A post about being post-grad

It’s 8:30pm on a Saturday night here in New York City. I realized I still pay for this domain and it’s been literally years since I’ve looked at my own website which is kind of embarassing. When I first made this website, I was fresh out of undergrad riding the high of using my skills to build something novel for the first time, thinking that I would start my own blog that everyone will read lol and conquer the world.

The plan back then was to start my MEng program in the Fall after interning somewhere for a semester and maybe a summer. The term “post-grad” didn’t really mean anything - I assumed the natural path forward would come to me like it always had starting since elementary school all the way to walking down Killian to grab my diploma.

I now realize that the world after academia is not a natural path forward, and I would have to make a series of decisions for myself that would have long lasting effects that I can never predict. Furthermore, If I sat complacent and avoided making hard decisions, no one would make them for me. There is no Dean’s List after college. There is no academic probation in the real world to scare me into staying diciplined. I walk forward as fast as I want to, and if I want to sit on the ground and twiddle my thumbs I can do so as I please.

One of those decisions I made for myself was to move to New York from Boston. The best thing about post-grad is having the financial and logistical freedom to make these decisions for yourself. Moving to New York was the first major call that I made for my own life with no one’s help but my own. At age 23 I decided that I want to live in this city, and I can make it happen for myself if I really wanted to. Having the autonomy to move to a city of my choosing and afford it is a huge blessing that is not lost on me, and I am very grateful that I am lucky to have made enough right choices to this point in my life to do this thing for myself.

However, with this freedom and autonomy comes a whole additional basket of anxieties and challenges to manage. Am I specializing in the right domain? Am I learning enough and growing at my current job? How do I balance work and my personal life? Am I socializing enough? Is it wrong to feel unsatisfied with my career? Is it wrong to feel satisfied with my career? Am I saving enough money? Am I neglecting my family by moving across the country because that’s what I wanted?

I don’t really have the answers to any of these questions, and I doubt many people do. But I think that’s okay. I read the post below this one before writing this, and it gave me a moment to reflect and realize how differently I think now - even after only a year or so. I’m sure I’ll have answered some of these questions come another year, and I’ll probably have a completely new set of questions that I’ll complain about while writing a new post.

Post grad life is confusing and uncertain but so is everything else. Best to just keep walking forward I guess. Better than twiddling your thumbs on the ground.

boston boys
My roommates from Boston, Winter 2024
nyc coding
On a call at Kevin's apt, Spring 2024
Written on May 11, 2024