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Graduating back into my parents’ basement

Quinn ScahillWith graduation looming in the near future, I feel as if I should be excited for all the opportunities that wait for me.

But that’s just not the case.


I’m actually dreading graduation. Just thinking of it makes me nauseous — even angry.

My future after May 18 is unknown. I try to imagine it, but my vision fills with static. Even being buried under piles of coursework right now isn’t distracting me from what’s to come, or in my case — what’s not to come.

Everyone tells me, “Don’t worry, you’re young. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you to figure it out.”

Everyone is right, I am young and I do have my whole life ahead of me, but I’m still worried. And it’s exactly because I’m young, and I have my whole life ahead of me!

Freshman, sophomores and juniors can continually look towards graduation after senior year, but being a senior — it’s here, and it’s absolutely daunting trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my adult life.

Even though I’ll be a college graduate, I’ll still be relatively unemployable because I’m young, inexperienced and indecisive about what I want to do.

Plus, I’m graduating with a degree in creative writing. Even I am not naïve enough to believe that it’s going to get me a great job right out of college.

For instance, a McDonald’s in New Hampshire posted a listing for a job and it required a bachelor’s degree. It actually turns out that this was an error — no bachelor’s degree was required. Apparently a support team member at incorrectly put up the listing when the educational level was defaulted to a bachelor’s degree.

Although it was a mistake, I think it says a great deal about the job market: a bachelor’s degree is quickly becoming the default, making all of us graduates not quite so special anymore.


There is also the sad fact that as I’ve gotten older, people have continually paid me less and less to work for them. Throughout college, my average hourly pay has never risen above minimum wage, and I don’t see why this would change anytime soon.

The highest paid position I’ve ever had was being the host of my high school graduation party, earning roughly $400 per hour (don’t tell me you didn’t sweat for dough at your grad party). It’s embarrassing to think that at eighteen I had greater financial clout than I do now, and perhaps more than I ever will have again.

But, as a true liberal arts major might say, life isn’t all about money.

And perhaps I’m looking at graduation wrong and just being a total downer, which brings to mind a quote, “Every ending is disguised as a new beginning.”

That sounds nice and dandy, but whoever said that is totally full of crap.

Strutting around campus as a senior I feel some sense of import, but when I walk off the stage at Moby on May 18, I feel as if I’ll be right back to square one.

So yeah, I’m pretty excited to graduate…

Quinn Scahill is a senior English major. His columns appear Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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