Friday, December 16, 2011

Just Some Thoughts About Graduation

Hey Preps!

Finals are over. I am still tired, sniffly, grumpy, and I just want to lay in my bed.  Yet, somehow I am going to muster up enough motivation to shower and go out to see some of my dearest friends.  Not yet though...not for another hour.  Then I will be scrambling to get everything together and make it to our meeting destination on time.  It's just the way things go in my life.  Just like today, I was thinking and I don't remember a single December that I wasn't sick after finals.  Sheesh! Okay so enough of my pity party.  FINALS ARE OVER! It is officially Christmas break!

Yet, today as I sit and ponder in my exhausted and emotional state...I can't help but think that I am graduating in one single semester.  If it goes by half as fast as the fall semester, it will be too fast.  I am not ready to be a grown up.  There is so much traveling, learning, and events I wish I had the chance to do.  So, since I gave advice at the beginning of this semester, I am going to give a little bit now.  Take it as you will.

1.  I shouldn't have been a Biochemistry major.  There I said it.  Have you guys ever done the Myers-Briggs personality test?  If so, you will understand this: I am ENFJ.  That stands for extraversion, intuition, feeling, judgment...It is one of 16 personality types you can be.  ENFJ's usually are connectors.  We like being social and can sense a tone within a social setting, and know how to adjust accordingly.  We are people pleasers who put others before ourselves.  There is an awareness of social situations that no other personality type has...making us perfect for business oriented fields such as marketing, advertising...anything creative and people oriented.

The sad part? I took this test my freshman year of college.  I saw what career paths were recommended of me, and I panicked.  I wanted to be a Biochemistry major, because I knew it would guarentee a stable job upon graduation.  I knew it would lead into hopefully the Medical field...and now I am looking at all the labs I dreaded, all the dry material, and have no desire to become a doctor...or work in a lab.

I have other options, like getting my MBA and have considered working in Pharmaceutical Sales for a little while before I decide what I should go to grad school for...but the advice I can give you, is do what you love...even if it doesn't always mean the outcome is a stable paycheck.  I am a firm believer that if you do what you love, then you will be successful; waking up each morning excited and passionate about your day.

Don't follow my footsteps and stick out a major you are miserable in...because chances are, you will be miserable in that field of work.

2.  Study Abroad.  I wanted to study abroad in the worst way.  There were full intentions that I would spend the summer abroad in Italy last year, however, that fell through because I was stuck doing senior research.  There are so many places I want to travel and experience...I think the best opportunity to do so is in college.  Plus, it really adds something extra to your resume.

3.  Go to a college that specializes in a field you are interested in.  I was recruited to swim Division I.  The challenge and the opportunity the scholarship provided me made me decide upon the first college I went to.  However, looking back, was it the best fit for me?  Sure, I love that university with all my heart.  I will always cherish the people and experiences within my time there, however, they did not offer the academics that would help me to go straight into a program I wanted after graduation.  If you think about it, there really is nothing I will ever do with swimming....except maybe coach.  Why would I base my whole college decision based on one single aspect that will not benefit my future?

Do I have regrets?  Absolutely not.  Life is a learning process, and I think I have time to decide on what I really want to do in my life...yet, I still can't get over the fact I only have one semester left...


princess said...

Thank you so much for you words! This is just what I needed right now.

Veronica :) said...

and just wanted to comment that if we hadn't swam at that awful division I school, we would not have met each other :) hooray for legitimate schools and transferring to them!

I love you and i MISS YOU :)

Caroline said...

Thank you, thank you thank you for this, especially the part about athletics. I work in higher ed, and watching students make choices about colleges based on things that aren't career/goal oriented (whether its athletics, location, social life, etc) breaks my heart because I know they will come out on hte other end saying the same things. This isn't to say that those pieces aren't part of the puzzle as well, because they are. But overall picture? in the end, academics should be the deal breaker.

Grace said...

That's such great advice, especially about sports! My sister was scared into her major by job prospects, too, you're definitely right about following your heart.

Taylor Gene said...

Hey, this is great advice! By the way, how do I subscribe to your blog? I can't find the side bar.

Tariro said...

I can't wait for college! I'm a high school sophomore at the moment, but I'm already thinking about schools I want to go to. I really hope I grow up to be as great of a student and person as you, and thank you for the advice in this post!

Brianna Marie said...

I can totally relate to this post! I'm only a sophomore in high school, but I am starting to think of what I want to major in and what college I want to go to. You are completely right about choosing something you love to do, versus making decisions based on job prospects/money.

Nicole @ Giraffelegs said...

This will be me exactly one year from now.

sSe said...

I totally feel ya, right after finals finished I had almost the same freakout. There's something to be said about graduating without regrets though. Enjoy break!

Robert W. said...

Kalyn this is too funny, I'm a senior as well (in good ole' North Carolina), also a Biochemistry major and I'm also ENFJ! I did a Fashion PR&Marketing internship this summer in NYC and finally admitted to myself that my major choice is not in harmony with my personality type and I am now exploring career choices in the marketing world! It's never too late to change, we only have one life. You and your boyfriend look great together btw, you'd fit in great at Duke and I love both your styles!

If you are interested in photography and campus style at all, we'd love to have you contribute photos from your campus. Check us out at


quietandsmalladventures said...

wow that's a really intuitive post! i worked as a CRA (clinical research associate) in a hospital for a year helping cancer patients to enroll in clinical trial and worked with a biochem grad from american.... it was a truly rewarding job, but i quit to go back to school. i think as an ENFJ you might be really happy doing that and you're original med school direction would be really helpful. in any case, good luck and honestly a science background and the rigor it entails will help you no matter what you do (except law, unless you want science law).

p si ended up not going to med school, but decided to go to grad school instead for a ph.d in molecular bio....i'm an INTP :)

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