One of the Biggest Challenges Facing Recent Graduates

Article by Emily Chiriboga, June 7, 2016

On June 2nd, An estimated 3,000 undergraduates and graduates students were expected to graduate and many were expected to gather at Madison Square Garden for Hunter’s Hunter’s 2016 commencement June 2. Three anticipating their exit from Hunter were interviewed about their expectations in the face of sobering statistics about post graduate job opportunities.

“The unemployment rate is currently 7.2 percent compared with 5.5 percent in 2007, and the underemployment rate is 14.9 percent,”according to an Economic Policy Institute article headlined The Class of 2016.  Even though the unemployment rate may seem low, it doesn’t mean they are working in their fields of choice. In fact only 27 percent of recent graduates work in a field related to their majors, according to an article in the Washington Post.

Alexis Carlson, a film major, 21, was visibly worried when interviewed. “This semester was one of my hardest yet so at this point I’m just trying to graduate. I’m excited but scared,” said Carlson while putting on her grey Nike sweatshirt in the third-floor corridor connecting the west and east buildings.

Carlson also said that she also knew that she will have to move to California in order to pursue her dream. “All the film business is in California. It makes the process even scarier since I have to move somewhere. It’s as much scary as it is exciting,” Carlson said.

Asked about the commencement ceremony, Carlson said that she wasn’t planning on attending. “I don’t know, I’d rather just spend the day with my family rather than sit with thousands of people I don’t know and not have my whole family there. I just can’t wait until I get the diploma,” Carlson said.

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Allison Vazquez, a psychology major, 22, was thinking more in the now. “I’m really excited for the ceremony. I’m excited to finish school,” Vazquez said. “I think it’s really cool that it’s in Madison Square Garden, like how many people can say that their graduation ceremony is at Madison Square Garden,” Vazquez said. Asked about future plans, Vazquez said, wearing a jean jacket and white shirt, in the Hunter library that she’s going to “take it day by day. I’m not too nervous, I’m going to continue my education and get a masters in education so I know I have a few years until I’m officially done with school. For now I’ll continue to work as a bartender and worry about getting areal job when the day comes around.”

Vazquez and Carlson said they weren’t excited about the idea of moving home. They said they had gained a sense of independence and going home would take that away.

“It’s weird from not having anyone to tell what you’re doing and then going home and being like, Hey mom I’m just running out to get milk. I don’t know I’m just use to doing things on my own schedule and time that having to work around others and things like that is weird,” Carlson said.

“I just got my first apartment to avoid going home actually. I don’t want to go back to Long Island. I’m use to the city so going back is a big adjustment, again. I’m just not about it anymore,” Vazquez said.

About 45 percent of recent college graduates live at home, according to an Atlantic article. While many people are looking forward to finishing school for the year others areexcited to see what’s in store for them.

Emily Chiriboga can be reached at