I Can’t Afford to Have Senioritis

Rebecca Pumpkin Picking

What a beautiful time to have senioritis. If only.

Remember back in high school when people would talk about senioritis when they were still juniors? That was me. Right now, as I’m in class learning about the outbreak of World War I (so fascinating and tragic), I just heard a girl (presumably a senior) say that she had a bad case of senioritis. Realizing I hadn’t thought about senioritis since I was 16, I wondered why that was. Well, when I was a senior in high school, I had the comfort of knowing that a spot in the University of Michigan Class of 2014 awaited me. Now, only a heavy uncertainty awaits. That’s a nice way of putting it. The other way to put it is this: I’m freaking the fuck out. I don’t have a job and five-figure salary lined up after graduation. I won’t find out until the spring whether or not I’ve been accepted into the Fulbright or Princeton in Asia programs. I’m writing my third novel with no guarantee that it will ever get published.

Although it sometimes feels like I’m working for nothing, pouring my efforts down the drain, of course it’s not true. With every reading I finish, every homework assignment I complete, every exam I take, I am closer and closer to my college diploma. I used to think that a college diploma was matter-of-fact as a high school diploma but I know now that a college degree is no small deal. Growing up in Ann Arbor, a sheltered town, I took it for granted that everyone would go to college. The truth was that in 2010, my senior year, only 68.1% of students were admitted to college. Of those people who went on to attend college, many would not graduate. Of those that did graduate, few would do it in the traditional four years. The road to college graduation is different for everyone — some have children, some take time off for mental health issues, some have to work to finance their studies. The fact that I’m one and a half semesters away for graduation is not something I take for granted.

As a LSA student, I am well aware that my job market is smaller and more competitive than, say, the computer science market. A few weeks ago, I got excited about the Fall Career Expo and even ordered a special U of M name tag. I never even went to pick it up, but I did show up at the Michigan Union in business casual. After flipping through the descriptions of companies (marketing, insurance, oil companies…and Little Caesars), I gave up and left. They should have renamed the damn thing Ross Business School Career Expo. At this point, until I get into law school, my options are to apply for scholarships. Thank god for programs like the Fulbright and Princeton in Asia.

Speaking of those scholarships, I am happy to announce I’ve submitted both. Both application processes were quite a fiasco. For the Fulbright, I had to teach myself Arabic and pass a placement exam. For Princeton, I had to write four essays, shoot a video, and take four passport photos. But now all my materials are out in the cyber world and the US Postal Service. I know I might not get either scholarship, but I’m hoping that as long as I put a penny in the piggy bank every day, I’ll end up okay.

Anyway, here’s something for your viewing pleasure: bloopers from my awe-inspiring Princeton in Asia video that will guarantee me the scholarship. Not. In retrospect, maybe I should’ve sent in this one.

[youtube http://youtu.be/2gDpY18pIx8]

Ciao,

R

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