The Sunday Magazine analyzed what 226 members of the class of 2011 at one college, Drew University, are doing now, nearly a year after graduation, and the news is not good: most have acutely felt the stresses of the bad economy. Read what several of them are doing and why, then tell us what you dream you’ll be doing the year after you graduate from college.
In “Hello, Cruel World,” Nathaniel Penn writes:
Graduating seniors at schools like Drew University in Madison, N.J., have felt the stresses of the job market acutely. For all its merits — including a much-admired theater department and a prestigious Wall Street internship program — Drew ranks 94th among 178 national liberal-arts colleges on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list. The middle of the collegiate pack is not where you want to be when you’re competing for a diminishing number of entry-level jobs.
Members of Drew’s Class of ’11 are typical of their peers nationally in that their success in the job market seems to have less to do with their G.P.A.’s or their persistence and more to do with their family connections, fields of study, networking skills and luck. How else to account for the unemployed Phi Beta Kappa waiting by a silent phone? Or the anthropology major who is forgoing grad school to become a dog groomer? Or the English major who can’t earn enough money to make the monthly payment on her $128,000 student loan? (Drew is unusually expensive; tuition plus room and board run more than $50,000 a year.) Equals on campus, the 309 members of Drew’s Class of ’11 are already being divided into the 99 percent and the 1 percent. Seven months after graduation, The Times Magazine spoke with 226 of them about their rough journey into the real world.
17% of our sample of Drew University’s Class of 2011 is unemployed. 39% have full-time jobs, including six who have both full- and part-time jobs. 35% of students who are employed part time have two or more jobs. 74% of students who are interning are unpaid. 22% of students are in graduate school. 34% of jobs involve food service, retail, customer service, clerical or unskilled work.
Students: Read what many of the graduates profiled here are doing, then tell us where you hope to be the year after you leave college. Though you should feel free to dream a bit (you can pretend the economy will be much stronger), try to think realistically: what would be a good first job, or role, for you that year? Why? How will it nurture or challenge you, or help you achieve bigger dreams later in your life? What limitations might you have? How do you picture your post-collegiate life in general? For example, where will you live, and with whom?
Teachers: Here are 10 ways to teach with this feature.
Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.
Plans for College and the Future
- Length: 444 words (1.3 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Plans for College and the Future
What will I do for the rest of my life? Every person asks this question at some stage of their life, usually during their later teenage years. As a high school junior, I am now asking myself this question. After considerable thought, I have devised a tentative plan for my future. I realize that some of these plans and goals may change over time, but with a plan, the first steps of the journey can begin. To prepare me for the journey, I have taken very challenging high school curriculum, such as Honors and Advanced Placement courses. These classes will not only assist in my admission to college, but have also helped me to develop strong study skills and time management.
While attending college, it is my ultimate goal to become a doctor, either a podiatrist, radiologist, or plastic surgeon. I intend to earn my undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, majoring in chemistry. Then, I plan to attend medical school at the University of Florida, as well. After completing a residency in my specialty, I would like to begin a medical practice somewhere in central Florida.
Very important to my life after completing my education is having a family. It is my dream to become happily married and have children. Family has always been a great part of my life, and I wish to be a loving husband and parent. I am also looking forward to raising my children in the Catholic faith.
As an adult, I have numerous personal goals. Most importantly, I would like to own a home. Also, I would like to pursue my interests of water-sports by owning a boat and my long love of cars by owning a sports car. Other personal interests that will affect my years after college are my love for the outdoors and the thrill of traveling to many new places throughout the world.
As an educated professional in my community, I would like to make a contribution to society and my community. My background in hours of community service has prepared me for this and shown me its value.
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Plans Catholic Faith Central Florida Teenage Years Study Skills Medical School School Curriculum Attending College Loving Husband Personal Goals
I anticipate that this community service would include involvement in ministries of my church and work with youth organizations. Also, I plan to use my medical skills for the benefit of the needy, possibly including those in disadvantaged countries through medical missions.
My plans and hopes for the future have been made. Even if some of them change over time, I am confident that I will have a happy and successful life. Though my goals for life after college are high, I believe I will reach them.