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  • I'm entering finals week in this, my second to last semester. I have spent the last five years working towards a degree to satisfy my urge to have a college degree and in the hope of helping to provide a better life for my wife and two boys. I still have one semester left, but I'm nervous as hell. I have been told that this is normal for college seniors, including my hilarious and insightful guidance counselor whom informed me that "all of us seniors are crazy", which is very true.

    However, I do worry about the job market. I worry about the payments on the loans I had to take out to do this. I worry about providing enough so me and my family can have the life we really want. Seeing as we are both based in the liberal arts area of learning, we are often told that it doesn't mean much from a society that worships those with MBAs and ties success with how much money you make and the wealth you amass. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this and I know that there are many others in my same situation. However, this is the story as I experience it within my own skin and anxieties. I'm in my late thirties and wondering how I can compete in the job market.

    I am actually planning to go on to masters for mental health counseling. As much as I love academia and would love to befuddle college students talking about abstract forms of literature, I feel a real need to serve people who need help and have trouble with advocacy. I know that the people who I would help (or not be able to help) with be experiencing real pain in their lives that I will not be able to forget, even if I wanted to. I know because I've been in some of those desperate, dire places myself, as many of us have at some point.

    I have loved my college education. I have had help from some awesome professors in the English and Social Sciences department and many I relate with on a personal level. I look forward to being a colleague with these people in some way, shape or form in the future. Because I have enjoyed my college education (which didn't so much change my points of views but sharpened them), I can tell my boys when they were older that, while there were some times were hard, I can only think of maybe three classes in my college career that were miserable and I enjoyed being part of the academic system. I hope that it inspires my boys to expand their education, although I do hope they are younger when they do it as opposed to me.
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