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Jumping Hoops And The End Of One-Track Success

Jumping Hoops And The End Of One-Track Success
Students can only jump through pre-determined hoops without reward for so long. If you pick the hoops you jump through, though, your learning will undoubtedly be a rich and rewarding experience. Photo by Woodlouse.

When you jump through a hoop, you expect a reward. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. And yet, after eight years of post-elementary school hoop-jumping, many new graduates are looking in the mirror and asking “for what”? Fact is, when the frenzied crescendo of beaker-dripping and rhetoric spinning comes to an end, many graduates are faced with the depressing prospect of abandoning all that they’ve learned and forcing there way into a modern economy that doesn’t necessarily need or recognize the particular breed of intelligence that they’ve cultivated.

Let’s do the forensics. At the end of high school, any young upstart who announced that they would be attending a college or technical school rather than university would have been met with raised eyebrows and mockery. University, we were told, was the path to success. Yet now, after graduation, university goers are looking at their collegiate counterparts and wondering why these people who they had supposedly overtaken now have higher salaries and steadier jobs. Despite the attempts of the academically inclined to forge ahead, many people holding bachelor’s degrees in the wrong fields are forced to start over.

Face it: there’s no pot-of-gold at the end of the university rainbow. Going to university doesn’t guarantee you a great job. In fact, it doesn’t guarantee you anything. People have been saying that for a fair number of years now. Except for maybe some old people; you shouldn’t be listening to them anyways.

Ironically, it’s not as though these new graduates aren’t needed. Skilled labor shortages in certain industries remain a problem, with no sign of relenting. This mismatch between the needs of employers and the skills of new graduates has been well documented. In all probability, far too many people are going to university at all.

Problem: identified. Solution: forthcoming.

Society is faced with a surplus of intelligent people, people for whom taking a job that is below their potential can be embarrassing and socially debilitating. Young grads take note: ditching this attitude is the first step to overcoming graduation blues. Getting work- any work- is important, not only to generate some sort of an income, but also for your mental health. It doesn’t have to be “in your field” and it doesn’t have to be what you were born to do. It doesn’t need to be full time.

It’s time to choose a new set of hoops. For many of us, this can be challenging- maybe it’s the first time in your life you’ve done this for yourself. These hoops can be small or big. In the case, it’s not the size of the goal that matters- it’s the interest level. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the way you should be thinking about your post-secondary life. Start a blog, take a class, pick up knitting. It doesn’t really matter what you do. The point is that once you choose a course of hoops that suitable for you, you will undoubtedly enjoy it. Oh yeah, and when you get that annoying question “what do you do?”, you can give an enthusiastic answer.

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