The class of 2012 is on the verge of closing the book on one chapter of their adult lives. Many of these graduates will be doomed to sitting in a mass hall teeming with thousands of people for hours and forced to listen to non-sensical speeches by the valedictorian or the guest speakers that the school hires.
They will also be granted a piece of paper, popularly known as a diploma, stating, "Thank you for wasting close to $200,000 of your parents' money on a piece of paper."
Dear Class of 2012,
Throughout your time in your collegiate career you have most likely studied, partied and "had the best four years of your life," as you are most likely saying on your graduation day. The only concerns many of you had during the past four years was ensuring that you pass all your classes, contemplating how you are going to balance work and play, what you are doing on Friday evening, or if you contracted an STD from your latest sexual excursion.
In the real world, these past four years have been terrible, to say the least. In 2008, the greatest recession since the Great Depression occurred. Your generation is going to be the one cleaning up the mistakes of those who came before you, and you are most likely unsure of what is going to happen next. You will hear a cheesy speech from the guest speaker, but keep in mind that he is paid to be motivational. Despite the conviction in his voice, the future is likely grim. Here is what they won't tell you at graduation. The intention of this article isn't to dampen your mood, but rather to unveil the hidden truth in regards to what's to come.
10. The real world is like nothing you ever expected
Throughout your time in college, you have most likely been trapped in a one-dimensional type of thinking. If you attended university, preparation for the real world was likely never a part of your curriculum. School will delude you into thinking that things will be easy because you are college educated. That is completely false. Life only gets harder from here, and there will be times where you will be unable to bear the pressure. You are most likely unprepared for what is to come due to a complete lack of preparation and experience. Brace yourself for a rude awakening.
9. A bachelor's degree means nothing
A recent statistic from the Associated Press stated that the unemployment rate among bachelor degree graduates was at 53 percent in 2011. That's almost the highest it has ever been. That means at your graduation, half of the students will be unemployed. Not only is the job market extremely competitive regarding credentials, but jobs are also scarce due to the ongoing recession. This statistic just goes to show how useless a bachelor's degree can be, depending on how you utilize your time. Of course, the average college GPA is only around a 3.0, and if you're in that boat, you likely did not put forth much effort to differentiate yourself from your peers. Getting a job won't be as easy as you thought.
8. Technology has most likely killed your profession
The world is moving at a faster pace than ever before. Technology has been the leading factor behind this accelerated lifestyle. Although technological advancements lead to conveniences, they also make your role less necessary. "Middle man" jobs like car salesman and real estate agent will slowly be replaced by cheaper-to-use Web-based alternatives like Zillow.com or Automation.com. If that wasn't bad enough, Wall Street has been taken over by computers as well with increasing talk about high frequency trading. A lot of industries that required human labor have taken their operations online to save operating costs and increase their margins. Cold world.
7. Not everything is going to work out for you
During my years in college, I have seen many of my colleagues struggle to come to terms with failure. They face notable difficulty because they have been enveloped in the college bubble for the past four years and expect to be appeased and catered to. And when this didn't occur they became overwhelmed by depression. You have been taught to expect instant gratification, which doesn't necessarily exist in the real world.
6. College girlfriend or boyfriend will become a pain
The love you experienced during your college years dismantle shortly after graduation. Your wants, needs and priorities -- and those of your beau as well -- will change drastically. Your primary concern will shift from what your next drink will be to how you are going to have to frantically scamper to pay rent on time. But this should not be unexpected, as your priorities will differ as you finally obtain the freedom you think you've been dying for. Your keg stand relationship will never survive the stress of post-grad life and you will certainly drift apart over time.
5. "College was the best four years of my life" syndrome
If you're finishing of college thinking, "These have been the best four years of my life," you are destined for failure. There is no reason why college should be the best four years of your life. There is absolutely nothing spectacular about drinking warm, cheap beer and becoming dependent on Adderall before finals. College is the first step to reaching the best years of your life. When you make this statement you suggest that life has peaked during college. You are basically implying that your z-score chart is on a premature downward trend.
4. "C students" run the world
If you have placed all of your effort into being a bookworm I have some unfortunate news for you. It is about time someone explains to you that "C students" run the world. While you were studying, these students were balancing their course load and strategizing how to take over the world. Book smarts alone cannot help you. Rather, it is the adoption of the entrepreneurial mindset that gives you the advantage and upper hand.
I'm unsure if your well-educated professor warned you, but your network is equal to your net worth. We live in a world where it's not what you know, but whom you know. Ensure that you network with individuals in various industries and find the synergy between them. Befriend the nerds and definitely befriend someone who is adept at coding. You will never know when you will need to reach for your Rolodex and call someone. Networking will be essential.
2. Actions will have reactions
In college, you do what you please with no severe consequences, perhaps barring your girlfriend catching you cheating with a freshman. But even that rather precarious situation can be withstood with a falsified apology. In the work force, all poor decisions will have dire consequences, so be prepared for the ramifications of your actions. The term YOLO will rapidly leave your vocabulary as you are now building your reputation and making your mark in the world.
1. Hard work and dedication
Your ability to succeed in this world will be directly correlated with hard work and dedication. Talent can only take you so far, and your tendency to procrastinate will be your downfall. There are no handouts, no short cuts, no nerds you can pay off and no Adderall that will get you through the crash course of life. What you receive will reflect the effort you put forth.
Do not be afraid to fail and don't ever let anyone discourage you. Question everything and never settle for mediocrity. When you are done with college, don't simply become a college graduate; become a problem solver.
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