Remember when you were a kid, and you dreamed of being an astronaut, or a firefighter, or a hand model? I had those dreams, too—Eden Carswell the telemarketer, Eden Carswell the singer/songwriter, Eden Carswell the bounty hunter. I never thought for a second that a pre-graduation misstep could eventually lead me to Eden Carswell, “permanently attached to the couch,” Eden Carswell the 30-year-old bum, or Eden Carswell, broke-as-a-joke.
But it’s a very real possibility! There are no guarantees that any of us will get jobs right after Commencement Day, or six months after, or even a year after. With the economy in ruins and competition for jobs being about as tight as spandex on a fat guy, it seems as if the only people that will find work in their fields are people with two Master’s Degrees, four Doctorate’s, and an A+ in 5th grade Sex Ed. I don’t plan on going to Grad school; being a humor columnist doesn’t really require it. Many students do though, because either A) the careers they opt into require them, or B) they all want to get ahead, so they’re not the ones sitting around jobless, watching MARTIN reruns and dropping mustard on their t-shirts. But even the folks with Master’s Degrees aren’t invincible; they get railroaded by the PhDs, and the PhDs slap-box each other for positions. Everybody’s screwed.
The job search itself is a full-time job, sucking the life out of applicants like a cruel, vindictive vacuum.
Once we find these jobs and apply, if we’re not getting rejected on the spot by companies, then we’re not getting responses at all. The infamous “Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are only able to contact those who are selected for interviews” hangs in the center of the email like a broken chandelier, clearly an indicator that there’s a ton of competition and that a callback is about as likely as one after a bad, cheap date.
Despite all of this, I keep submitting resumes and cover letters, and calling places back anyway. Why? Because the last thing I want is to skip off campus with bachelor’s degrees in hand, only to end up working the fry machine at McDonald’s, restocking the jumbo-packs of Oodles of Noodles at Sam’s Club, or tap dancing for change downtown in DC.
Even more than that, though the whole ordeal is tedious and difficult, beneath the negativity I do have a plan for my life, and a dream job in mind. I guess that until my hands can’t write anymore, or humor isn’t humorous anymore, I’m going to keep working towards that, trying to get as much experience as possible. Yes, the job market is ridiculous and highly competitive, but it’s not hopeless.
People are getting jobs out there, and if all of us graduating seniors prepare, bedazzle our resumes with glitter and a little optimism, and perfect our cover letters, we can stand out amongst the millions of job-seekers looking for the same thing.
Eden Carswell, the Humor Columnist, is a reachable goal in my mind. Now that I’ve put my dreams of being a bounty hunter and telemarketer to rest, hopefully I can put my pessimism aside, take my bachelor’s degree and do something meaningful.