Undergraduate degrees: society’s crazy ex

Op-eds Opinions

It’s 1:04 in the morning. I start work at my dead end job at 8:30 a.m. I have been lying in bed, sweating in my dad’s Kokanee t-shirt that he doesn’t know I stole from him during my last visit, since 9:58 p.m. What the hell am I doing? Kicking myself for the valuable time I wasted this summer.

In 2015, undergraduate degrees are standard and volunteer experience is required. They’re like crazy exes . . . everyone’s got them. They’re the partner that you look on back and think, “Why did I waste so much time with them?” It got me nothing but an anxiety problem and a caffeine addiction. But, when someone asks if you’ve ever been in a serious relationship, you pull those discarded memories out of your back pocket and validate your existence as an adult human being: “Why, yes, if you look here under the ‘Relationship Experience’ column of my resume, you will see that I, in fact, had a relationship from April 17, 2014 to June 2, 2015.”

Everyone knows that an under-graduate degree (much like that relationship that “taught you so much about yourself”) is probably not going to get you the career you’ve always dreamed of. Companies and organi-zations don’t care about your degree (although it is still required), but, instead, focus their attention on the section of your resume you either titled “Volunteering” or “Community Involvement.” Under this column, you probably have two or three bullet points outlining the years of giving your time for others, time that you were proud of. However, compared to Lisa Lovestohelp who interviewed before you, your volunteering is dismal.

The constant drive to complete a degree, volunteer everywhere, work, pay rent, keep up with friends, have a relationship, and still have time to call mom, leaves university students feeling as if they’re drowning.

Thus, as I lay here, my summer without writing, volunteering, or interning looms over me . . . mocks me. But . . . wait a minute, I am human, right? I always forget that.

Maybe I needed a summer to watch a disgusting amount of Netflix, to work at a dead end job, to spend time with friends, to go to the gym, to try to make a long distance relationship work. Maybe I needed a break from lectures and strategic planning of my future. Maybe I needed a summer to remember that I am human.

Maybe one is not always the most qualified person for every job, but taking that unproductive summer to oneself may have helped one develop into a well-rounded, passionate person. A person that will work their asses off to be the most qualified for the position, even if they have to learn as they go. A person who used their time in university to discover themselves and truly make the most of their undergraduate degrees.

Unfortunately, “I am not very quali-fied for this position, but I will try until I am!” doesn’t look great on a resume.

But the end of the day, what will ultimately qualify you for the job isn’t each bullet point on your resume. It’s how you command a room, how you communicate your passions. If you stop looking at an undergraduate degree and volunteer experience as the be-all-end-all of getting hired, then the employer may be inclined to overlook it as well.  Much like that relationship with your crazy ex, your resume doesn’t undermine the passionate person you’ve blossomed into.

It’s tough to let worries about your future slide, but if you take the time to feed your passions, and stand strongly for what you believe in, you will find somebody willing to back you.

With that said, I’m going to get some sleep.