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REASONS I WISH I WERE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

by Lindsay Craven

REASONS I WISH I WERE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

LACK OF JOBS

As I check job websites daily and look in every newspaper classified I can get my hands on, I realize that a good job today is like finding a needle in a haystack. I start a job in retail this week and I am extremely thankful and even a little excited that I have a job at all, but it is also discouraging that I spent four and a half years in college to move back home and go back to working retail. As I question my decision to pursue a career as journalist at the worst possible time in the industry, I wish I could say that I am traveling back up the hill to Boone to spend another semester taking classes and reevaluating my career path.

BETTER INTERNSHIP OPTIONS

In journalism it is basically a requirement that you nail down some great internships if you’re going to get a decent entry-level job. The problem with editorial internships is that most of them require that you receive academic credit, a luxury I no longer have. It’s rare to find an internship like the one I hold here at YES! Weekly in which you don’t need to receive credit if you’re not getting paid, and there are little to no internships willing to pay for your labor. My internship possibilities have definitely been cut in half since graduation and it makes the search that much more frustrating.

HAVING A FULL DAY

While I was in college I took a full load of classes, worked for the campus newspaper and worked part-time at an inn. My days were filled with rushing to class, getting some interviews in and going to work where I would study and write articles during my down time. Since graduating my schedule has slowed down drastically. While I still write articles and do interviews on a regular basis I don’t have all the time commitments I once had. I miss the overwhelmed feeling I would get at the beginning of the day when I saw the list of things I had to do and the feeling of relief and accomplishment I had at the end of the day when it was all finished.

I MISS LEARNING SOMETHING DAILY

I know it’s rare but I was one of the college students who actually went to college for the education. I loved picking out my classes for the semester and eagerly going to the first day of classes to find out what the semester would hold and what my professor would be like. Granted, I do learn new things every day in some way, but it’s not the same as going into a classroom and being immersed in knowledge for 50 to 90 minutes a day. There is nothing like leaving a classroom feeling like you are a little smarter and a little more prepared for your career at the end of the day.

WALKING THE APPALACHIAN CAMPUS

Although I loathed the town of Boone and still have no real longing to see it again, I do miss walking the beautiful campus of Appalachian State. Despite the never-ending construction work that was inevitable taking place somewhere on campus each year, I loved walking amidst the perfect balance or educational architecture, manicured lawns and greenery. No matter what the season, Appalachian always had a beauty that you couldn’t find anywhere else. Since I’ve been back home I still take walks daily but it just doesn’t quite compare to the pretty and lively campus I used to spend my days walking across.

LIVING IN MY OWN PLACE

One of the biggest parts of college was living on my own. I got my first apartment when I was a junior and enjoyed the life of solo living until I graduated. Without a job prospect I had to move back in with the parents and surrender the freedom and convenience that came along with my humble abode. While it consumed hundreds of my financial aid refund money and racked up even more money that will need to be paid back over the years, it was mine.

SOMETHING TO DO EVERY NIGHT

I was never one for partying in college but I do miss having the options. There is a party, bar event, concert or movie going on every night on or around a college campus. My hometown shuts down at 9 p.m. every night (including weekends) and it took moving home to realize how good I had it in college. When you get home and realize that your only alternatives to reruns on TV are driving an hour or more out of town to a bar or going to a party full of high school kids you come to realize that college was like a playground.

PROFESSORS

I had the privilege of sitting in the classrooms of some amazing professors during my college career. There is nothing like spending time listening to someone telling you the truth about what you’ve chosen as your future. These professors were seasoned pros and knew what they were talking about, and they got me excited about what I was learning. I miss having these people to go to when I needed advice about what the next step in my life should be.

THE FRIENDS I LEFT BEHIND

College is where you meet the people you will know for the rest of your life. I definitely met a few of these people between classes, newspaper staff and working off campus. It has been hard adjusting to not seeing these people every day. We understood each other’s struggles and frustrations, and celebrated good news together. It has proven difficult to carry on these relationships over phone lines and Facebook walls.

AVOID THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF ‘GROWN-UP’ LIFE

I think every college student goes through this dilemma upon graduation. It’s hard to adjust from a carefree life of classes and extracurricular activities to a life of full-time jobs, insurance, bills and expectations. I wish I could go back to the days when my biggest stress was getting a paper written and an article in by deadline.

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