Earlier this month I had the pleasure of returning to my Alma Mater, Boston College. As I stepped off the BC Commonwealth Avenue bus among students, a weird feeling descended on me, my heart sped up and my palms became clammy. Despite my having graduated from the university 4 months before, I had yet to feel out of place on campus grounds. I had given various elevator pitches for the start-up I founded on campus and presentations in front of lecture hall classes, but never once did I feel as nervous as I did just then.
I headed down Campanella Way towards Maloney Hall, the building that holds most of the administrative offices, offices that I rarely set foot in willfully during my academic years at BC. I walked into the office, and as I set my foot in the conference room where I would be giving my presentation, I forced myself to settle myself and my stomach and introduced myself to the meeting’s attendees.
A half hour later I was done, smiling, and felt at home among my peers. Instead of feeling out of place as a post-grad student from BC, I felt remarkably at home among my fellow Eagle admins. While working full-time at a “neu” start-up and becoming self-sufficient, you can no longer identify as a “student.” You are in charge of your career path, and are accountable to no one other than yourself.
“Ain’t it Fun” by Paramore, a song which remarks on the challenges of growing up and not being able to rely on your “mama” anymore was playing in my ear buds as I stepped off the Commonwealth Avenue bus to hold my first official business meeting. When leaving campus, I was singing a different tune — as I shook hands with administrators who I had long felt separated and alienated from, I realized that they were once in my place, they were my allies, and as collaborators in BC’s vision to “set the world aflame” I am lucky enough to have leaders in my corner who believe in me, my career aspirations, and my own vision.
After sitting in Hillsides Deli and munching on a Hillside special sandwich I retrieved my earphones from my bag plugged them in to my phone to turn on Sia and Kendrick Lamar’s “The Greatest”; Boston College helped instill in me the confidence to know that post-grad adulthood does not amount to stagnancy, it opens the door to independence and freedom to define your future.