I have recently been spending a lot of time with a group of young Asian American professionals. The friendship originally grew out of volunteer efforts in the Philadelphia community to get more Asian Americans out to vote. Since then, the group has transformed into a social group planning get togethers at events around Philly or at people’s homes. I enjoy these retreats away from Bryn Mawr and the perspectives of those who are at all different stages of their careers and life.
Something my Asian American yuppie group likes to do is attend arts events in Philly. One adventure often turns into another, and we end up spending a lot of time together. This past Friday, a few of us attended the free Barnes Open House event. It was my first time at the Barnes, and it looks like I’ll have to return someday to check out the permanent exhibit. Only the French photography of the 19th century exhibit was open, but we also browsed the art and handcraft goods that were for sale outside the gallery. We also unexpectedly ran into a friend of a friend at the museum. This then turned into a late night dinner run to Chinatown for Nanzhou Noodles. I stayed the night with one of my friends, and we stayed up late talking and studying for our tests (GRE for me, GMAT for her). The next day, we studied some more, went to a yoga class (free for me because I signed up for the free 7 day trial, discount for her because she had a Groupon), went out for tacos, ran into another friend of a friend, and ate tacos at his apartment. My friend group has so many more events planned for the rest of December, but I had to take the train back to New Jersey to return home for break. Back to being a college student for me.
I titled this post “A Taste of the Yuppie Life” because hanging out with older friends will make you think hard about the type of lifestyle you want after graduation (which is very, very soon for me). From what I’ve heard, post-grad life can be very depressing. The shock of entering the real world when all you’ve known for most of your life is studying, living in a dorm, and going to the dining hall for all your meals can be a lot for people to handle. In addition, your closest friends are not just down the hallway anymore. Luckily, I know how to cook and save money. My parents have been trying to teach me personal finances and investments. I am actively looking for post-grad jobs while still enjoying my last months at Bryn Mawr. It’s too late now to look back and regret choices I’ve made about internships or academics. Everything is a lesson in growing up and adulting.
If there’s one takeaway I’ve learned so far, it’s that I aspire even more now to get a good job and maybe move to Philly post-graduation. It is a little weird to think of my future with such a monetary value, but reality hits when you see your friends going places. Everyone wants to be “happy” too, and many tradeoffs come with that. Private sector versus public/nonprofit, business versus the arts — they are all hard decisions. Ultimately, I would like to be at a place where I can comfortably live on my own (in a convenient location close to public transportation of course) and have enough free time to continue my hobbies of dancing and the arts. I’m just a GRE test, an undergrad graduation, a postgrad job, grad school, and many more life experiences away from achieving that. My future self wishes me luck!