I’m 23 and graduated Missouri State University in 2010. I was originally accepted into a top tier school, however my family is not well off and my mother had terminal cancer that took up all of our extra funds. I refuse to go into debt so instead I went to state school on a full academic scholarship. I always believed that once I had my degree I’d be able to land my first job, even if it wasn’t a very good one. I worked hard to maintain good academic status, taking care of my sick mother on weekends. I never worked so I could have time to take care of her. Even when my mother died my senior year and my father nearly killed himself because of it I managed to squeak by with only one D. I thought I was doing everything right. No one ever told me that having my degree wouldn’t be enough.
But then when I graduated with a BS in anthropology I learned that there were no jobs for me. Every job I could find in my field required at least five years experience, and even those are few and far between. There are unpaid internships, but I can’t afford that. I want to get my graduate degree, even switch to a less fulfilling but more employable degree, but I can’t afford the tuition and after my mother’s life insurance was cashed in I’m no longer considered poor enough for financial aid. But of course I can’t ask my father for that money. I’m currently living with him and have no savings.
I applied for waitressing positions in my home town, but no one’s hiring someone with no experience and socially awkward to boot. I applied to every job I could find, only to receive a handful of interviews and no job offers. The only work I’ve managed to find is to go to the school district where my mother worked and use her connections to get a job substitute teaching. It’s painful to see my mother’s friends every day and to have them constantly bring her up, but I have no other options. I don’t want to be a teacher. It makes me miserable. I go to work, thankful that I have something and haven’t ended up homeless, and then I sit in my car and cry before I drive home so my father won’t see.