A few days ago, Facebook reminded me that I posted this blog a year ago about figuring out what I want to do with my life.

I, JHU_Emily, am here to tell you that one year later, I still don’t really know.

It seems like every day I’m fielding questions about grad school, future plans, summer internships, and every other aspect of post-grad life. To be honest, every time I answer it, I get more and more unsure.

Like a lot of people, I came into college with a plan. I wanted to get involved with research and then pursue a PhD or an MD-PhD after college and make strides toward curing my own disease. But like a lot of people, this plan changed and so did I.

As college has gone on, I’ve developed a love of math but also a love of art. I’ve become simultaneously more busy and less stressed, all while incorporating both more rap music and more film scores into my study playlists.

I’ve realized I don’t really like research and really like to build things. I’ve realized that sometimes it’s better to go to bed than stay in the library and that it’s easier to figure out what you don’t want to do than figure what you do.


Freshman me was also more excited about free apples

I know what you’re thinking, dear reader. You’re probably thinking something like, “you have a year and a half; you’ll figure it out!” or something like, “you’re going to be a biomedical engineer; you’re JHU_Emily, BME extraordinaire!”

You’re right. I do have a little less than half of college to figure it out. But if the next year and a half go anything like the last two, graduation will come faster than college students to the promise of free food.

I know the skills that my major is teaching me are invaluable. I’m learning about control systems, feedback mechanisms, and ion channels, but more importantly I’m learning how to think. I know I’m being trained to think about things differently and approach problems in a different manner than I previously would have.


am I thinking about art or non-linear differential equaitons? the world may never know

I know I’ll be able to apply these skills to whatever I end up doing, whether that be building medical devices, designing theme park rides, or taste-testing coffee.

Maybe I’ll go to grad school (hint: I probably will). Maybe I’ll get a job in the biomedical field. Maybe I won’t.

That’s okay.

I’m lucky to go to an institution with such resources as the career center and an incredible alumni network to help the semi-directionless, such as myself, try to figure out which way to go.

A lot can change in a year. Maybe on the one- year anniversary of this post, after battling both SBE I and SBE II, I’ll have something figured out.

But until then, if you need me, I’ll probably be on B Level, drinking coffee, trying to understand calcium regulation in cardiomyocytes, in the hopes that maybe the next SBE midterm won’t be that bad.

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token gratuitous/ semi-relevant photo of the library