Last week I overheard a young student complaining about her “crappy campus job” and it took all the reserve I could muster to keep my mouth shut.
Jane Doe should be thankful to be in her position, that of an employed college student, considering the current economy is in shambles.
Many people who have had an established source of income for years are finding themselves in financial troubles or even jobless. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of the Michigan labor force that was unemployed in Dec. 2009 was 14.3 percent. This is considerably higher than the national average of 9.7 percent. I am certain that many unemployed Michiganders would quickly take that “crappy campus job” off of this student’s hands.
As University Students, we have employment opportunities all around us that are unique to our demographic. Tutoring jobs, work-study positions, university clerical work and numerous other “crappy campus jobs” are relatively easy to come by. I can hardly imagine someone in the work force complaining about a job that allows them to read a book on the clock.
Opportunities for student employment do not stop here. Students have a couple university resources, the Ferris State University Student Employment Office and the Office of Career Services, that assist in full-time and part-time job placement for students, during both the school year and during the summer. The Office of Career Services even assist in interview preparation for graduates by hosting workshops for resume building and by holding mock interviews.
This is not to say that all graduates will get a job because, and this relates back to the main point here, once students graduate they are forced out of the safe haven of academia into the shark tank that is the current job market.
There is no better time to be a broke student than the current. Students have always been notoriously poor and it is not out of the norm for them to have empty bank accounts, empty pockets and grumbling tummies. Being a student provides a built-in way to stave off the cost of living, at least until one graduates. I am sure many Michiganders would take out an extremely low-interest government loan with flexible payment options and the opportunity of forbearance if the resource was available to them. This opportunity, though, is unique to students.
I know the idea of a government loan being an opportunity is foreign to most students, I would probably lump myself as one. But the fact remains that we have a way to live off of someone else while we achieve our personal goals. Students have a built-in financial refuge that the rest of the state and the rest of the nation does not have access to.
The next time you hear a friend, a coworker or a student complain about their “crappy campus job” feel free to remind them what life is like on “the other side.” I can confidently say that this realization will “green up” their grass quite quickly when they compare their “side” to the dry desolate bad-lands of the Michigan job market.