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The Hooligan: The job search

As I get closer to graduating from this fine establishment, the job market has never felt more confining. As a high school student, finding a job consisted of a lot of tears. As a college student, in my first year, the world was my oyster, but I don’t particularly enjoy seafood. As a college student in my final year, it’s back to tears. However, the difference now is that I have more experience than I had in high school. I am at that point in my college semester where I am so close to graduating and the busiest I have ever been. I feel as if I don’t have time for a job right now, but I desperately need one by the time I am out of the safety and stability of a college campus.

In high school, I was particularly picky with what I wanted to apply to. These high expectations of not wanting to work at a fast food restaurant or a customer service job left me with nothing for a long time. I was frustrated I did not have experience, but I needed a job to get experience. I was mad at that concept more than anything else. I also wasn’t really applying anywhere because I was a stuckup child. I finally got a job at a customer service position, which was horrifying. Holiday help at a popular retail store known to have an abundance of “Karens” forced me to figure my shit out really quickly. Luckily, I was in the back of the store with stock and fulfilling online orders, which was fun. When it got busy, it was all hands on deck, and I had to interact with people. I soon left that seasonal job and took up dog house watching until college.

I was very lucky at college. Incredibly lucky. I somehow landed a front office assistant work study job before the start of my first year, and I worked at the job until it could no longer serve me what I needed. It was a wonderful job to have with great people. It was a perfect job for someone who needed to make enough money to feel comfortable but without the added stress of needing to pay for rent, food and gas. It was perfect for those nights I wanted Pad Thai instead of York Hall, as well as feeding into my concert and clothing addiction. As a summer job, I found myself at a kennel learning how to be around 60 to 70 dogs at once and care for other fur babies, but not humans, which was nice at times. Still, I lacked the important customer service skills. It became incredibly stressful very quickly since dogs aren’t humans, and not all are as sweet as you think they are. You make a list of dogs you don’t want after that job. The next summer, I landed a job at a shoe store, and loved every minute of it. I learned I am a people person, one who and I could handle a busy store at its peak and not get stressed out. Pressure is a privilege, as they say. 

I also landed the job of culture editor at this newspaper at some point. I loved it. However, I became incredibly busy, and I wanted my Sundays off for a time before I would never have the luxury again. Hey, I’m still writing, just as a contributor, which is much more manageable for me at the moment. After all these odd jobs, I really needed something that was more suited to my major. I landed a research assistant job that I love, and found what I wanted to do with my life because of it. 

Life started to pick up. I had not worked a job that fit the field of either of my majors. Car, apartment, fancy Europe trip…those all add up rather quickly, which my mother warned me of. It felt like a gunshot to the heart. All those savings are gone in an instant. I remember my sister going through college. She lived off campus for the majority of her college career. She left job after job and moved around a lot. At one point, she slept on friend’s couches and worked as a nanny. Her financial instability scared me. She was in poverty for a time while in school. That is not something I wanted to find myself in. She bounced around from job to job, but she’s finally at a stable place. I wish I could find that, but these things take time.

I can’t compare myself to my roommates who work these highprofile STEM jobs, who have damn near 4.0 GPAs and find the time to look great while doing it. Living on campus has helped me maintain the finances I have at the moment, but I’ll be on my own next year. Student loans are haunting my dreams. I’ve started applying around, and thankfully, people are responding. I’ve had three job interviews this week, hopefully one being something. I’ve applied to coffee shops, retail stores and admissions positions at colleges, hoping something will land. Ideally, I want a nine to five and a salary, but I can’t be too picky. Plasma donation doesn’t sound that bad right now, but that’s not a stable career. 

I really hope someone will give me a chance. On the outside, during interviews, I have my most confident self. On the inside, I feel like a spaz. I haven’t lost hope yet. I’m just now learning how brutal the job market is. It’ll be even worse when I throw myself into the academic job pool. I’ve heard that it is cutthroat there, and you take what you can get. So exciting. But, for now, I just need something that’ll help my major or, at the bare minimum, be fun, not demeaning and pay for my rent. 

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