Early in May, while I was traveling in the United States, I met F., a young Swiss student who took a year off of college to travel. Alone. I took his picture in Bryce Canyon. Just after this shoot, we bumped into a Google guy who was doing pictures of the Hoodoos.
I envy F. a lot. Because at his age, I wouldn’t have dared to do so. Because at his age, I was already involved in a relationship. And I just followed my boyfriend.
When I think about my College years, I realize I have spent most of my time either studying or with my boyfriend. Apart from that, I didn’t make many friends. This was a big mistake. Because I realize most of my friends or relatives met their friends in College, and acquaintances useful for their future professional life.
Luckily for me, I did make it as a journalist without the help of my friends or family. To be honest, the only help I received came from my former manager, who was sad I didn’t make it in his company after failing the test imposed for new comers. He called me to tell me there was an ad in his newspaper I should look at. And the ad was coming from my newspaper. My newsroom looked for someone with a little knowledge of the markets. He said I should apply, because he was really proud having me in his team in the bank.
And I got picked.
But if I had to do College again, maybe I would have enjoyed more the student life instead of settling down.
However, at the time, many of my classmates were involved into a relationship too. Only the smartest ones didn’t have a permanent boyfriend and knew they wouldn’t get married until their late 20s. But now, it seems time has changed. With the uncertainty rising for young graduates, many prefer taking all their chances on their side and put their love life on the side.
A little bit like F.. He told me he was traveling to Nevada, up to Vancouver, hoping to learn to speak a perfect english. And also, meeting a lot of people. He stayed in Las Vegas, in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, in hostels all of the time, to meet new people. Not bad, for a student who picked sociology as his orientation.
Sociology is a difficult branch to get a job when you graduate. Today, civil engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, dentists, doctors, chemists, biologists, are the orientation which will give you the most chance to find a job. For those who picked law, journalism, literature, … the job market is really tight unless you benefit from the network of your parents or your friends. The only way to improve your options is to differentiate from the other students. So, there’s not really a place for love here.
F. told me America was a real experience for him. He admitted he didn’t like that much the American thinking. He added he would be glad to come back to Switzerland. So, I asked him if he had ever visited the national parks in the US, and he added it was the first time he was going to see Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon. I added many of my friends loved these and it was the best way to appreciate the beauty of this country.
At the end of our trip, he seemed comforted. I wished him a good road ahead. And went back to my hotel.
Do you think love and College are separate business?