The next question

May. 16, 2013 @ 05:03 AM

Over the last week, several colleges have held commencement exercises awarding college degrees to thousands of students.

Isothermal Community College was one of those many colleges when it held its graduation on Tuesday.

Now, there are those thousands of graduates left with one lingering question.

What do I do now?

That is certainly not an easy question to answer.

For the community college graduate, the answers are: Go to a four-year university and finish your academic career or take what you have learned and enter the workforce.

It can also be said that those answers are similar for the four-year college graduate. You can continue on to graduate school or enter the workforce.

The only problem is that unemployment is still high across the county and jobs continue to be harder and harder to find.

It can leave a college graduate discouraged when they ask themselves the question of what to do next.

The easy choice is to continue your education but even then, there is no guarantee that jobs will be there.

For some, through internships and other means, a job is waiting after graduation but the number of college students with that option is very slim.

We wish we could offer a palatable answer to that lingering question but, in all honesty, we can’t.

We can tell you to work hard and it will all pay off in the end. Considering that is the mantra of most commencement speeches, repeating the message doesn’t make it so.

Today’s employment market is challenging. That may be more to the core of what a lot of commencement speakers that tell you to challenge yourself really mean.

It would be great to be able to tell college graduates that the road gets easier from here but that isn’t true.

The real world is tough. There are bills to pay and mouths to feed.

What we would tell you is to celebrate your accomplishments because it is never an easy feat to achieve what you have by finishing your college education.

Don’t despair. You are not alone in the job world now.

Will it get better? We certainly hope so.

Will it get better tomorrow? Unlikely.

But, you have something in your hands that a lot of people wish they had ... a college degree.

Make the most of what you have learned and, if there is any way to make a contribution at home, you can say you have put that degree to good work.

The real world may be tough but you can consider yourselves better prepared to face all of the challenges that will inevitably come your way.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.