Emily LoTiempo, SUNY Cortland

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I’m finishing up my last year at Cortland in Professional Writing and English, and I’m getting ready to apply to Emerson to get a Master’s in Publishing in Boston. I’ve been so lucky. My grandfather died a few years ago and left his grandchildren a good sum of money for our education. I still have two jobs so that I can pay for food and books and stuff. My mother doesn’t help me with school at all. But I’m still lucky that I don’t have to worry about loans for tuition.

I see all my friends around me not as well off as I am. I’ve been blessed. I see people with 80 thousand dollars in debt. Even the new Excelsior Scholarship doesn’t cover everyone. I know a lot of people in debt that just don’t qualify. Although I’m not worried about money, I am worried about my career path after school. My major doesn’t have a set path, like some others do. Entry-level positions aren’t actually entry-level. I have to mold everything I’ve done in college as experience even though it isn’t technically professional, which is what jobs are looking for. The cycle of no experience leads employers having to take a chance on students.

More internships on campus would really help people like me. Remote internships just aren’t the same. We need more on-site internships, and we really need to encourage more professors to take on research assistants and interns. Without that experience we can’t get jobs. Without jobs, we’ll never be able to begin paying off all this student debt.