My name is Heath Gordon, and I graduated in 2008. For those of you who have been completely consumed by the Lawrence bubble, this was the single worst time to be a college graduate in modern U.S. history.
Things have gotten better, yes. But there’s a pretty good chance that you graduates will not have a job when all your younger friends are toddling off to study Harry Potter next year.
But let my story be a beacon of hope. I am now a moderately successful freelance writer who owns a cat, a flat screen television and a subscription to **Smithsonian** magazine.
And, when I graduated, I had a job. When I graduated I went home, slept in the same bed that fostered so, so many dreams of a naked Denise Richards and worked on a farm.
That’s right, for five days a week, eight hours a day, I pulled plants out of the ground, drove a tractor and packed boxes for a local CSA. My body rebelled against me in previously incalculable ways.
But you know what? I saved my money, and six months later, I moved to Northern Virginia — where I was fired from a series of jobs before indulging in self-employment. There’s no way I could have done it if I hadn’t gotten my hands dirty.
Due to shortsighted, Draconian and, gosh I’ll say it, racist immigration reform in many states, there is a significant shortage of farm labor. If you are willing to work hard, you will not be turned down.
It will suck something awful. But food will taste better, you will sleep hard and you will truly know the meaning of work. If you can make it as a farm laborer, you can make it in any industry. I honestly believe that.
So there you go, class of whatever year it is. You can either postpone your future wearing out the clicker of your mouse playing Diablo III, or you can do some real work for once.
-Heath Gordon ’08