The current economic crisis has done more than cause the stock market to crash and many companies to file for bankruptcy. For many college seniors, it has provided some premature gray hairs instead of job offers.

Seeing people who have already graduated struggle with landing their first job out of college is not promising for those who are still in school and looking for opportunities in the same markets. The best way you can handle the situation is to stay calm and stay realistic (and optimistic) about what the future holds for you.

“I know a lot of people who were planning on just getting a start on a career right after college, but now I feel like I’m hearing about more and more people are deciding to stay in school for as long as possible and go to grad school,” comments Blair Zeiser, a senior at USC. “That actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all when you are faced with what could be a long and disappointing process.”

“It’s kind of actually nerve wracking – and so real,” says Laura Olson, a senior majoring in finance. “You think that all you have to do is go to college, work hard and then it will all pay off. But now we have the current economic situation, which is making it harder and harder for us to actually go out into the ‘real world’ and be successful fresh out of graduation.”

What some people might not realize is it is never easy to have that dream job just waiting for you before you even leave your college campus. While it may seem like there is even more competition than ever before, that shouldn’t prevent you from doing what you would have to do anyways (most likely) – apply and interview over and over again until you finally get an offer.

For all of you who are freaking out, the first stop I suggest you make is to your school’s career center. At USC, there’s the USC Career Planning and Placement Center Web site, There are a few articles that deal with subjects like “The Economy and Your Job Search” that can help a student on the verge of a mental breakdown, take somewhat of a breather.

The Web site offers a few suggestions, and they all sound like practical and basic ideas anyone should follow when looking for a job. Networking is one thing that could prove to be beneficial.

Go to your school’s career center to look for alumni that are in the area of profession you are interested in. You never know what connection you could find.

Also, with the holidays coming up, start asking family members for any advice or any connections they might have. You never know what Uncle Steve’s college roommates might have to offer you.

The career center has lots to offer before you even take the alumni route. There are probably job fairs on your campus or in your area that would definitely be helpful in meeting people in the professional world, and who knows, maybe even in securing an interview? In the meantime, it might not hurt to apply for one more internship to bulk up your resume, which could even turn into a job offer.

Instead of reading the newspaper and looking at the crashing stock market, get out there, fine-tune your resume, get your interview suit dry cleaned and get yourself out there.