posted 2011-04-06 13:00:16

Catch 22: The Puzzling Career Dilemmas of 22-Year-Old Students

Catch 22: The Puzzling Career Dilemmas of 22-Year-Old Students

Jasmin Copland

Contributing Writer

The career dilemma for young college students in their early 20’s can be quite perplexing. They are living in a society where the economy forces them to make very frustrating decisions in regards to their careers. Many young adults who enter college have high aspirations of following their professional dreams, but in more recent times, they are forced to choose majors or pursue careers that they are not passionate about with the hope of financially supporting themselves.

For instance, at the start of my freshman year, I fell into the common trap of choosing a certain profession for purely economic reasons. During the first two years of school, I chose a career path in the medical field for all the wrong reasons — because I thought it was a lucrative profession that would ensure job security in this crazy recession. Eventually, I had a miraculous epiphany and I chose a major that I truly loved, English. However, in analyzing my own situation, I realized the big catch-22 that myself and many other Hunter students may be experiencing: we are all 22 (or around that age) and we may have found a major or profession that truly makes us happy, but it does not necessarily provide the financial security that we are looking for.

In our culture, young adults are constantly bombarded with social messages that strongly suggest that we need prestigious jobs to support a materialistic lifestyle that capitalistic America says we “should” have. Thus, we are now facing a horrible choice in our twenties, pursing “recession-proof” career paths that do not fulfill our passions, or go against the capitalistic ideology of our society, and actually pursue enjoyable professions regardless of salary.

Furthermore, graduation is a mere two months away for many CUNY students and I am sure in after submitting countless of resumes to numerous companies, soon-to-be graduates are probably not getting the employment opportunities that they want and deserve. Honestly, this experience of being a young adult is quite scary, but I hope that I can find reassurance with the rest of the twenty-something year-old students at Hunter College, in realizing that we are not alone in this frustrating predicament.