WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Some say the economy is recovering. Others think we're still in a recession. Either way you look at it, the truth is: it's still difficult to find jobs.
Nearly 2,000 fresh faces filled the residence halls at UNC Wilmington Saturday. Despite the tough economic times, most are hopeful their education will give them the tools necessary for landing a job.
"I'm feeling like UNCW is a pretty good school, and it will give me an advantage in the job field,” incoming freshman Shaniqua Graham said. “It'll look good on my resume. But I am actually nervous about going into the job field, so I'll have to stay on top of my game."
Graham has plans to become a nurse. She feels like the medical field is one that will offer post-grad job opportunities, and fellow freshmen agree.
"You always have that stability and great pay,” freshman Amir Biglari said. ”And I actually like that kind of stuff, the field."
Biglari is majoring in biology and has aspirations to one day practice medicine. He said he's not sure what the economy will be like when it's time for him to turn his tassel, but hopes it's better then than it is now.
Freshman Renae Hester also has plans to go into healthcare. She wants to be a nurse and said career stability was a big draw in choosing her path.
"That was a huge factor,” Hester said. “I wanted to be able to always have a job and move wherever I wanted to. Especially, I can go back home if I want to because there's a hospital there."
Hester's dad said he's not afraid for his daughter and hopes the seeds of positivity and preparedness he and his wife have planted will sprout in the midst of adversity.
"I'm hopeful,” Frank Hester said. “I mean, things have always been tough, and Americans tend to buckle down and kind of go through stuff. We don't know what the future holds, we just have to keep moving toward it."
UNCW junior Michael Scott has one piece of advice for the newbies: "Get involved, and find something that you're really good at, and stick to it,” Scott said.
"I want to get involved on campus, get involved in a lot of clubs and groups and honor societies,” Graham said. “Hopefully I'll make a name for myself here."
Classes begin at UNCW on Wednesday.