College students express hopes and fears over sour economy

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Registration week at Southern Miss means time to buy books, sort through schedules, and find answers to financial aid questions. The college students have big dreams.

"I would like to be a Wildlife Biologist," said Christina Skadowski.

"My major is Computer Science," said Helen Struebing. "I'm hoping to write programs and work for a computer company."

"I'm very excited about it, and have a lot of ambitions about the future," said Ryan Mason, a Special Education major.

But with the excitement of graduation, comes concerns about the future. With recent business closings and job cuts, many students are worried about having to pound the pavement. Christina Skadowski has already applied for several positions in the Biology field.

"I'm not sure, you know. I'm scared that I'll be sitting on a degree for a year or two and not be able to find anything, and I'm just hoping it'll be worth it," said Skadowski.

"I watch the stock market plunging everyday. It's real scary," said Struebing.

Struebing is going back to school, hoping to get a better job. Despite the bleak economic news, the 47-year-old grandmother has high hopes about the job market.

"With computers, I think I'll do real good, because computers are here to stay," said Struebing.

Many students believe the economy will turn around by the time they get their diplomas. They've invested too much time and money to give up their goals.

"I have to be optimistic and believe that I will have a job, and that I'll be able to make it," said Mason.

"I'm excited to get my degree and I hope I can find something," said Skadowski. "If I have to move out of state, then so be it. But I'll always come back home."

Spring semester classes at USM start on Monday.