Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

STUDENT AND THE CITY: What happens when I am not a student anymore?


Student and the City is a column dedicated to asking the big questions that all college-aged students are asking. It will explore different social concepts within the younger generations regarding relationships, lifestyle, social media and more. 

As another semester comes to a close, I look to plan what comes next. I pick my new set of classes, buy some new school supplies and prepare myself for the inevitable heavy workload ahead of me. This month, I did this for the last time. 

Since I was only five years old, I have been sitting in a classroom. I have had the privilege of learning something new every day and receiving an incredible education. When strangers ask who I am and what I do, I say “I am a student.” It is my identity – and has been for as long as I can remember. 

The question is: what happens when I am not a student anymore?

Honestly, I am not sure what I am going to do with myself once I leave university. I have been told throughout my entire educational career, the harder I study in school now, the farther I will go in the future. So I have dedicated my days to writing papers, completing assignments and studying for my next exam. My syllabus has told me how to spend each day of my existence. I have become comfortable in the routine I have created for myself. This “future” that I have been working for is here, what should I expect? What am I supposed to do with all my time? 

Holding this distinct status makes me feel safe. I am not afraid to take a trip abroad or an internship opportunity that may not be right for me. As a student, I feel as though I stand in this gray area between being a kid and an adult. I have all the freedom of an adult without the real consequences it comes with – I still have room to make mistakes and to learn. I can take risks and I have my identity as a safety net to fall back on. Who am I now?

Undergraduate life gives me a sense of importance. I have a purpose. My only real responsibilities consist of getting good grades and growing as a student. Every time I prepare for a test or tirelessly persist through a difficult assignment, I know I am planting a seed for my future. I am confident my time is not wasted when I am committing it to schoolwork. I do not have to feel the pressure that I am not doing enough.  

Soon, I will be thrown into the real world. The city will not just be the place I go to school. It will be the place I start my life. Each decision I make will be my own, and at my own expense. What comes next? A job? My own place? More school? Marriage? A kid? Let’s back up. Without school to schedule it all for me and tell me what to do, my possibilities are overwhelming. There are too many roads I can go down. 

How will I know if I passed or failed without a grade? How will I meet people when I am not introduced to new classmates each semester? What will I do for fun when there are no clubs to tell me what activities to take part in? Who will I look to for guidance once my teachers are in my past? With a mix of excitement and fear, I am about to be free-falling into this new realm of new promises and potential failures. 

When I walk off the graduation stage, will I jump right into my dream life? Will I land the perfect job, spend my days doing what I love, with a full bank account and lots of credit for all the grades I received over the last couple of decades? Or will I return to my childhood home, drowning in the job search and watching reality television with my parents each night?

A school-free life is scary and thrilling. It’s not something I am prepared for, and I am not sure if it is something I want. Ready or not, here it comes. 

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About the Contributor
Julia Ahaesy, Opinion Editor, Social Media Manager | she/her
Julia is a senior studying public relations at Suffolk University. Along with her roles of co-opinion editor and co-social media editor at The Suffolk Journal, she writes weekly for her column, Student and the City. On the few occasions she is not writing, you can find her buried in the latest issue of Vogue, wandering the city, or drinking too much coffee. Native to Massachusetts, she will be joining the Massachusetts Air National Guard after graduation. She is currently studying abroad in London, England. Julia hopes to continue traveling as she explores the arts and culture industries in her future. Follow Julia on Twitter @juliaahaesy Email her at [email protected]

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STUDENT AND THE CITY: What happens when I am not a student anymore?