The other night, I was talking to one of my friends, Lynn, about my post-graduation plans. She’s currently a sophomore, while I’m about to graduate in May. When I was a sophomore, I had a lot of anxiety about what my post-graduation life would look like. Would I get a job? Would I go directly into medical school? Would I go into teaching? Would I got abroad? I had so many different plans. In fact I had 6 pretty distinct plans before I came up with the plan I have now.
Plan 1: Get a job working for Aim High
It seemed like getting a job after college was the most natural transition, and it’s what most people who aren’t going to graduate school do. However, I realized I didn’t want to go into the workforce directly, even though I absolutely love Aim High and will continue to give back to the organization for the rest of my life.
Plan 2: Apply for a Fulbright Master’s in the UK
I realized that I didn’t want to go to school to learn how to teach (I would have pursued a Master’s in Education). Although I do wish to teach in the future in some capacity, now just was not the time.
Plan 3: Apply for a Fulbright ETA
I looked at all the countries I was eligible for (aka, those that don’t require a language fluency), and none of the countries got me excited.I felt that I shouldn’t apply for something unless it makes me super happy and excited. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t have a good and convincing strong application in general. And why would I waste time trying to convince myself that I was happy when I know I wasn’t?
Plan 4: Apply for a Luce Scholarship
I applied to be nominated for this scholarship, and I was rejected.
Plan 5: Apply for the JET Program
When applications opened for this one, I felt the same way I did about Plan 3. Although this is a program in a country I am very excited about, English itself is not a subject I’m enthusiastic about. So once again, although I could probably make a strong argument for why I want to apply for the JET, it wasn’t ever going to be the thing that made me the happiest.
Plan 6: Do research for a year
I still think this is super exciting, but not as exciting as my current plan. And maybe my mind might change when I potentially do research over the summer. I just don’t have experience in research now, but I think I like the idea of research more than I might actually like it. But that’s based on my very limited research experience… so who knows.
I’m applying for a summer research program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Regardless of my acceptance or rejection, I will get my EMT certification either in the summer or fall and then work as an EMT for a little bit before I apply for medical school in the Fall of 2018. I absolutely fell in love with interning in the emergency room, and it’s an environment I genuinely enjoy working in. It’s the place that makes me the happiest and I think being happy is way better than convincing myself I need to do a fellowship abroad in order to be a good candidate. Also, as an EMT I would get to gain skills I would not otherwise acquire. This is the plan I have now, and this is what makes me excited and ready to graduate.
I’ve always been the type of person who starts to transition from one part of my life to the next quite smoothly. For example, I have two classes this semester + comps + research. I’m spending more and more time working outside of school so that I don’t get too attached to a school schedule. I’m sure I will miss Oxy when I’m done, and I’m sure the second semester senior feelings will hit me soon. But for now, I’m very excited to go on a journey after graduation–one where I am not weighed down by academic obligations I’m not passionate about but one where I get to immerse myself in an environment that makes me feel joy every single day.