The Jobless America: Is this the Dream?

By Astrid Villagran on July 29, 2013
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How many jobs have you applied to and have gotten no response after days and even weeks of waiting?

How many interviews can you go to and not hear back from your interviewers? I don’t think I can take more.

As soon as I graduated from Mount Holyoke College and got my diploma, I became part of the 7.6 percent of the unemployment rate in the United States of America.

When I moved to the United States, I never thought I would end up finding a jobless America. I knew that it would be difficult to find a job, but I never thought it would be an almost impossible feat. For all the jobs that I have seen out there, I sure have not been as lucky as others at landing one. It is discouraging to see myself as a statistic, but can you blame me knowing that I represent part of the numbers of one of the worst economic downfalls this country has seen?

I’m sitting on my blue, white and green flower-printed comforter, and applying to jobs nonstop. Outside, the sky is grey for the first time in a long while, and I think today is the reflection of how others and I feel about the job situation in this country (or should I say job-less?)

I wish I was keeping a record of how many jobs I have applied to already (maybe around the hundreds?). It’s an eye-opener, really, to see that of all those opportunities out there, I have only been called back for 3 interviews. And one of those turned out to be a scam of sorts, when I realized it was not about advertising and proofreading, but about door-to-door sales.

According to an article written on The Atlantic , students are taking jobs they are overqualified for “just to pay the rent – but its an encouraging sign nonetheless.” How encouraging can this be when for four years thousands of students dropped thousands of dollars into their education and won’t be loan-free for the next decade or two or three? Is this really the dream?

If loans don’t kill the college graduate, then the career path will. Some say that the major and career path decides what kind of job and how successful of a life one will lead. Sadly, this is a true statement, not because I agree with it, but because there is not much appreciation for certain areas of the broad human spectrum of interest.

Humanities, for example, have become a point of critique since the salaries are lower than, lets say, engineering jobs. According to The Atlantic, “degrees in business, engineering, and health professions have been far more likely to lead to an immediate job than ones in humanities, psychology, or social sciences.” Isn’t this dandy, humanities majors? Basically, humanities majors will be jobless for a while or taking over-qualified jobs.

How encouraging is it that the education people paid for is not paying back with a job that reflects all the money and effort they put into that diploma framed on the felt-covered cardboard wall of their over-qualified job? Do we really live in a country where our interests and happiness will never qualify us for a job unless we have a business degree under our belt?

I guess that “if [we had] picked the right major, [we] might not be facing too much career trouble.” Well Aldous Huxley, I guess you were right all along: it’s a Brave New World out there.

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