Confessions of A College Senior: Post Grad Stress


Gabby Besada plans to continue to live and work in New York after graduation, possibly in the field of education. (JASON BOIT/ THE OBSERVER)


“What are you going to do after you graduate?” It’s become the go-to question at family functions and awkward family dinners for college seniors everywhere. Truthfully, it’s the kind of question that will make you miss the nosey relatives who constantly ask if you have a significant other during holiday parties. There is no one answer to what comes with post grad life. Some will take the LSAT, the GRE, the MCAT to take the next steps in their extended schooling. Some will audition for dance and theatre companies, travel or do charity work, go straight into the workforce and some have absolutely no idea what they want to do yet. Senior year is infamous for forcing unsuspecting college students out of pseudo adulthood and into the real world. Whether you know exactly what you’re doing or you have no idea what’s next, post grad plans are intimidating for everyone.

When asked about post grad life, Gaby Besada, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ‘16, spoke honestly when she said, “I want to say I don’t know.”  But just because she’s unsure of the specifics, doesn’t mean Besada doesn’t share the same desires of most seniors. Besada is an English major who wants to work with children and live in a major city – but hasn’t quite found her niche yet. When asked about her goals, Besada said, “I would like to get a job. I would like to be employed. That would be ideal. I would like to have income. I would like to not have to move in with my parents.” When asked if she was worried about being unable to give a solid answer regarding her post grad plans, Besada said “No. A lot of people our age feel the pressure to have an answer. I wish I could sit them all down and tell them that they don’t need to feel that pressure because anyone who says that they had everything figured out at 21 or 22 years old is lying.”

Amanda Ritchie (FCLC ‘16) has a different take on post grad plans. When asked what was next for her, Ritchie said,“My post grad plans have always been to attend law school. I’m taking the LSAT in October. Depending on how I do, I’ll take it again in December.” Although her plan seems clear cut at first glance, Ritchie added,“I’m 85 percent sure I want to go to law school, but that other 15 percent could be something else, I just have to figure it out”. If she goes to law school, ideally she’d like to take a semester to travel before hitting the books again. If she doesn’t go to law school, Ritchie would like to work with the prison system, specifically rehabilitation programs for incarcerated minorities and at-risk youth; it’s a new found passion that stems from her recent summer internship at the Brooklyn D.A.’s office. “It requires a lot of dedication and focus. I took a summer prep class when I didn’t have school assignments to do, but now that school is getting more intense, it’s harder to balance studying for the LSAT, and doing school, and working…but hopefully with more self discipline I’ll find more time to do some last minute studying for the LSAT.”

Maia Bedford (FCLC ‘16) is a dance major and an American Studies Major. Bedford admitted that the idea of post grad plans can be intimidating, especially with company auditions begin as early as January of 2016. “I prayerfully, will have a job. I will have a contract with a professional dance company that tours, and be able to learn different repertories of dance. And in a perfect world, travel all over the world.” Bedford exuded passion for her love of dance and performance, While describing her ideal post grad plans, Bedford said, “I want to dance as long as possible!” Bedford also expressed a potential interest in musical theatre and acting. However, Bedford also shared a second set of plans with me, a plan for her American Studies degree. “If I ever get to a place where I feel like I’ve had my time on the stage, I want to do something totally different. My second major is American studies, and I really like talking about categories of difference…I’d be interested in exploring one of those fields more deeply and then probably either working in education or working for a cause.”

Asking a senior about their post grad plans can often feel like asking a child what they want to be when they grow up. Except this time they’re supposed to be grown-up and there is an unexplainable pressure to be able to spit out an answer. Some have one, others have no idea and plenty of people are stuck somewhere in the middle. But post grad doesn’t have to be this terrifyingly daunting thing. Sure it signals the end of a great chapter, but it also point to great beginnings and to new adventures just around the corner.