Dream Deferred

August 15, 1994|By ALICIA GODOCHIK

Bel Air. -- At my high school graduation, my class president made the most unforgettable speech to the class of '89. She spoke of the percentage of graduates that were going to college, entering the work force and enlisting in the armed forces.

The lowest percentage of students went to college. I wondered why my peers would not want the education to put them ahead of the crowd, maybe get them a step in the door. Today, after graduating from Towson State University with a four-year college degree, I realize that I may have taken the wrong route.

The time and effort that I spent in college did get me an education, but it didn't get me the experience. The fantasy of all college seniors is to get out of school, find a decent job with earnings either equal to or more than their parents. Well, Dream On, reality will soon sink in.

Did you know that for every job that you and I apply for there are more than 200 applicants? I have been looking for a job in my field, advertising copy-writing, since January and have had no luck. On many of the interviews that I went to, there seemed to be people who get these good jobs because they know someone at the company. (Many jobs in the want ads are advertised because they need to be, but in reality, they are filled from the inside).

What I want to know is, is there anyone who gives a hoot about this piece of paper I received in January? What has our society come to when you can't get a foot in the door unless your Aunt Betty knows Mrs. Smith who knows the secretary at the company at which you applied? I guess that's why I'm a waitress making $2.10 an hour.

For all the older working class who want to retire this is an earnest request: Retire! For all the older working class who want to retire this is an earnest request: Retire! Did you know that we are the only generation that will be poorer that the previous one? While older age brackets are getting richer, ours is getting poorer.

Did you know that we are the only generation who will be poorer than the previous one? While older age brackets are getting richer, ours is getting poorer. When we get married (if money permits) I and my spouse will both work; not because we want to, necessarily, but because we'll have to to make ends meet. Can you imagine if we want children? Statistics show that since 1973, the median real income has fallen by 30 percent for families with children headed by persons under 30. Counting only couples that stay married, the dip has still been nearly 10 percent.

I want to know what went wrong. Could it be that we are a generation of kids with crumbly families, which don't allow us much time to learn skills that are useful? Are we being taught at inferior schools that tarnish our reputation for competence? Are we surrounded with media that teach distrust of any institutional avenue to career success. And then, once we are ready to enter the work force, is there a push of every conceivable policy -- tax codes, entitlements, public debt, unfunded liabilities, labor laws, hiring practices -- to tilt the economic playing field away from the young and toward the old?

I'm a single, educated (B.S.), female pounding the pavement for the past seven months looking for a copy-writing job in advertising. The want ads, if there are even any agencies hiring, want someone with a minimum of five to ten years experience. I know that I have to start at the bottom. But I thought a college education meant more than door-to-door sales or cold-calling. All I and other graduates want is a career with a base pay, not strictly commission. And we will prove that we are good enough for any company.

Alicia Godochik is continuing her studies at Towson State.

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