Dealing, Post Graduation

Xiao Dai/New University

Post-graduation life is always a topic of heavy interest at this point in the academic year. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, planning for post-grad life should always be a relevant topic for college students.

I recently caught up with UC Irvine alumna Brittany Rice, who graduated from UCI with a degree in biological sciences in the spring of 2010, to see how post- graduation life has been treating her and just how different her life has become.

Since the beginning of Brittany’s undergraduate career, she knew that she wanted to study within the field of medicine  After graduating she went on to attend Samuel Merritt University, the California School of Podiatric Medicine, to become a doctor of podiatry.

“My responsibilities have changed significantly since undergrad,” she said. “I’m no longer just trying to get an A or pass a class. I actually need to maintain a firm knowledge of the material. She believes that the transition was the most difficult part, particularly because her workload has been intensified so drastically.

During undergraduate education, a social life is something that many students hold high in importance and participate heavily in events and parties of many sorts. Brittany explains that since beginning at CSPM, her social life has taken a sharp turn. Instead of attending organizational events, parties or just relaxing with friends on the weekends, she spends much of, if not, all her time studying. It has become such a crucial aspect of her life that free time of any sort is truly a treat for the 23-year-old student. She explains that the amount of studying she puts into her schoolwork ultimately reflects her desire to do well. Therefore, long study sessions are the only way to go.

While Brittany does admit that the initial adjustment was difficult- adapting to the long days and new location, she explained that finding a group of people or even just a few friends she could identify with has made her experience quite enjoyable! When studying at an undergraduate institution, it seems as though everyone has a multitude of friends and is always socially active. Graduate school is a different ball game — finding friends may be more complicated. “It is reassuring to know that I have friends in my program that are experiencing the same adjustments that I am,” Brittany explains. No one wants to feel uncomfortable at their own school, especially when they are encountering a new environment.

The great thing about graduate school is that you get to focus on a topic that truly interests you and is worth every ounce of your time. “As difficult as it was for me to adapt to my new lifestyle, knowing in the back of my mind that this is what I want to do with my life, that this would ultimately be my future, puts a bit of excitement into everyday,” Brittany says enthusiastically. The common phrase “Do what you love” applies strongly here. While Brittany may be sacrificing a thrilling social life and leisure time now, she knows that she is working toward a promising and rewarding future that once achieved, she can proudly say she worked hard for.

The consideration of entering the adult world can be a frightening thought, but transitions are a part of everyday life and each day that passes us by is only preparing us for what is to come. Students like Brittany Rice are definitely examples to follow. Having a plan and committing to the inevitable alterations, whether they are disciplinary or financial, will ultimately propel one into a new realm of maturity.