December 7, 2023

Growing up, we all dreamed of reaching that goal of becoming the first in the family – the first billionaire, first lawyer, first doctor, or first college graduate that our parents hoped us to be. Right now, as I am just a few months away from accomplishing my goal of earning a college diploma, I am faced with the dilemma of not knowing what to do next. Will I get a job? Should I continue my studies? Are there any employment opportunities? These questions might be common to other graduating students. I’ve been debating with myself on this for a couple of months now as I am uncertain about what the future holds after I finish college.
Three months from now, and as one of the graduating class, we are sure to get a lot of greetings. However, it can also be a daunting experience as graduates are faced with the question, “What’s next?”
It bothers me that I might be among the country’s thousands of unemployed or underemployed. Even though a lot of employment is available at call centers, department stores, and fast food chains, are these jobs in line with what we finished in college? Think, even if working in various professions gives us experience, the fulfillment and satisfaction hits differently when we finally get the job that we have worked and studied for almost one-third of our life.
Oftentimes we are burdened by the responsibility that we must give back to our family, so we often settle for jobs presently available to us despite not being a match with our college degree. It is frustrating that studying for years to get a different profession has become the norm in the job market.
A lot of people would advise us not to demand when choosing a job as long as we are getting paid. However, are those jobs what we wanted? Practically, we have to take the job to sustain our daily needs. If we are aware of what’s happening to society, we might be asking ourselves, are there no solutions to this growing demand for employment?
Unfortunately, even our curriculum focuses on teaching general courses, which frequently employ the question-and-answer method of learning but does not provide a larger framework for the application of skills. This is a downgrade on the educational system in the country as most employers demand a year of work experience for job openings. How can fresh graduates compete with someone more experienced?
A work offer looks too good to be true given the employment issues. Others are lucky enough to have jobs that match their degree that are accessible to them right away, but what about graduates who are still looking for work years after receiving their diplomas? The issue of employment does not simply affect people with college degrees; it also affects people who are unable to find a stable job. To mitigate this problem, citizens and the government must work collectively.
Let us all ponder on the question, “What’s next?” as graduation season draws near. I think I am not the only graduating student who experiences such concerns and uncertainty. But I remain optimistic that as we move into the so-called adult life, we may be able to reach greater heights. Let’s all work hard for our families and ourselves. Graduates, good luck and my heartfelt congratulations. May all of our doubts and fears be superseded by gratitude as we grow into good people who will work for the improvement of society.