By Shannon Olsen
Special to NFP
As graduation nears for college seniors, the stress starts to weigh on their shoulders. Not only do they have papers and finals, but now they have to do something with the degree they are about to receive.
Whether it is going to graduate school or on the job hunt, seniors have a lot on their plate to deal with. The job market is a rough and competitive place right now. Students are scrambling to get everything done in the matter of two weeks, and that includes sending resumes and going to job interviews.
The Job Hunt
There are many majors, and some offer a future locked down for students with an exact career path. One of these is nursing. If students here make the grades, go on internships and endure the grueling hours of clinical, they can get a job out of college.
Still, this doesn't make the process of getting the job any easier. As graduating nursing major Catherine Ives experienced, "It was very stressful. I had to drive back and forth to Rochester for multiple shadows and interviews. It was a lot on top of all my school work."
College seniors are expected to do a lot with very little time to do it. On top of the schoolwork and job search, many also have jobs to pay for their daily lives now.
Graduate school is another path students take after graduating. In order to get accepted to most graduate programs, one needs to have a grade-point average above a certain number, and the right qualifications. Going to graduate school can be the best way to ensure a job, because one will have a higher qualification over other applicants. Graduate school can advance one's knowledge and get one a higher-paying job in the end.
Daniel Schlein, a senior headed to graduate school, said he wants to "further his education and gain valuable skills that can apply to the real world and the workforce."
Graduate school is even expensive. It adds to student debt. But one goes with the hope of getting a better job, which will make paying for these debts easier.
Debt - the word most college kids learn the first year they go off to school. After applying to banks, for grants and scholarships, debt is a word that students get accustomed to. At first, they joke about it. If they see construction on campus, you can hear them say it their money going toward that project.
At Niagara University, there are fireworks at the beginning of each year, and the continuing joke is that each firework is someone's tuition. Students who decorate their graduation cap have started putting the amount of debt they're in on top of it.
The stress of job hunting is heightened by the fear of student loans, because having to pay them is a dark cloud looming over every graduating student. College students go to school for four years thinking that is what they need to get a job, then, when they go to apply for jobs, they realize the ones they want require a lot more.
As you search for jobs and start reading the job description, the thing most college kids see is needing a certain number of years in experience, which not many have, because they can't get experience without their degree. This also sets the job hunt back a few steps.
In the end, college is usually necessary if one wants to go where one wants to go.
Everyone says it is the best years of your life and, personally, seeing my fellow classmates celebrate the end of the year proved that to me. People graduate early, but even if I could have I wouldn't have.
College is an experience that changes you; it makes you become what you were always meant to be. It pushes you to your limit. When you are up all night writing a paper and thinking you'll never make it, you do. You get thrown into classes and dorms with people you've never met, and you adapt. You see what you like, and what you don't like, and you learn about yourself.
In the end, graduation is an exciting day that every student looks forward to do, many with friends that have become family over four years.
The stress is something you take to get somewhere better. I am sure, if you asked years down the road, most would say it's worth it.
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