When I naively pictured my last semester senior year, this is generally the image I conjured up:
I have achieved a 6.0 GPA and therefore no longer need to worry about grades or classes. However, as an enlightened intellectual, I still attend classes regularly for the purpose of raining my knowledge and wisdom upon the masses. I wake up at noon every day, fix a healthy lunch, go for a nice jog, and spend the afternoon developing a new hobby of my choosing (preferably underwater basket weaving).
Evenings are spent with friends, and nights are one big Gatsby-like party. I am Jay Gatsby now. This is Monday through thursday. Fridays and Saturdays are reserved for weekend getaways to exotic locations and cities to soak up the club scenes and nightlife. Sundays are meant for chinese food and movies.
Sadly, my life is not even close to Jay Gatsby. Picture how short that novel would have been if Gatsby picked up a glass of champaign and ended up on alcohol probation. This is my senior year. In this sense I can relate to Jay’s era of Prohibition.
I’m sure I’m not the only present senior feeling this sense of disillusionment. Days are spent treading the deep water of classes and work. Nights are spent studying. Every extra second is spent searching for a job for a fear that our worst nightmares come to fruition and we find we’ve spent around $100,000 only to move back in with our parents and seek employment at the local Starbucks. Considering the nearest Starbucks is 45 minutes from my parents’ home, this option seems improbable.
I’m stuck on the idea that my generation collectively operates from our passions. We were told for roughly 21 years that we can do anything we want and our passions, combined with the perfect job, would lead us to happiness. What society waited to tell us until year 22 is that A) Your passions may not pay off student debt or make your grandmother proud; and B) There are approximately one billion college seniors who are gunning for the same passion as you.
Stepping away from these negative notions, I think my generation is a winner. Why would so many of us aim for professions at NGOs, nonprofit organizations and save-the-world ventures? We are generally not motivated by a paycheck or a fancy title; we need purpose. At least, we think we do until we realize we must conform to society’s motivational tactics in order to prosper.
However, company’s and organizations all over the world are springing up that recognize an emerging generation motivated by meaning. These places get shit done; they’re creative, inventive and progressive.
Now, if one of them would just hire me….