My Great Recession: My Post-Grad, Mid-Recession Struggles

By Guest Columnist May 18, 2009

Ed Note: We put out a call for stories from young people of color about how people are surviving this recession. “My Great Recession” continues with this submission by Angel Garcia. Want to contribute? It will also go on the "Race & Recession" report page Send your 300-word first person accounts, visual art, or video blogs to submissions [at] colorlines [dot] com. By Nina Jacinto 2009 hasn’t been a great year. I graduated from college exactly a year ago today, am living at home with my parents and am still looking for full time employment. When I graduated, I interned for a publishing company and then fulfilled a personal desire to travel to Calcutta, the city where my mom grew up. When I came back, it was October, and the jobs everyone promised me would be waiting when I returned were no longer around. In January my best friend from college died. It’s painful to find the will to do day-to-day things, including finding a job. It has taken months for me to turn some of my energy spent in grieving towards finding full-time work, and this effort has come with very few rewards. I have applied for a range of jobs, for nonprofits, for publishing houses, for freelance writing positions. I’ve rewritten cover letters and resumes so many times, to show off my "marketable skills" for assistant positions, receptionist work, office filing. I fit the job description and requirements, have even made it to final rounds of selection. I typically receive a response along the lines of "we’ve decided to hire someone who has more years of experience." I’m back to applying for internships now – anything to fill up my time and make me feel like I’m working towards my goals. I fantasize about being a well-known full-time freelance writer, getting paid to dissect the media and rant about current events. I have a three page list of goals that remind me how much I want it all: to do work that I love, a steady salary, health insurance, the opportunity to save money. I’m not sure if the recession allows me to have everything I want, so I’ve opted for a new set up: the Clark Kent-Superman employment model. A Clark Kent job would help me pay the bills and provide relevant experience but would also allow me to pursue my Super(wo)man work, the work of writing and blogging and saying things that impact others. Maybe I’ll get lucky and my Superwoman work will be my Clark Kent job. Until then I’ll keep taking things a day at a time, relying on the support of family and friends to help me and encourage me when I’m feeling hopeless and panicked about my future. Too bad the one person I always relied on for this sort of support isn’t around anymore. Still, I think of her pushing me to have it all and to do the work that matters the most to me, and it helps, in its own way. Nina Jacinto is a freelance blogger living in the Bay Area.