“What are you doing after graduation?” That’s been the big question all year, and I wanted to share the answer with you all since some of you have been reading here since I started college, and graduation is coming up this weekend!
The answer is… I’m going to law school. I feel both excited and nervous. From what I’ve heard, law school is pretty all-consuming, so that part scares me a little bit. I know I’ll have to find ways to keep myself balanced throughout it.
One of the biggest choices I’ve had to make is where I’d go. I wanted a friendly school environment in a city I’d enjoy. I knew I wanted to be able to feel safe running anywhere even in the early mornings, and also have fun things to do when I’m not studying. My family means everything to me, so being close to them (they live in Raleigh) was also priority for me.
One option was to stay at UNC-Chapel Hill, where I’ve been for the past 4 years for undergrad, and go to school here. I LOVE Chapel Hill. There are gorgeous running trails, good restaurants, great sports, a lot of awesome grocery stores all within a couple of miles, and so much more.
And most importantly, I’ve had the best people around me in this town. I’ve gone to school here with both of my siblings, and my brother will be here to another two years. My parents’ house is close enough to hop in the car and drive home for a spontaneous trip to see my family and my dog. A lot of my good friends here actually live nearby, and I’ve gotten to hang out at all of their homes and get to know their families.
The other great option was go to Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, about 2 hours away from here. I applied to 6 or 7 schools, but UNC-Chapel Hill Law and Wake Forest Law were my top choices. They’re pretty similar in terms of the important stuff (i.e. courses offered, reputation/ranking, employment numbers, etc.).
The costs for the two schools ended up even being exactly the same for me, which made the decision even tougher.
Like a lot of people, I struggle with change sometimes. I attended 8 different schools from K-12 grade. It seems like after that, I should be a pro at handling change, but I’m not. I crave comfort and familiarity, so the the idea of leaving Chapel Hill seems crazy. I mean, I can finally navigate the city without using my GPS! But something kept drawing me to Wake Forest.
On my first visit to Wake Forest this fall, I thought the campus was beautiful, people were friendly, and the classes seemed great, but all I wanted to do was get out of there. My dad and I sat down for a (super-early) dinner at 4:30 because I wanted to eat as soon as possible so we could drive home.
The idea of yet another round of goodbyes, another move…it just felt like too much. I moved when I finished elementary school, when I finished middle school, and when I finished high school. Part of me just wants to finish college and stay put.
But over time, I’ve begun to wrap my mind around this new season of life and feel ready for it. I visited Wake Forest again this spring– this time, without my parents because I wanted to feel like I could really do it on my own: drive there, find my way around town, navigate campus, meet people, and all of that. On that second visit, I met even more welcoming students and felt almost at home.
Wake has some pros that UNC doesn’t, and I started to open my mind to the possibility of going there. Despite my hesitation and fear, I feel peaceful and even really excited about the idea of being in a new place once again.
Sending an email to UNC declining my offer of admission was one of the hardest emails I’ve had to write, because closing a door is scary. Especially when going through that door could lead to something great.
But one thing I’ve been reminded of by a lot of people in my life recently is that I can (and will!) choose to make the best out of any situation I’m in. I won’t play the “what if” game about what life would be like if I’d stayed in Chapel Hill.
I don’t know for certain that being at Wake Forest (or even going to law school!) is the right choice. But I do know that whatever I choose will be good.
I’ll grow to love this new city, Winston Salem, that I’ve visited twice in my life. I’ll meet awesome new people, find a church I love, form a new community, and hopefully find some running buds. I’ll find the prettiest trails, best local restaurants, and new favorite study spots there.
And I’ll also always also be a UNC Tar Heel. In the days leading up to graduation, I’ll be going on some extra long, relaxed runs in Chapel Hill, soaking up time with college friends, and buying T-shirts from my favorite local spots, while getting excited about this new chapter.
What about the blog?
I plan to keep blogging similarly to how I do right now and posting whenever I’m able. Blogging is a creative outlet for me and something I love (and have done for almost 4 years now!!), so I don’t plan to stop.
I know eating healthy and being active makes me feel really good, so that’ll continue to be a priority for sure, and I’ll share if/how that looks different starting next year.
I’m guessing I’ll continue cooking similarly to the way I do now, with making a big batch of a recipe or two for the week, and I’ll keep sharing those simple recipes with you. I’m sure I’ll also rely on a lot of my easy staple meals like sweet potatoes, veggie omelets, and lentil pasta.
And I’m excited about having my own KITCHEN after living in a dorm for 4 years! Having a kitchen and a real dishwasher will make blogging so much easier. Fingers crossed I can find an apartment or house with great natural light after this year’s dark dorm room.
I may do a “day in the life” post every once in a while, since people seem to like those. I don’t anticipate talking about school toooo much, unless y’all have any specific questions you’d like me to answer. I’ll continue to share everyday life things on my Instagram posts and stories.
THANK YOU for traveling this journey of college with me, for sending me kind emails, leaving supportive comments, and reading my blog. I appreciate you all so much and look forward to continuing to share my life with all of you. ❤