Mixed Messages and Twenty-Something Troubles

Dear World, Do you want us to become responsible go-getters, or would you rather still treat us like meddling kids? Make up your mind before you subject yourself to even more ranting posts from similarly frustrated college students.

College is supposed to be a time where young adults take on more responsibility. Whether it’s working on time management skills, living away from home, and just dealing with how the world actually works, college is a time of learning. Advisors tell you to go out and get summer jobs, work on your resume, intern, and get some experience before you commit to real life. The advice is sound and students get their experience. But, it’s also a structured environment. They apply, interview, and either get the job or not. Not much variability in how it works out and being attached to some company does wonders for the getting in the door. However, when you are only a student trying to do something on your own, the results are not the same.

As part of one of my classes, I am supposed to be writing a policy paper on an issue that affects adolescents. We were supposed to be working with a non-profit organization based in Trenton so that they could help us in developing the paper by putting us in touch with people and helping us get our foot in the door for certain elements of the research. The only stipulation was that our topic would have to be approved by them since they would be associated with the project, which is perfectly acceptable. Almost three weeks ago I emailed the lady who was supposed to be helping us requesting her approval of a topic we had chosen. I still haven’t heard back from her, but that’s not really the issue. I can admit to not following up. The issue is that we called the place twice after the lack of a response via email and have yet to actually be approved. While I can understand being busy, there is no excuse to go over a week without getting back to people who rely on your answer in order to move forward with a project. It’s really simple; you could just call us and tell us yes or no. We have deadlines, too, and the lack of respect for us really shines through. In addition to the lack of a response from them, we tried another place that might have been able to help us with the research. Although there was no one there that could help us at the time, they took a message down asking for their superior to call us. Nothing much from them either. However, maybe we aren’t being forceful enough. Maybe we need to be more annoying. Call and call and call until somebody gives us an answer. Maybe that’s the experience we need.

This may just be a fluke case. Maybe us twenty-somethings are not pushed aside for better things, but I just find it ridiculous how they couldn’t take five minutes to call us back. It’s not like we wanted everything they had on the topic. All we needed was one word and it just wasn’t there. If this is the experience we should be getting, I’m not sure I want to even deal with it. Such a lack of respect for anything until it becomes a nuisance and you just have to deal with it. Not cool. At all.

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