Hawkeye POV: Students should pay attention as elections, graduation gets closer

ULM Hawkeye

Life is simple for some. They go to college. They get a degree. Then when they have the world in their hands, they move back in with mom and dad and work a part-time job selling DVDs.

And it only costs about $30,000 in student debt.

Let’s take a moment to examine these first world problems. Nearly 50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or under-employed, according to an NPR study.

National unemployment is down to 7.8 percent, but no one is sure about the real unemployment rate, which could get bigger if you add in people who just gave up looking for work.

With winter graduation getting closer every day, students are looking for jobs in their field. If the students at ULM fit in with the national average, nearly 38 percent of them will get a job that doesn’t require a college degree.

So what’s the point of getting a four-year degree just to become Randal from Clerks?

Many state leaders, such as State Sen. Mike Walsworth, have been pushing community colleges and trade schools for students to learn practical skills needed in the job market.

Of course, we’ve all seen the young feminist occupier meme on Reddit, “Can’t find a job; graduated with a degree in 12th century English literature.”

Students have options when designing their degrees and choosing their classes. Choose classes that work for you.

If you have a choice between self-defense class or underwater basket weaving, you should take the one that will serve you better in the long run.  Who knows when a possible employer will ask if you can do the latter.

The benefits of a liberal arts education are great. But in this job market, it must balanced with a dose of practicality.

Einstein said the value of a liberal arts education is it trains the mind to think something that can’t be learned from textbooks.

Students literally can’t afford to be apathetic to the conditions we’re all facing.

Speaking of apathy, there’s an election rounding the corner. The time of choosing is here, and some students may be making a bad investment with their votes.

We hear a lot of talk from the candidates about college students and the job market. Two of them say their way is the only way, but neither of those ways makes much sense.

Going into debt is not affording college. And it seems that no matter how much the government tries to help out, there is no relief on the price of school.

They raise the student loan amounts and lower the interest rates, but tuition keeps hiking up the mountain of cost. And the summit is nowhere in sight.

The only way we can expect a good outcome is to make good choices, whether it be in our schedules or the presidential election.

Pay attention to what’s happening around you.

Start looking into the candidates running. Start researching the amendments proposed for our state constitution.

These are not things to be taken lightly. Unless you want to end up like Randal or Dante, you should make good, practical choices.