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Millikin University > Millikin University Blogs > Alumni Blogs > The ups and downs of life as a Ph.D. student > Posts > The Beginning...
I have been encouraged by Millikin to blog about my experiences as a young alum. As a May graduate, I, along with my classmates, are as young as one can be as a Millikin alum. 

My name is Lauren Rose Bringman. I graduated with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. My go-to story of the moment is that I WILL be attending Indiana University School of Medicine and I WILL be pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Sciences starting in the fall. But...not just yet. 

As a recent grad, everyone-yes, even strangers-asks you "the question." Oh the question-all my classmates know the one I am talking about. "So what are you doing now?" Which, is code for, it's June and why aren't you doing it yet? Well, to answer that question is complicated! It is complicated because whether you are job searching or going on to school, as of right now, you are basically a sitting duck in this economy.  

I am currently employed at Panera Bread in Bloomington, IL until August when I move to Indianapolis. I would not be exaggerating if I said that I have been asked "the question" so many times by customers, coworkers, and old acquaintances, that half of the staff at work could recite my answer word for word. "She WILL be going on to school-she WILL be getting a PhD blah, blah blah." 

Why do I feel the need to prove myself to complete strangers that just happen to take an interest in the girl behind the bakery counter? Why? There really is this sensation that comes over me; it makes me feel like my post-grad plans are inadequate. 

I must emphasize words like temporary-as in "this job that forces me to serve you bagels and coffee is just temporary until I go on to school." But as I consider this, I am realizing how ridiculous it has been for me to feel this way. Class of 2010, we graduated from college! That is fantastic! We accomplished something very important and special, and however long or short our list of prospects is should never make us feel negatively about the momentous feat we just crossed. 

AND SO, I promise to just clock in and clock out and be proud of what Millikin has given me. My prospect is brewing-I can smell it, it's so close. Come August, my go-to phrase of I WILL can finally change to I AM. 

Class of 2010, your prospects too are brewing. However, as I have learned from Panera, good coffee takes time to brew (approximately eight minutes). Take the time, my friends, to just be proud.
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL