like Scripps does 5C alcohol poisoning numbers.

I feel the same way pretty much daily. I ask myself, why can’t I get a job? I have some goodies. I’m bringing boys to the yard. Scary thoughts consume me. Will I just work at a nail salon my whole life in pink slippers and a silk kimono? I don’t know. Then the hyperventilating begins. I generally grab a plastic bag and put it over my head until I pass out like they taught us in middle school.

In the dream state of near death asphyxiation, the world begins to grow clearer. The clouds rise and there is CMC. Except, instead of Scripps standing beautifully across Ninth Street, large cement walls close us into a small fortress where everything is always perfect. I think, maybe kicking it around this joint a little longer wouldn’t be so shabby a life to live; a paper here, some drama there, the sun and Captain Getyoudrunk. But then the squirrels come. Remember this is a dream. A metaphorical dream, with squirrels.

They nibble at first, annoyingly, and then start fully attacking us. Then we’re running, grappling for solidarity. Some are lucky, they have their own ropes and pull themselves swiftly over walls and into employment. Career Services comes to help. They let us use their trampoline to bounce over into the workplace. Yet when I get close to jumping I read a sign that says, “FINANCE AND CONSULTING ONLY.” I sigh and turn away, then kick a squirrel out of frustration.

The dream ends there. I wake up and hypothesize the ending: I bazooka the wall down and walk silently into an unpaid internship. Which some people might say is not the CMC way to move into the job market. True. I mean, it’s not that I don’t want to work 80-hour weeks and have an army cot in my own office for overnights, it’s just that I don’t have the same skill set. Fair enough.

So now, dreamless in Realityville, I’m writing this response to a good friend, and feeling like there are more people out there who have this stress resting on their shoulders – job or summer internship. Expectations seem to be the fear.

Many of us at this college are so used to having plans. We’ve had them our whole lives: do good in high school, get into a top college, perform with quality, snatch up a job easier than Foam Party diseases... and when that anticipation fails us, like anything one depends on, anxiety creeps quickly. Many of our lives have been built on the equation working hard = reaching goals, and within reason, I think this often holds true. Job competition is just tougher than what we’ve faced thus far.

You might have had a 15% chance of getting into CMC. Jobs and internships employ only one or a few people at a time for each position. Then add a fat recession and a nation of qualified applicants and your opportunities dwindle like virginities at TNC. I don’t doubt you are good at what you do and are working your ass off for the fruits of success. So are a lot of people, probably with more experience.

Even if you disagree with everything I’ve said in this article, hold onto this last point. We ourselves are our hardest critics. It’s easy to get flustered when what we expect doesn’t come with ease. We’re okay, though. These next few months, this summer, will not define our lives. We are not screwing up big time because we don’t have a job or an internship, whatever. Finish thesis, finals, college, chill the fuck out. Spend the summer looking for a job, or doing something fun that doesn’t involve becoming a slave to some shit hole just because the squirrels are biting. Make decisions based on their potential to make you happy. Believe it or not, we are still young.

I know I often tell you to change your emotions like some lame ass article on the Forum will relieve your worries. I wish you all knew how much I was writing this for myself, as well. It’s not a simple adjustment. But if you are confident in what you are capable of, then be confident that something good will come along. I assume you’ll be working hard in the meantime.

Love,

A Mitch