Undergraduate graduation propels people into, arguably, one of the weirdest and most uncomfortable states of existence perhaps ever. We’re in our twenties, a highly romanticized age group that has been characterized by outsiders as a constant carefree party-like lifestyle. But the reality of it is that those of us who have just graduated or have recently graduated, are stepping out of the bubble of our peers into a new world.
Personally, I’ve been living off campus and on my own since last July and while I have grown up significantly, it's going to take some serious getting used to for not see my friends three times a week or have the structure and strict routine that I forced myself into while still in school.
However, this is just an unfortunate fact of life. Every time I think about how much I’ll miss Stony Brook and the English department and all the amazing professors I’ve had over the last four years, my thoughts are always led to what the future (near and far) has in store for me.
Being a part of SBU’s English department has opened up so many opportunities for me. This summer I was awarded the URECA Summer Research grant which funded me to undergo research on a subject of my choosing in the hopes to provide a full summer dedicated to research without the hassle of a job.
Unfortunately, living in New York City without a job is terribly, terribly impossible. But that’s okay! I have an amazing workplace at the TriBeCa showroom for Schoolhouse Electric and I can still devote a majority of my time to my research project: “Queering Ephemera: The Arch(t)ivist Role of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.”
This grant is intimately related to another opportunity I’ve acted on and that is my internship at the Lesbian Herstory Archive. Here I’ll be splitting my time between a special collections project and exhibit research. This internship is perfect in two ways: it holds all of the necessary primary documents needed for my summer research, and it will give me vital experience in my career of choice and build up my application to grad schools for my degree in Library Sciences and Information Studies.
I’m putting this degree off a while. After the summer I plan on taking the first semester of the school year off in order to research and apply to different MLIS programs (either local for hands-on classes, or across the nation for an online degree, or maybe a mix of both.) But once I get in and get started I hope to receive my Master’s with a specialization in rare books and special collections along with a post-graduate certificate in archival studies and records management.
After that, who knows. I currently only have nebulous ideas about the distant future which include receiving a PhD, owning an apartment in the city, and holding a head archivist position at a world renowned library (can you hear me, British Library?)
With any luck, the path I’ve set myself on will lead me to a wonderful job and a stable lifestyle. When I look back on my twenties, I don’t want to look back on an insecure creature that didn’t believe she was good enough to get what she wanted out of life. I want to look back on the go-getter, the activist, the passionate woman I know I am, striving to succeed and never giving up when she fails.