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The Boston Globe

Opinion

carlo rotella

Degree of uncertainty

For many college graduates, the bohemian phase is no longer optional

With the spring semester winding down, the seniors in my classes at Boston College have entered a short-timer's state of in-betweenness, balancing youthful optimism with anxiety and fatalism brought on by a bad job market. Some are hellbent on partying as hard as they can, but it's an increasingly forced and empty exercise in nostalgia. It's too late — about four years too late — for them to be playing at slacker irresponsibility, and they know it. Most seem ready, even impatient, to look beyond campus to the world of work.

Those with a job to report to after graduation feel lucky to have it but are already wondering if it's good enough. Those without a job who aren’t going straight on to grad school are preparing for uncertainty and for some cut-rate adventures in marginal adulthood — unless they're returning home to their parents, in which case they're feeling secret relief edged with shame and despair.

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