Several times this year, I’ve asked my other senior friends something to the effect of: Do you know what you’re doing post-grad yet? I have also immediately followed those inquiries up with Also I’m sorry if that’s a hateful question to ask.
Imagining the year (and the life) to come after graduation is frightening at essentially every step of the process, even after (sometimes, especially after) you’ve solidifed those next steps. But one thing about me? I’m gonna plan in advance! So here’s a condensed list of what I’ll be up to in my first year post-grad: as an English major, a Theater major, a poet and playwright, and just as a Yale graduate!
But before I tell you all about that, I think it’s worth mentioning that as I typed up all these plans, and this blog, it occurred to me that that awaiting future won’t include, well, these written mini-snapshots of my life and its progression. These blogs have been a kind of chronicle of my time at Yale, and throughout Yale — I’ve been writing them every semester I’ve been enrolled. And You, the reader, have been following me on this now almost-complete journey, too. As younger Yalies have come up to me throughout my time in college and told me about blogs of mine that they read when they were in high school and considering applying, it’s reminded me with each of their greetings that yes, people do indeed read my writing.
And even though I haven’t met all of You, in some form, you’ve been among the longest and most consistent presences in my Yale life. So in a way, this is more than just a peek into what the immediate next steps of a recent graduate can look like: it’s also a goodbye.
If you’re here for that goodbye from me as me, rather than just me as a student, then keep reading! And if you’ve never read any of my blogs before and are just here for the vibes and some information, then hello and welcome and I hope, as I have always hoped, that this helps you in some measurable way!
Psych! What did you think this section was going to be? After graduation, I’m taking the rest of May off to just vibe. There will be absolutely No work, No career ambitions, No self-assigned tasks, and No stress. For a time at least! While I possibly could’ve found or done some small, extra activity here to jam-pack my summer, taking time for rest (and taking time to celebrate your W’s!) wherever you can carve it out is important too!
That is until early June, when it’ll be almost back to school as I head off to New Jersey to participate in the Rutgers English Diversity Institute (REDI) — a one-week summer program at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, which gathers fifteen college students from across the nation whose cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds contribute to diversity in the field of English literary studies. Over the course of the week, we’ll consider attending grad school as well as pursuing careers as teachers and scholars, learn about various critical approaches in English literary studies from Rutgers faculty, and be introduced to swath of workshops, seminars, and lectures, among some other activities!
I was first made of aware of it by a poet-friend of mine who was one Yale class above me, and I’m super hyped to meet other English students (and work with some astounding faculty)!
Part of the flier for REDI! Image credit: Rutgers English Diversity Institute.
I’ll be also be attending the poetry program at the Community of Writers in Olympic Valley this summer, where over the course of a week, I’ll write new poems each day, meet with other poets in morning workshops to discuss all our new work, workshop my poems with other authors, and gather with other writers for craft discussions!
Images from past gatherings in Olympic Valley! Image credit: Community of Writers.
I’ll be at the Tin House summer workshop in July in Portland, too — workshopping some of my poems with Professor Solmaz Sharif, attending craft lectures, poetry readings, curated workshops, and conversations with authors, going to one-on-one meetings with faculty and agents, writing new poems, and possibly singing a little karaoke too!
Tin House’s logo! Image credit: Tin House.
And yes, another one! I’ll also be at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in Tennessee this summer, attending with a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in poetry for two weeks in July, where I’ll workshop more poems with the program’s faculty members in group and individual meetings, and go to various readings, open mics, and lectures!
Snapshots from past conferences! Image credit: Sewanee Writers’ Conference.
August & The Year Beyond!
And then I’ll be off and away to do more creative writing abroad! Earlier this semester, I was selected as one of the winners of Yale’s Gordon Grand Postgraduate Fellowship, which will support me spending six months in London to write my next play, and then another six months in Accra working on my first collection of poetry! I’m not sure what will await me after that — grad school or an aspiration for a job in video game development or TV writing or some other form of storytelling — but regardless of what path I choose, I’ll be grateful (in addition to the range of resources I’ll still have access to through Yale and other alumni) for having had the time, space, and platform to record what has shaped this fraction of my life here.
So thank you for being here to write to. And thank you, through all these years, for listening!