Thoughts From A Recent WashU Grad

Hey there. It’s me, Dera, college graduate. Yup, that happened. As of Friday, May 20, 2016, I am a WashU alum.  It feels like it wasn’t too long ago that I was a high school freshman dreaming of life after college, but actually that was eight years ago. Eight years. Like, almost a decade has gone by since then! How am I even old enough to measure my life in decades?! And now I’m here, living Life After College! I need to sit down.

I have always been one to live in the future. I am constantly making plans about this and that, thinking about what is to come. However, when I sat down to write this post, the last blog post of my college career, it felt like the most appropriate thing to do was to look at my past. I can’t graduate from college without reflecting on the four years that shaped me.

As I was rereading my blog posts from earlier years, I had to laugh at how many times my plans for the future changed course. It happened every single year, and there were times during my senior year where my plans for the future changed every week. Well, now I’ve finally reached the moment I’ve been waiting for.  The future is here, and it isn’t what I thought it would be. That isn’t a bad thing, but it’s the truth because…

I’m not working at a tech company, like I thought I would be when I was a freshman.

I’m not a music supervisor, like I thought I would be when I was a sophomore.

I’m not working in journalism, like I thought I would be when I was a junior.

Before I tell you what I’m doing now, I’d like to show you some of the posts that I dug up from the archives.


Freshman Year

You Are Here – I realize college isn’t as scary as I heard it would be.

Nostalgia-induced Words of Encouragement – Being a high school senior and going through the college application process is stressful. But it gets better!

K.A.R.L. Improv–The R Stands for Funny – A tribute to my improv family  ♥

Sophomore Year

Freshman Survival Guide: Studying Strategies and Time Management – I asked the incoming class of 2017 what they wanted to know before coming to WashU. The result is a six-part series called Freshman Survival Guide, in which I give advice based on my own experiences from freshman year.

First Day of Sophomore Year – This one’s a video!

Women in IT (Part III): A Meeting With The Music Librarian – I was in a leadership and professional development program for women in tech. My mentor helped me pursue my dream of becoming a music supervisor by setting up a meeting with the music librarian. I thought that was pretty cool of her since music supervision doesn’t really have anything to do with the IT field. Plus, the music librarian taught me an important lesson about life that is relevant to any field.

Reflections On My Spring 2014 Semester – Looking back on myself looking back on sophomore year

Junior Year

How I Got Rejected From My Dream Internship – It happens.

How I Landed My Dream Internship – Plot twist: it’s not the same dream internship!

Radiolab Comes To WashU For Celebration of Arts & Sciences – I’m a really big fan of NPR’s Radiolab, and I got to have lunch with the hosts when they came to WashU. Always a happy day to look back on.

Senior Year

What Is It Like To Study Abroad In Japan? – I didn’t blog a lot during the eight months I was in Japan, but being there really was an amazing experience. I believe my life right now would be quite different if not for that year abroad. I grew as a person during the three years that I was a student on WashU’s campus, but being alone in a foreign country really helped me to see my life from a new perspective. I’m keeping this vague because if I say any more I’m going to end up writing another Eat, Pray, Love.

And now we are at the post-grad part of the timeline. If you had told me four years ago that I would be working in a restaurant after I graduated with a degree from WashU, I probably would have stared at you funny while thinking Is this a joke? Four years of WashU and I end up as the stereotypical broke artist? If you had told me that I would be working at a restaurant while also freeelancing as a translator, I might have said, “Wait, that actually sounds pretty fun. Why didn’t I think of that?”

The idea to become a translator was the result of a lot of trial and error. Working several internships, studying different subjects, navigating various professional relationships, living in a different country, learning what I like and don’t like, etcetera. Figuring out my future was definitely a frustrating process at times, and I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my family, friends, and mentors. I am truly blessed to have had all the resources I had.

I don’t know what my life will be like in another eight years, but this is my life now: I’m working at one of my favorite restaurants in St. Louis and continuing to work with languages, both things that are making me happy. The future is here, and although it wasn’t what I thought it would be, it did not disappoint.

So long, WashU, y gracias por el pescado.