The clock is ticking.
In just over three months, the Class of 2003 will have to enter the “real world.”
But for now, seniors want to have fun. Some are able to relax, knowing their plans for next year are set, but many seniors are merely climbing deeper into the Yale bubble, enjoying their last semester while thinking as little as possible about their uncertain but impending futures.
It’s not what you know –
Not much has changed for Gabe Kuris since the beginning of his senior year. His post-graduation plans are still vague — he said he hopes to spend a year writing while he fills out law school applications.
As of yet, he has neither found a job, nor picked out his favorite law schools. Nevertheless, Kuris said he is not worried.
After all, he has taken some proactive steps towards planning his future: meeting with advisors at Undergraduate Career Services, calling potential employers, and flipping through law school brochures.
But everywhere he goes, Kuris said, he is told to wait.
Kuris said April is when employers start to hire college graduates. Until then, it is important to make as many connections as possible.
“Basically it’s just all about connections,” Kuris said. “Yale trains you to think intelligence is most important, but it turns out it’s popularity that counts [in the job search].”
Mostly, though, his focus is on the present.
Although Kuris’ LSAT scores “surpassed all my expectations,” he is still working to get good grades this semester in order to improve his chances at law school. He is writing his senior thesis and enjoying time with friends.
“I feel like I have to write my season finale,” Kuris said of his last semester at Yale. “Tie together all the characters and plots.”
Making up for lost time
Carolyn Wright has more important things to do than finalize post-graduation plans. After all, she has never eaten at the Yankee Doodle.
“I can’t graduate never having had a Doodle burger,” she said.
In fact, consuming this Eli favorite is just one of many Yale rituals Wright said she is hoping to cross off her to list before graduation. She is also making lunch dates with old friends and revisiting all of the dining halls, while planning her future remains untouched at the bottom of the long list.
Wright decided several weeks ago to seek work next fall in Los Angeles, rather than New York City as she had originally planned. Advisers and professors helped her realize that film and television acting better suits her more subdued personality, she said.
This change of location will bring her additional challenges because Wright, a New Yorker, does not know Los Angeles. But since she has decided to remain home over the summer rather than begin acting, she said she will have three months to plan her move.
But for now, all Wright is planning are trips for senior and dead weeks.
With the bustle of last semester’s application deadlines and MCATs in the past, Wright said the consensus among seniors is that they want to have fun.
“I had this awakening,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what I do after Yale, because I have only one semester left of it.”
Last October, Will Hsu’s face beamed as he spoke passionately of his options for next year. He talked about the possibility of playing polo in Argentina or spending a year traveling throughout Italy.
These days, though, he speaks of the future tersely.
“I’m not ready to be a college grad,” he said.
Several weeks ago, Hsu submitted applications to three post-baccalaureate programs designed to prepare him for medical school. He said he has already been offered interviews by two schools and expects to hear from the third soon.
If accepted, and if he matriculates, Hsu said he would spend this summer and next year taking science classes.
“I want to keep my options open,” said Hsu, who added that his mother is letting him go to Prague and England over spring break as a reward for finishing his applications.
Another possibility for Hsu, a citizen of Taiwan, is completing his two-year mandatory government service requirement. He could serve for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which he said would likely lead to a placement in either Africa or Central America — the only regions with which Taiwan has diplomatic relations.
Despite his talk of exotic adventures, Hsu said he predicts he will be in the Northeast next year, beginning studies that will help him fulfill his lifelong goal of becoming the third Dr. Hsu in his family, after his father and grandfather.
Still passionate about travelling, Hsu said Argentina and Italy can wait.
“I guess deep down I seek my parents’ approval,” he said.