Four Songs for 2012 Graduates Heading Into the Job Market

Congrats, grad!

Not to sound bitter, but back in my day, we had a big, fancy speaker come into town for our college graduation, but we'd gladly give up that memory it meant we wouldn't be waiting tables the following year.

It was a dark time. It was 2009. We survived off the dollar menu and the fat storage we accumulated as freshmen. I knew it would come in handy.

Good news! Depending on who you ask, the job market for 2012 grads is looking up. We took the advice of experts and broke it down into song form. If you don't get a job, at least you'll have a sick-ass playlist to weep to as you defeatedly drag boxes back into your childhood home.

"Major Minus" - Coldplay

Even if your school calls your dance degree "movement science," the fact is you still have an arts degree. And that's cool, because it'll come in handy when you're performing on the street. (Just a word if it does come to that? YouTube loves backflips. Get dat ad monay.) According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, there is a huge market for graduates with majors in computer science, engineering and accounting. In short, major matters. If you can't rewind the last 4+ years of your life to start over, take Coldplay's advice on maintaining your respectable public image in the mean time. Keep that Facebook locked down. I'm sure that's what this song means.

"They got one eye on what you knew/And one eye on what you do/So be careful who it is you're talking to.They got one eye on what you knew/And one eye on what you do/So be careful what it is you're trying to do. And be careful when you're walking in the view/Just be careful when you're walking in the view."

"Where the Streets Have No Name" - U2

So maybe you can't find a job in your hometown. Maybe the only job you can find is in, say, Montana. Well, you're in luck! Leave your family and friends behind for the, uh... dirt? And, um, trees?... of Montana. It's a fair trade off. You'll have no idea where you are. Even the locals won't have any idea where they are, but the point is that you'll have money. And a little bit of money can go a long way when you have nowhere to spend it in Montana.

"Sell Out" - Reel Big Fish

So let's say, hypothetically, that you move back into your parents' house temporarily. And say, hypothetically, your mom is a clean freak and she can't tolerate the fact that you place your earrings on the dresser and not in their designated box when you're in a hurry. And (Again, this is hypothetical,) she makes you wipe your feet with a wet paper towel anytime you wear flip flops because she decided to get stark white carpet. Not that we'd know anything about that. Heh, heh..

When an opportunity presents itself that isn't exactly what you want to end up doing, but it pays pretty well... FUCKING DO IT. Selling out feels incredible when you're moving out.

I've been a seafood journalist once, and damn it, I'll do it again if I need to. There's no shame in it. (Except for all the shame in it.)

"We Are the Champions" - Queen

Oh, by the way, that outlook about 2012 graduates neglected to mention that, yeah, you'll still be competing against graduates from three years ago. In a world where "entry level" means "five years minimum experience," take it from me - sometimes you need a little pick-me-up pep talk. Queen is always good for it. They made girls with fat asses feel beautiful. They made killers look sympathetic. Of course, this little ditty is especially powerful if you sing it in the mirror, looking yourself dead in the eyes and replace "we" with :me." "Me are the champions of the world."

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Christina Caldwell