You guys – I am officially a college graduate! I graduated on May 21st with my BS in Biomedical Engineering, and it’s a lot to process. Despite saying all year how excited I was for graduation, it’s weird to think that the day has come and gone and that I’m starting a new chapter in my life.
Photo Credit: Gabby Whiten
It seems like just yesterday my mom and I submitted that first deposit to NJIT. I remember feeling so excited but also terrified. Terrified that the next four years would be terrible, that I would hate it. And there were times that I did.
From studying for Organic Chemistry (ew) or finishing up 700+ lines of Matlab code into the wee hours in the morning, there were so many times I wondered whether it was all really worth it. My freshman year I even contemplated switching my major, despite wanting to pursue engineering since I was in seventh grade! However, countless late nights and phone calls complaining to my parents later, I now appreciate the comfort and familiarity of school.
There’s no question that I’m going to miss college. (Even though I said I wouldn’t!) I’m going to miss Dunkin’ runs with my best friend, studying in the corner lounges, and complaining about crazy professors. I’m even going to miss writing essays and giving class presentations! The idea of trading in all of that familiarity and fun for the “real world” is terrifying, even more terrifying than starting college. There’s no set course for that, you guys!
…so what comes after college?
A lot of uncertainty! It feels like the past seventeen years of my life have been kind of laid out on one path – complete a grade, then move along. Sure, there have been “detours” along the way, like choosing to study abroad over an easy semester at home, but no matter what, I ended up on the same singular path. Now, I feel like my path is branching off in a million different directions. It’s scary, sure, but it’s also exciting to have so many options.
I start my “big girl” job in a month, but that’s pretty much all I know. I’m trying to become more okay with the fact that’s all I know, and simply plan what I can while leaving room for life to happen. There’s a lot to think about – potentially moving out of my childhood home, for example – and even though I might not feel completely ready for it to happen just yet, I’m excited to figure it all out.
In the end, I can’t express the gratitude I feel for my time at NJIT enough. It brought the most amazing opportunities, experiences, and people into my life. I’ve changed so much in the four years I spent completing my undergrad, and in the best way possible. College made me more confident, less afraid of conflict, more analytical, and more understanding of the world around me. It’s crazy to think that four years ago I was unsure about my decision to come to my college – now, I can’t imagine who I would be without it.
Here’s to all of the uncertainty that comes with post-grad, and all of the great things left to come. College, I’ll miss you, but I’m ready to take on my next big adventure: adulthood.