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College Students Take a Look Ahead

The last thing a current college student wants to hear is that overall college hiring is expected to decrease by 22% nationally. The approach of commencement is typically a time of both excitement and apprehension excitement for the new world that is about to open up and apprehension towards becoming a part of the “real world” but the state of the economy and current environmental concerns leave a heavy burden on us that make the cocoon of campus life ever more attractive.

The world that we will inherit upon graduation is one that is screaming for change and I believe the next several classes of college graduates are the people to do it. By force, current college students seem to be more aware of the economic and environmental issues than ever before. The question that is left for us now is how to go about making the changes we need so badly. I believe, as a whole, we are unsure where to start. If we are unable to find jobs, how do we help to improve the economy? How do we take action that will really make a difference in the environment? How can we make positive change in our personal and global energy consumption?

An interview with several of my fellow soon-to-be college graduates revealed some of the concerns we all have on our minds.

What do you plan to do to improve the environment post-graduation?

“Most of the waste that’s causing issues with our environment is a byproduct of the Millennial generation. I can tell you now that’s it not my parents throwing out cellphones and computers that’s causing issues. Those things weren’t around when they were my age. The largest consumers of environmentally hazardous wastes on the consumer level are the result of our own generations.”

—Marcelino Santos, Accounting, Moravian college, 2009

“I don’t plan on getting a car after college, I’ve lived without one for this long so I feel like I just don’t need one. I also plan to be more conscious about where I buy my foods, I want to start getting my food from local markets and farms.”

—Gina Kim, English, Moravian College, 2009

“I want to see hospitals reduce their waste, everything is disposable. Many things have to be disposable, but some things could be recycled instead of thrown away into a landfill.” She believes that “there is still a lot of work to be done, but people are more aware of global warming and many companies are making efforts to make their products safer for the environment.”

—Amy Anderson, Nursing, Moravian College, 2010

“I plan to car pool, use public transportation, recycle, and cut down on energy dependency by emailing instead of printing papers.”

—Lindsey Heimberg, Speech Therapy, University of Rhode Island, 2010

How is the status of the economy going to affect your life?

“Nursing internships for the summer are few and far between when they used to be more available. A few hospitals have cut their programs due to economic reasons, which may mean I spend my summer doing something unrelated to my major and not gain the experience I would have had through an internship. Hospitals aren’t being hit as hard as some other companies, but fewer people are having elective surgeries which cuts into profits and Medicare is paying for less and less, so hospitals are not being reimbursed for services they have performed.”

—Amy Anderson, Nursing, Moravian College, 2010

“I’m afraid to graduate because there may not be as many jobs in my field as I had hoped. So I am considering continuing my schooling to buy myself more time and to appeal to employers more. I feel we are entering into a rougher environment, possibly more so than our parents. The only plans I feel I or anyone can make is to invest wisely and manage our money better.”

—Laura Hullfish, Graphic Design, Moravian College, 2010

“I was lucky enough to find a job before graduation, but I’m still afraid that my job isn’t completely secure. What if the company I work for goes under? People are getting laid off all the time, a lot of my friends that have already graduated have lost their jobs. Just because I have a job lined up, doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. At least I’ll have grad school to fall back on if I need to.”

—Gina Kim, English, Moravian College, 2009

“I see us hitting rock bottom sometime this summer. I feel the stocks will bottom out and unemployment will cap sometime between June and August. From there we’ll see a steady increase in job availability and stock prices and a slow decrease in unemployment and national debt.”

—Marcelino Santos, Accounting, Moravian college, 2009

by Jennifer Menegus

Jennifer is a senior at Moravian College. [class of 2009]

(Originally published in the Alliance’s 2009 directory of Organizations That Promote Sustainable Communities.)

This entry was posted in Education for Sustainability.

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