Editorial: Much of your college activities are irrelevant in the real world

Editorial Board

Listen up students, and let me burst a bubble for you.

One day, most of you will probably graduate; though likely it will take you more semesters than you initially planned. And when you get out of this university, so much of what you have done will matter less than you could ever have imagined.

That’s right business major who has censored his Facebook account for five years to portray a professional image, chances are no one will check. And you too, Dance Marathon co-chairperson 1 of 30 your cheerfully exuberant brand of leadership skills will hit a dead end in one line at the bottom of your resume. And finally you, the honors student at the bottom of a depression well after receiving a B-, look into your future for that job interview where they don’t ask you a single question about your college experience, much less your GPA.

Yes, it’s a harsh and unfair world out there, and you best accept it now. The sons and daughters of rich parents will have either the connections to hop into industry or the support to get their graduate degrees. Meanwhile, your family will ask you why you chose a useless major and the university will ask why you didn’t have an internship.

The engineers are the lucky ones. They need only hang their soul up on a hook outside their cubicle farm to receive a job. The rest of us who did what we loved will not be rewarded with never working a day in our lives. We will be ushered into big box store management, financial service jobs where we skillfully manipulate spreadsheets or worse, the long line of unemployed college students waiting for their studious asceticism to pay off. On second thought, at this rate we may never work a day in our lives after all.

My advice: Enjoy this time and spend it doing things you love or things that matter. All of the dean’s list letters and leadership development in the world won’t change what’s coming next. If you want to make your employment hunt easier, find a job, any job, and do that. Get involved, but do it for yourself, not for your professional grooming. The successes of the academy have a tendency to stay in the academy, and on the outside most of us are in for the same beating.