Originally published in Issue 4, Fifty-First Year of The Minstrel (October 20, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.
I don’t know what’s worse: telling people I’m a communication major and explaining to them what that means, or answering what I’m doing after graduation.
Alright, definitely the latter because at least I can answer the first question.
As a senior, I am asked what I am doing after graduation more and more often. To be honest, I really don’t know and I think most of us don’t. Currently, I’m editor-in-chief of The Minstrel, I’m an editorial intern at Lehigh Valley Style magazine and my Facebook feed is basically only my writing, so it’s pretty clear I want to write. I like writing articles for newspapers and magazines, I like editing and I’d also love to write a novel one day.
However, I don’t know where I’m going to get a job after graduation. Some people assume I’m off to New York, but that’s not really how it works anymore. There are magazines, newspapers and publishing companies all over the United States. There’s also freelance writing, and with shrinking staffs, this is often the best bet for writers. You pitch your own ideas to newspapers and magazines, but the idea of no benefits or job stability scares me.
If I have learned anything about myself in college, it’s that I have superb time-management skills, and that makes me believe I could make a salary out of freelance writing. Or I could land a steady job and freelance on the side. The possibilities of a communication major are endless. So please stop asking me where I’m working after graduation because it’s only October. The only thing I know for sure is I’ll be writing; you can have my word on that.
Due to my confusion about what I’m doing after college, I decided to write about grad school this issue and created a survey to see what other seniors are doing.
Although I’ve had teachers tell me I’d accomplish great things in grad school, I want to start working. I talked to teachers and mentors from past internships and one piece of advice everyone, as well as Kristin Eicholtz, reiterated to me was, “don’t go if you’re not 100 percent sure about what you want to do.”
I would like to go to grad school in the future, but right now, I want to get out in the world and write. I have a large portfolio between The Minstrel and internships. I know I have skills and I want to start using them. Additionally, if I went to grad school now, I don’t know what it would be for: journalism or perhaps creative writing, which I just started getting into over the summer.
So a word of advice from me to all the seniors out there: do what you want to do. Don’t worry if it seems like everyone else is applying to grad school and you’re not or vice versa. As for all the other students out there: try to get as many internships as you can. One of the most beneficial parts of them is the networking and whom you meet because a huge factor in getting jobs is having those connections.
No matter what you do in life, remember to “be who you are and be that well.” This issue we hear from a sexual assault victim who gives a voice and courage to others, students spending a weekend homeless in Washington, DC and athletes being inducted in the sports hall of fame.
Peace, love & DeSales,