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'Real world' forces graduates home

By Staff
On December 3, 2013

You have worked hard for these four or five or more years, and finally, it's time to trade your cap and gown in for a suit and tie.

College is designed to be a training ground for the "real world," but some students have a hard time making the smooth transition from the classrooms of the university to the masses of the workforce. Even though going back home may not seem like the most self-sufficient option, sometimes it's the smartest one. 

According to Pew Research Center, 45 percent of college graduates ages 18 to 24 were living with their families in 2011. To many, moving back in with their parents may seem like a major setback. They argue that if they have already left the nest, there is no point in returning. People have their own situations and ultimately must do what is best for themselves.

When we were young, we were told after college awaits the big bad real world - a cold place with car notes, mortgages and the ever-dreaded college loan repayments. After graduation, we are assumed to be functional adults, capable of living on our own and managing our own affairs.

Unfortunately, recent economic disarray has now proven this once-traditional thought process to be slightly next to impossible in a market that has more college students than jobs to offer. With the decline of the U.S. economy and the hyper-competitive job market, it's becoming increasingly difficult for students to find jobs directly out of college.

Students may feel like they have done everything right while at Florida A&M - made good grades, obtained an internship and crafted an impressive résumé - but it still may be difficult to land their dream job after leaving school. Students may get discouraged by this fact and even exhaust all their resources trying not to return home to regroup, but graduates should remember to stay the course and choose what is in their best interests.

Some graduates move home or live with their parents because, as human beings, we like familiarity. Sure, most of us would not enjoy living under the same roof as mom and dad again, especially those who have lived on their own for two or three years, but it may be necessary for future success.

The transition from college student to full-time adult is rough as is. Some shudder at the idea of adding the old comforts of home to it. Yet, the important thing to remember is that whether you are moving back home or starting out in a new city by yourself, the idea is to make the most out of what you learned.

Attending FAMU teaches students how to be resilient and prove themselves. Many people are reluctant to fall back on their parents during the transition from leaving school to entering the workforce, but if it's an option, they should definitely take advantage of it.

There is nothing shameful about taking a couple of months to get on your feet, especially if you are fortunate enough to have a support system that allows you to do so. FAMU has prepared students to be more than just scholars. The university has readied graduates to be productive members of society.

However, some students are just not ready to be on their own due to lack of preparation. The assumption is that when you graduate with your bachelor's degree you will ride into a successful career. For some students that is not the case. Many are not really prepared to leave school and will move back in with their parents. Some people are petrified of the thought of life outside of college.

Other future graduates may not have been proactive in planning their lives in and after college, which leads many to go back and live with their parents. For some, going back home is an ideal solution - no rent, no light bill, shelter and surrounded by family. It doesn't get much better than that in their eyes. But for others, it's a mark of failure. In any case, proper planning will heighten the chances of graduates ending up where they want to be after graduation.

The undeniable fact is that graduation will soon be here, and we hope the new FAMU graduates will be prepared for what life has to offer. Undergraduates, who still have time, should prepare for life after graduation. That is the best way to ensure that we will not be forced into a living arrangement due to lack of options, but will be able to choose the path ahead.

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