College graduates in this day and age all struggle with the frustration of not immediately going where they want to go with their life after earning their degree. Why wouldn’t we, honestly? After spending 4+ years slaving over essays, research papers and exams galore, all for the goal of earning that oh-so-esteemed piece of paper that everybody raves about, why can’t we attain the job we rightly believe to have the knowledge for?

But of course, that’s not how it works. So many jobs these days, entry-level jobs no less, demand multiple years of experience in order to merely qualify for an interview. Unless we were lucky enough to have an internship that lasted long enough throughout our collegiate career, we don’t stand a chance of passing under these employers’ radar. In our desperation, we feel that we have no choice but to settle for a far less suitable alternative to get the experience we need, such as unpaid internships that demand our time but will never pay us what we deserve.

I rediscovered the music of American Idol Season Six winner Jordin Sparks during another escapade across YouTube for inspirational music. It was one of the best accidents that’s happened to me lately, because the lyrics hit hard as somebody who’s graduated college and aches to get where he wants to be in life asap. “One Step At a Time” sums up the frustration that so many of us feel about not being at the moment in life that we so deeply desire.

Lyrics are courtesy of Metro Lyrics.

 

Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that you’ve always dreamed of
Close enough for you to taste
But you just can’t touch

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you’re gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming
Now you’re feeling more and more frustrated
And you’re getting all kind of impatient waiting
We live and we learn to take

One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

You believe and you doubt
You’re confused, and got it all figured out
Everything that you always wished for
Could be yours, should be yours, would be yours
If they only knew

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you’re gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming
Now you’re feeling more and more frustrated
And you’re getting all kind of impatient waiting
We live and we learn to take

One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

When you can’t wait any longer
But there’s no end in sight (when you need to find the strength)
It’s the faith that makes you stronger
The only way you get there
Is one step at a time

Take one step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

Analysis

The entire song speaks to the impatience and frustration that college graduates deal with when they fail to land the career they were hoping for. The line “In your face the door keeps slamming” is a lyrical reminder of the pain that rejection brings, especially when it seems that every attempt at a better career you make continuously falls through. On top of that, the stanza about still feeling doubt and confusion, despite having your life mentally planned out, sums up how both students and graduates often feel numerous times.

However, this song’s chorus reminds us all that we will get there eventually, bit by bit, one step at a time. As Jordin beautifully sings in this piece, the moment we each desire will happen when it’s meant to, not a moment sooner. The hard part is, naturally, overcoming our impatience accordingly.

Perhaps the most powerful stanza in this song, in regards to the impatience that plagues us as we wait, is her lines about how our faith keeps us going when all else seems to fail. Indeed, for persons of faith, our trust in God is the one thing that lifts us up when life comes crashing down all around us.

The Long Journey of the English Major

I chose to pursue a Bachelor of Art’s English Degree for my undergraduate career, because it’s what I love, and I have no regrets. Yes, I know that this degree has been lumped into the category of hopeless degrees that will never land you anywhere else but as a barista at Starbucks, but I couldn’t care less. As you can see, I’m using my refined writing knowledge as a blogger, and someday soon, I intend to use my skills to become a renowned novelist.

I’ll admit that right now, I’m definitely not where I want to be in my career. Currently, I work at a bagel shop primarily as a cashier, and that’s certainly not what I got my degree for. Nonetheless, I’m glad to have something to give me income as I work towards my ultimate goal. God knows I’ll get there when I’m meant to, not a moment sooner.