The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

College students vs. the real world

Faith Beamon

College is a time for students to transition into growing up through facing changes, such as living without their parents or having to pay bills. It is easy for students to become independent during this time, as their lives have taken a step in a more positive direction. However, there is only a brief period of being comfortable before the excitement — or fear — of the fast-approaching future sinks in. 

The United States economy can be difficult to understand, and for those on the brink of graduation, it may feel intimidating. Students do not have to be experts on inflation rates, know the current unemployment rate by heart or stay up at night worrying about the increasing housing market. Basic knowledge about the economy allows for a deeper understanding of the way past, present and future economic systems work, which will be beneficial when entering the workforce.

“Thinking about the future keeps me up at night,” said Katie Van, a senior psychology major. “My concern for the future is that I won’t be able to get a job that I want because all the jobs require experience, and I don’t have any.” 

According to USA Today, at the beginning of the year, the job market produced over 353,000 jobs that employers added, which shows a huge spike in the job market. During COVID-19, the labor market suffered a severe loss of 14% of the nation’s jobs. Since 2021, the labor market has remained at a steady rate despite most economists’ predictions.

With ties to the job market, the unemployment rate has maintained a low rate of 3.7% for the past 24 months, according to The New York Times. Certain wages have also increased during this time, which could impact current interest rates.

The best way to support economic growth is to have good workers who will sustain and fuel future economic growth. The Georgia Chamber estimates that by 2025, 60% of jobs will require a post-secondary degree. This puts current degree-seeking students in a good position for job seeking in the future.

“I’m afraid of being broke,” said Shea Pagett, a freshman psychology major. “But I am optimistic about change since it can sometimes be fun.”

It is normal to have fears when making big changes in lifestyle. Change is inevitable and unpredictable, which is what leaves room for individuals to decide whether change is considered to be good or bad. 

“I am pretty optimistic about change, especially when I am ready for a new lifestyle,” Van said. “I just am scared it won’t be the change that I want it to be.”

Life after college is all about taking skills learned into the real world. Economic factors can play a part in people’s current income and future spending habits, but as long as students are informed on how to face life after college, tasks will be less challenging. 

The biggest concern students face after college is low wages and a high ratio of student loan debt. The best way to prepare for this financial burden is to begin saving and budgeting as soon as possible. There are many ways to manage your income, but a popular technique is the 50/30/20 budgeting method, which is where 50% of your income goes to your necessities, 30% goes towards your wants and 20% goes into savings, according to Citizens Bank. Learning how to manage your money properly will be the ticket to success.

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