Tuesday, June 9, 2009

From Maryland to Louisiana

Last week I wrote about how after growing up in California, I decided to head to the east coast for college. Today, I will tell you Part 2, or how after going to college in Maryland, I decided to go to grad school in Louisiana.

I had originally gone to college thinking I would be a history major, but wound up double majoring in Math & Chemistry. Yes, I am a bit indecisive, basically I thought I would be avoiding writing papers. No one tells you freshmen year you will have to write Math papers. But entering senior year, again I had no idea what I wanted to do. I didn't know what kind of job I wanted to have. I didn't know if I wanted to move back to California or try living in Maryland for a few more years.

Most of my friends in my major knew exactly what they were doing, but only because they were going to grad school. I knew people going to med school, to pharmacy school, to law school, to get a math PhD, and to get a chemistry PhD school. So I figured I might as well go to grad school too! I had spent the previous summer working in a chemistry lab. And while parts of it were fun, I really didn't want o spend a lot of time in a lab. Which left math. Guess I was going to grad school in math!

Which meant I had to decide where I wanted to apply.I wound up with a list, about 5 or so schools long. With schools in North Carolina, in Georgia, in South Carolina, in Maryland, and in Massachusetts. Except for heading up to Boston, they were all somewhat coincidentally in the South. Was it a conscious decision, not necessarily. But I did like the idea of trying out a new part of the country.

Then the day I finished all of my applications I received an e-mail asking me to apply to LSU. I figured why not, it couldn't hurt, especially since there was no application fee.

Again, I got into most of the schools I applied to, and I had to make yet one more decision. I had actually been to Louisiana to visit a friend the previous summer. And while they would no longer be there when I started school, I liked to idea of going something that I had at least been before. Also I had applied to a slightly different field of math at LSU, and would be a little more familiar with my coursework. But I can't say there was an overwhelming right decision. I definitely worried that I was making the wrong choice. And now looking back, I can't even imagine where I would be if I hadn't made it. Its funny the way things work out.

Did you have a hard time deciding what you wanted to do when you finished college? Or if you're still in college, do you know what you want to do once you graduate? O, the possibilities.



  1. You know from reading my blog that I have had major issues figuring out what to do after college! I hope one of these days I make a decision! I wish it were just a decision to go to grad school....

  2. I finished college 12 years ago. I just started applying for jobs and never thought much about grad school. I wish I had gone to grad school now.

    Do you think you'll stay in Louis. after you graduate or go somewhere different?

  3. I actually graduated almost exactly 1 year ago, and I'm still here. The future though, I have no idea. But are me wants to move back to California eventually, but well, I guess we'll see what happens.

  4. I knew that I wanted to return West from the Midwest for law school, so I only applied to schools in MST and PST :) Now, 1 year down and 2 to go I'm not certain I chose the right place, but at the same time I cherish the experiences I've had and people I've met and can't imagine my life without them.
    Crazy how that often seems to be the case :)

  5. So I just read your last post! I, too, chose to go to a small liberal arts D3 school in Maryland so I could play soccer. I'm dying to know where you went. I went to Washington College (Chestertown, Md)...I'm going to take a guess that maybe you went to St. Mary's???

  6. I've been to Louisiana once, my sophomore year of college we road tripped to New Orleans. It was so much fun!
    I didn't have a hard time choosing a college, I knew I wanted one in state and I actually only applied two!

  7. When I was in college, I thought I knew what I wanted to do once it was over. Then when it came down to it I was like WHOA! Not ready for the real world. I took about 3 months off and travelled and that was by far the best decision...for me.

  8. I can't imagine majoring in math and science! ahhh! I wasn't terrible in those subjects, but it definitely didn't come easy. though, I guess it sounds like you would say the same about journalism, since you were trying to avoid writing papers :) (I didn't really know people wrote math papers either, though!)

    anyway, I feel like my decision to go to pepperdine was a bit random because when I went I was a music major, and though pep has a great classical/opera music program, I'm not really into that kind of music. I just had a good feeling about it when I visited the campus.

    I didn't have a hard time figuring out what to do after school, just a hard time finding a job! it is not easy to break into journalism, not two years ago and especially not now. but after a year I managed to get a full-time job.

    sometimes I wish I had gone to grad school, stayed in school a bit longer because I definitely miss college now, but unfortunately I couldn't afford it and I didn't know what I would get my masters in since a masters in journalism after you have a BA really doesn't mean a whole lot. experience means more in my field...

    anyway, that was a long comment, but thanks for sharing your story! I loved hearing the L.A. to LA backstory :)

  9. I was also a math major! No masters in math for me - though! What an accomplishment.

    Sort of random that we both posted 'a year ago today' posts w/in one day of each other!