Seniors, I love you, but I beg of you not to read this. It will only raise your blood pressure and truthfully, I don’t think many of you can afford to be having health issues right now. It’s not worth it, so please: put this down, go make some tea, maybe do a little yoga. Everything is going to be okay.
The topic on my mind this week is one about which I, as a sophomore, have the leisure to discuss with little or no stress or consequence, but that I have seen drive nearly all of my older friends to the brink of insanity in the past few months.
Yes, friends, I speak of the Great Beyond: that vast emptiness that begins just after graduation and stretches, presumably, until the inevitability of death claims us all. It seems to most that college stretches on forever, but as we collectively remember each spring, it doesn’t and there is a very scary, very real world out there waiting to swallow us up the minute we step away from Fordham Road.
(Seniors, if you didn’t stop reading when I told you to, then you have no one to blame but yourself. You were adequately warned.)
I speak now, as I usually do, to the liberal arts students. We are, unfortunately, working our way toward employment in this country at a time when we are vastly undervalued.
The sad truth is that the world now believes that only business, medicine and engineering students will be able to afford anything more luxurious than a box after graduation. We are satirized and sneered at, condemned for our desire simply to make a modest living doing something that we genuinely want to do. “Oh, so I guess you want to be poor, then?” we are asked, and this opinion is expressed so often and so freely that many liberal arts students begin to believe it. They resign themselves to a future that they don’t want before they even give themselves the opportunity to try for something better.
You know what? I’m kind of sick of it. It is so frustrating to watch the people you love give up on the things they love because the world tells them they can’t accomplish it. Is it true that opportunities these days are hard to come by? Absolutely. Will you have to work a little harder to get them? Sure. But, that’s why you came here! You don’t move to New York City because you want to take it easy. You don’t move to New York City so that you can get some sleep. You moved here to put your nose to the grindstone and work, and if you didn’t think that there were going to be people lining up to try to knock you down then you were surely mistaken.
I guess what I’m saying is this: don’t let the haters get you down, Fordham. If you want to be a businessman or a doctor or an engineer, then more power to you; you have a bright future ahead of you. But, if you want to be a writer or an artist or a performer or whatever it is you’ve chosen, don’t let the world tell you otherwise. Do what you love to do and don’t take no for an answer.