I’m going to graduate. In less than a year. And I’m an obsessive planner.
So when people ask me what I’m thinking about doing after college, I don’t think they’re necessarily prepared for the complicated web of plans and back-up plans and back-up back-up plans that follow. To alleviate the stress for other people and to save myself the saliva necessary to repeat this out loud, I thought I’d write a post about what I’m thinking of doing next June.
Contingency 1- Apply to grad school to pursue an MFA in creative writing.
I’m a biology major. It just makes sense. But actually I’ve wanted to be a professional writer since I realized it was something that some people can feasibly do. I think I was six or seven? Since then I’ve been writing and reading pretty much constantly. At Carleton I’ve tried to take as many English/ creative writing classes as possible. I chose to be a biology major because I wanted to approach the act of writing literature from a new direction and because I love the ideas and stories inherent in biology. There’s something beautiful about the spiral of DNA and the interactions between predators and prey cycling in an endless egg. So I wanted to try and translate that beauty into literature. Not to mention since I’m human I read humanity into pretty much every interaction.
I’m applying to Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Syracuse as of now. Subject to change.
Likelihood of this contingency working: Very Low (at least the first two or three times of applying; it’s highly competitive and I still have such a long way to go with my writing.)
Contingency 2- Apply to field research jobs.
Ecology is a fantastic subject. You’re learning about these fantastic webs of life and their subtle influences on one another. It’s just astounding and humbling and crucial. The more I learn the more I want to share it with other people and the more I believe this is some of the most important work being done today. A bold statement.
Not to mention the work is incredible in and of itself. You get to spend hours outside walking through prairies or forests or river terraces (well sometimes, if you’re lucky). Then you get to spend hours doing soothing and detail-oriented work. I plucked my stuffed animals as a child, ecology lab work is the adult equivalent of this. I adore it.
Then you get to work towards answering these life-defining questions. What is influencing the way nutrients cycle? What effect do these subtle differences have? What makes up a community and how is it formed? I’m geeking out just writing about it. Apologies.
Likelihood of this contingency working: Moderate (I’m probably most qualified for this but it’s also a matter of knowing people and finding jobs. If you know of any, let me know!)
Contingency 3- Get a part-time job (food services? publishing internship?) in a city and work on writing.
This would probably be pretty risky depending on the job found and the city in question. I would like to make money at some point if for nothing else than eating and paying rent. Also, this is such a broad contingency that it seems unlikely to succeed without a more focused direction. It’s still percolating in the back of my head. I have this hazy vision of me working in a coffee shop, but I have no idea how to operate a coffee machine, if that’s what they’re called. I’m friendly, though, so maybe that will help.
Likelihood of this contingency working: Moderate? I’m a really great employee and ever so humble, so who wouldn’t want me?
Contingency 4- Become a Culver intern.
I could earn money. Spend time with the Madre. Dabble on the beautiful shores of Lake Maxincuckee. Interact with… children… I could make it work!
Likelihood of this contingency working: Moderate to high. I think I could swing it. I would be such a chipper intern! So passionate and full of exuberance!
Contingency 5- Make good on that desire to colonize Mars.
If Ray Bradbury has taught me anything it’s that no one is better suited to the Martian climes than a white girl from the Midwest.
So those are my plans. I’m trying to do that… networking thing? So if you have… networks? Let me know. Once again, too many words, not enough pictures. I know.