Making decisions isn’t really my thing.
I’m the kind of person who tries on several different outfits in the morning and has to look at a menu before going out to dinner to prevent the ordering process from dragging on for longer than it should, and JHU_Molly frequently asks me to pick a tables in Gilman simply because she takes joy in watching me struggle with decisions.
As you could probably imagine, this made it difficult to make a decision about what to do next year.
Job? Grad school? Something else?
And every question seemed only to lead to more questions.
Masters? PhD? What type of work?
I applied to both jobs and grad schools, in hopes that the right choice would become clear once I had concrete options and that I could push some of the decision-making burden onto something outside of my own control.
Long story short, somewhere along the way it became clear that grad school was the right path for me, and I was left to choose between the two programs to which I had been accepted.
This proved to be harder than I had imagined.
I made a massive pro/con list, which eventually ended with both programs having equal numbers of pros and cons, in addition to scouring the internet and begging various friends to weigh in on my decision. I also began to think about why this decision was so hard.
At first I thought that it was because I have never truly had to make a decision of this magnitude before. I applied Early Decision to Hopkins, was accepted into BME, and thus basically had my college path mapped out for me. But as I thought about it more, I came to realize that this particular choice was so hard because it made it real that I was leaving.
I’m going to another school next year, a school where I don’t know my way around or have familiar faces everywhere I look. My friends will gain the label as “friends from college” when I talk about them to my future-grad-school friends, and they certainly won’t be within walking distance. I’ll be moving to a new city and leaving behind one that I’ve grown to love and truly consider to be home.
Committing to a grad school meant acknowledging that this chapter of my life is quickly coming to a close, and this was so much harder than I could have ever imagined.
I’m so thankful for all of my experiences at Hopkins, which have led me to make my closest friends, grow as a person, develop new interests, and ultimately figure out what I want to do.
Next year, I’ll be pursuing a Master’s in Design Science at the University of Michigan with a concentration in Usability Design. I hope to combine this with my experiences in BME here at Hopkins to eventually work in the human factors// user experience departments of a medical device company and ensure that a medical devices meet the needs of the people who are going to actually be using them.
Much like JHU_Geneveive and MICA, I really feel like Hopkins led me to this path. I first became interested in this because of my experiences on design team(s) during my freshman and junior years, and if it weren’t for many of my friends, I don’t think I ever would have looked outside of the realm of hard engineering or science disciplines.
So thank you, Hopkins. I’ll be simultaneously elated and sad and nostalgic and proud when I walk across the stage in fifty-something days to graduate. Hopefully by then I’ll decide what to put on the back of my graduation cap.