Overeducated -Underemployed- Student Struggle

As a university student, it is an all too familiar struggle searching for summer jobs, and often being turned away from the most basic minimum wage positions. It seems as though the closer my friends and I get to crossing the stage, the more issues we have trying to seek employment. As I finished the last full year of my undergrad, I felt more than confident about my summer job prospects. Little to my surprise, I soon discovered how misguided this confidence was. As the summer came quickly approaching I began to stress. I started compulsively checking Indeed, and went a little crazy with the online job applications daily. With only a few weeks remaining I began applying to not only impressive business jobs, but also waitress and retail positions. As weeks began to slip by, I was finally offered a waitressing position at a nearby pub, I obviously felt obligated to jump at this opportunity.

Walking to my first shift of the summer feeling rather disappointed, I was thinking to myself, “I only have one semester left until I have my degree, and I cant even land an impressive student job”. As someone who had recently became very studious and seen huge improvements in my grades, this seemed like the opposite of the reward I felt entitled to.

After a few weeks passed at my new job, I began to get talking with my coworkers. I soon learned that they are all in similar positions to myself. Like me, they are recent grads or at least pretty close, working as bartenders or waitresses. I began to feel less entitled/ disappointed and started to submerge into my role as a waitress, and make use of my chatty outgoing personality. That same week I had a family come in 4 days in a row requesting me, and tipping me the most absurd amounts because, “I seem like a sweet person”. I suppose the universe has strange ways of knowing when you need a little boost.

I guess at the end of the day, there are a lot of students just like me, somehow trying to find the corporate ladder so we can start climbing it. In the meantime I take comfort in knowing I’m very far from being the only one in this student struggle. For now I’ll continue to serve the hell out of some beers, and figure it out as I go.


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