By Sam Johnson, senior Biology major
I have come to terms with the fact that I refuse to acknowledge that I will be graduating next semester. Not only am I telling myself that I have endless amounts of time before I have to get into the real world, but that I won’t have to walk across a stage in May, shake a few hands, and say goodbye to my undergrad life.
I was telling a friend the other day that I remember when I was younger and how I thought that there would never be a time when I would go to college, let alone be in college, and then to top it all off, graduate from college. The whole concept of college seemed so far away and unattainable, but the time has come and I can hardly believe it.
So what’s the game plan? In my mind I’ve crafted this giant list of goals that I have planned for the trajectory of my post-undergrad life. Like anything in life, all of this is tentative, which makes planning for anything difficult because who knows what could happen! Anyways, here is the maybe-could-happen-please-happen list of goals that I have for my life so far.
- Post-grad service – I realized that I was going to have to take a year off (and wanted to take a year off) after senior year before I went to grad school. It’s important to me that I make sure that I’m putting that year off to good use. Community service has always been a huge part of my life (thank you 16 years of Catholic school education), so I knew that looking into service organizations would be my first route. I had some older friends who were looking into post-grad service and one of my bosses (at Career Services) mentioned the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I have a list of 4-5 organizations that I’m applying too, but my number one choice would be JVC North West (the dream people!).
- Grad School (PA) – My next goal (after post-grad service) is to get into Physician Assistant (PA) School for my graduate education. That involves a lot of researching schools, getting letters of recommendation, taking the GRE, and doing patient contact hours. I’ve been looking at schools all over the US and hoping to go somewhere I’ve never been before to try it out for a couple of years. The first hurdle is (obviously) getting in!
- Life – If I make it through PA school (hopefully) I would love to go back home and work there for a while. Pay off all of my student loads, save some money, hang out with my super cool parents, visit friends, and do some traveling!
The hard thing about getting out of college is that there really nothing else that you “have to do”. Technically you don’t have to go to grad school, or do post-grad service or anything really. There are people you can model your career and life after, but at the end of the day it’s all up to you, which makes is scary and exciting all at the same time. Most importantly, I know that what I am choosing will make me happy, give me a direction, and hopefully some purpose! So while I’m stuck in the in between of undergrad, grad school, and life I’ll remember my goals and those will hopefully inspire me to keep working hard to get where I want to be.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”