Grad Pains

Many graduates are moving back home after college. Prepare yourself now.

While students still attending college are often bright-eyed and hopeful about their futures, the realities for 2008 graduates are dismal.

Temple tells its students that if they intern with prospective employers and do all the networking they can, their dream job is within reach.

It is not that easy.

After hunting for the perfect job, 77 percent of the nation’s 2008 grads are living back at home with their parents [“Grads stuck at home with diplomas,” Kathryn A. Lopez, Sept. 2, 2008]. Bloated salary expectations and mommy and daddy telling them to be all they can be have graduates perusing job search Web sites instead of settling for a leaky apartment with a job that pays nothing.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 9.8 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds were jobless in the second quarter of 2008, a 2 percent increase from the second quarter of 2007.

Even when graduates lower their expectations and take the job that doesn’t pay $100,000 a year, they are still eating mom’s home cooked meals in their childhood bedrooms. By refusing to give up little luxuries like homemade cuisines, some grads have chosen to stay at home rather than renting an apartment shared with numerous roommates.

Our parents were not babied as much as we are today, and they survived. So instead of asking for money, ask for advice. Living on your own is difficult, but it is worth the hardship.

Use the resources around you. Temple has an entire Career Center to help you get your feet wet in the real world. Don’t ignore the e-mails in your inbox inviting you to the career expos and workshops held by the university. Go even if you’re unsure of what you want to do with your life. Taking a look around is the only way you’re going to find out what interests you.

In between the partying and pretending to study, start working on a plan for after graduation. The multitude of resources available to students often goes unused by most of us. If you’re really lazy and can’t motivate yourself, visit the Virtual CareerCenter and get career advice via AIM.

Cherish your time at Temple, but realize that when your graduation has come and gone, you may still be stuck at your part-time job. Don’t get frustrated. Understand you may get that dream job, but the tiny salary could keep you from eating out whenever you feel the urge.

College is the easy part. You pay to be at Temple. Convincing an employer to pay you and give you a place to go every day – that is the hard part.

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