After four and half years of extensive research papers, frustrating group members and sleepless nights of editing — I am graduating. But instead of being excited about what’s to come, I’m nervous and unsure of my future and I hate that this is my reality. A week from today I’ll be an official alumnus of the historic institution that is Florida A&M University. But then what – I don’t have a job lined up, I’m not accepted into any graduate school and I’m refuse to go back to Miami to live with my momma.
All semester my family has asked, “What are you doing after graduation?” and for a while I had an answer, but that was a lie; I’m tired of lying. I must have lost the drive the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication instilled to get out there and start my career after graduation.
After commencement, I’ll still be here in Tallahassee. I signed a twelve-month apartment lease. While I’m here I figure I might as well use my degree and work in journalism. But with the current state of the economy, Tallahassee definitely isn’t the place to try to get my feet wet in the industry.
The Tallahassee Democrat just removed some of its staff members like back issues of the newspaper. Then I thought I would go back to the local television station where I interned. Unfortunately, the station is on a hiring freeze.
The economy is in a horrible state. There are more government bailouts than convicts making bail. And if the auto industry fails, the country quite possibly could fall into an economic depression.
I know FAMU has prepared me for the step from college to the career world, but it didn’t prepare for that period in between. Plenty of my friends have graduated in the past year and have gotten jobs and made great leaps into perusing their dreams in acting and film industry-and I am jealous.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for my friends with their jobs at ESPN and work in Korea after graduating. But it just kills me to know that I am stuck in a place of not knowing what is truly next. Come January I won’t be returning to The Hill as a student, I’ll be one of those faces everyone sees and says, “Didn’t Try to encourage me that an opportunity will come for me to do what I truly want to do in my career, but that opportunity needs to come Dec. 12, so I’ll know that on the other side of the stage that something is will keep me going.
I don’t want to be one of those people my professors talk negatively about.
I want to be the one who made it and a great representation of the kind of journalists the school produces.
I made a proclamation to you once this semester to not let you get the best of me. Guess I spoke to soon. But I know my future is bright and greatness is set for me in my career. I’m ready for graduation, but I know the real world is ready to jump me like at fat kid on the playground.
Terrence Ward is a graduating broadcast journalism senior from Miami. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org