The Promise of Abandonment

Her feet had grown tiresome, only taking her the places that she had known since she was a child. Her decision to move back home after graduating college was a painful one for such a free spirit to swallow graciously.

Although, she had to admit that she had no other strong options upon receiving her diploma. She had participated in the mass interviews that her department had promised would lead to a career in the Hospitality industry, with room for growth and advancement. Despite her good grades and perfected interview skills, the week of interviews fruited nothing and she faced graduating with Honors and an award for being the Outstanding Senior of the Hotel and Restuarant Management Department, but no future career full of opportunity. She had racked her brain when she got the news that all the major hotel chains had rejected her as a candidate for their management in training programs, as to what she had said in the interview to miss her chance of a future. The fact being, that she had probably given all those interviewers a case of strep throat, as she had blindly fought through her illness under the belief that it was not contagious, thanks to the misdiagnosis from the student health center. Obviously, she had not performed well during that week of interviews from Hell, and was facing the same prospect as the English and History majors, that she would shortly be unemployed or working an hourly job completed unrelated to her field of study.

With a bitter toast to graduating, she turned her thoughts to what she would have to do to create a future. Her professors and the institution that had molded her over the past four years had promised that if she completed her studies, she would have a plethora of jobs laid before her to pick from. Simply get the degree and the rest will fall into place, is what they had implied from the beginning. She had blindly put her faith in the higher education system and banked on the lie that if you got that prolific piece of paper stating that you are a well-educated individual with an ability to complete a series of requirements, that you would be who every business wanted to work with. The truth of the situation actually being, that if you get that $50,000 piece of paper you will just be in the pile of considered applicants, not at the top of it. While she had been working so hard to get the education that was expected of her, she missed the memo that businesses actually want you out of the classroom and gaining work experience. Apparently, employers are looking for people who were not only pursuing an education but also working a full-time job and have no personal life whatsoever. She had actually been working for the entire course of her studies, however with the focus of paying for tuition, not gaining valuable work experience. She had followed all the steps – enroll in a good school, get good grades, network with your professors, be involved in department clubs, do an internship, study abroad, and graduate with honors, and she still wasn’t able to secure the future that she had spent so much time and money investing in. It was a sham, a pyramid scheme, and she had fully invested herself in it.
Now, indebted to the government and only having university relevant work experience, she returned back home to her mother’s house to begin begging family friends in the area to give her any job loosely related to her field of study – the American Dream, get educated, have a good work ethic, and make sure you know rich people to help you get started. She had toyed with the idea of just picking a place that sounded appealing, moving there, and then finding a job that would keep her afloat, however reality kicked in and she realized that without knowing people, the uphill battle against others for the rare career-path-job could not be done alone, she needed others to help give her inexperienced hands a hold in the working world. She needed to return to her roots in order to get the support she needed. The institution that had molded her and promised her a future was now as abruptly gone as the alcohol at graduation parties, leaving her there in the aftermath to figure out how to begin.

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