While sitting in the doctor’s office, waiting for over an hour for the receptionist to even take my insurance card, I had a chance to reassess my life choices. Thus…this article.
I will change the world!
Hi, I’m Victoria Obioma. UT Austin class of 2010 (2011…if you want to get technical). I’m 22, have done shiz tons of internships, held a 3.5 GPA at a top tier university, graduated in three years. All that, and the job that currently employs me only requires that one has a GED. Yep. 75k in student loans at an average 6% interest rate for a job answering phones.
I promise I’m not bitter… >__>
Now before I begin my rant, let me just say: I appreciate my job. Times is tough. So in that respect, I’m blessed. But like MLK, I had a dream. I knew trying to break into the media industry would be hard. It would take dedication and hard work. What I didn’t realize was that even after doing everything by the books, my first job wouldn’t even require the degree that I just spent a nice little chunk of my young adult life working to attain. But no, I’m not bitter.
Every morning I have to will myself that going to work is needed. Not because I don’t have a good work ethic, but the work that I’m doing is mentally draining — I work for a managed medicaid insurance company.
All day I hear people complain about what they can and can’t get under Medicaid, and I get irritated. Not because I’m a snob, but because these are people that are complaining about the free services that are provided to them by the government. If I had a $1 for every person that called me because they have to get an authorization for their OxyContin, I could pay down my student loans…so serious. And don’t get me started on the Suboxone…
I get so tired of trying to explain things on a 3rd grade level that my patience gets thin. I start to question my life choices, wondering, “Why me lawd, why?”.
My ten year plan that I had set for myself in middle school (OCD, much?) consisted of me graduating from high school at the top of my class, graduating from college with at least a 3.5 GPA, and getting a job in my field of choice, Television. My goal was to intern, become an assistant, then work my way to BET where I would help them develop shows that would make BET respectable instead of the butt of jokes about the African American experience. I even got accepted into the UT LA program in spring 2011. I traveled to Los Angeles and worked for Sid Ganis (former president of The Academy) & at BET in original programming. I did development and/or casting work for American Idol, CBS sports, Sunday’s Best and Essence.
Everything was going along right on track until May 2011 when I actually had to find employment.
Because I come from a somewhat single parent home, I couldn’t afford to stay in LA and work for free for an extended period of time. So when my semester abroad in LA came to a close, so did that chapter of my dream.
I started looking for industry jobs full time that March. I got several interviews, which in itself is a task, but never made it past the prelims. I think the moment I realized LA wasn’t going to happen was when I flew from Texas to LA for an interview and was basically on pins and needles trying to make it (I literally had to make an $11 meal last the whole day). I picked up an extra interview while there and had to stay another day. How I made it, I don’t know. Sucky part is that I still didn’t get either job.
Head hung low, I returned to Texas, and went on an all out resume blitz. I applied for anything that seemed legal, realizing that LA wasn’t going to happen. I continued to apply for jobs in LA, but realistically, I knew I couldn’t fly back out for an interview, so eventually I narrowed my job hunt down to *sigh* Houston, TX.
Finally- as I am beginning to discover as I talk with former RTF majors, I ended up in healthcare. I think in total, I spent a good five months looking for a job, which comparatively isn’t so bad. So thanks UT?
I say all of this to say, I’ll probably be going back to school soon. Get a degree in something with a bit more traction. As I get up each morning, I realize more and more that exams, finals, reports, 30-page papers and heartless professors are SO much better than a 9-5.
My advice to the recent grads or almost recent grads…don’t give up. Go for your dream. And if/when you fall short, yell, scream, shout, rant, let it out. But don’t lose that drive to be great. It’s easy to do when your life seems at a stand still. Always remember: you did something a majority of people only wish they could do…you GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE. What I’ve been doing is taking on side projects with friends, allowing me to at least use my skills, even if its for free. Keeps me sane.
Somehow I ended up doing photo shoots. These are actually fun!
When you start to feel down about your life, do what I do: surround yourself with pictures from your college years. They weren’t lying when they said these were the best years.
The pictures inspire you to keep pushing, keep fighting for that dream. Or at the least get your mind off the fact that you may or may not have wasted momma & daddy’s moolah on a pipe dream. It will feel worth it.