The report titled "Fresh out of College, But can't Land Work" really frustrated me. I feel for the young lady in the report. As she states it, "I played by the rules" She stayed in school. Got good grades, chose a good field, all the stuff that is supposed to mean you will be a success. There were two failures from my perspective.
One, extended adolescence. I have written about this before, but it still seems supremely relevant. This girl was 23 and from the tone of the report I got the impression that she was striking out on her first job hunt. WHAT???? When I was in college, I held down several different jobs. Now, maybe she did too but they were University or Work Study programs that end when you are no longer a student. But still WHAT??? Why would our system fail this young lady by not providing real world actual paying job experience as part of her education. Again, I got the impression that she had gotten all the way to 23 and through college without society or her parents actually expecting her to take responsibility for herself. The message seems to be:
- Finish College
- Enjoy life
- Find yourself
- explore the world
- BEFORE you start to be an adult
Wouldn't it be so much more effective if as students were progressing along their skill continuum they
The very last quote from the report was what really got me:
This isn't at all what she imagined 23 would be like. She was supposed to be working toward the next big thing: dazzling her family and friends with her accomplishments, on her way to becoming a successful adult. (emphasis added)
WHAT??? On her way to... legally she has been an adult for 5 years and emotionally, cognitively and physically for something probably more like 8 to possibly 10 years. Granted at 13 she was not experienced enough nor does research support the idea that 13 years olds are completely matured cognitively or emotionally, but they are well on their way and could certainly start to really work and not wait until 23 to start becoming an adult.
Dr. Tim Tyson's UCET 2009 Keynote address (7 March 2009 held in Taylorsville, Utah)