March 23, 2011
What is life after Earlham like for our graduates? That’s a hard question to answer in detail and comprehensively. We know that most of our graduates go on to lives of uncommon value, full of branching, interesting pursuits both at work and outside of work. But how do we know that? More from anecdote piled on anecdote than through systematic research, though there is some of the latter.
I was intrigued by this paragraph in a student blog post from Piper Lewis speaking of a spring break visit to a friend, an alumna named Hannah. I don’t know Hannah’s last name, and I’m not sure where she lives, but the picture of her life that Piper paints is quite appealing:
Hannah is involved with a bunch of really cool communities here; a cooking/dining co-op, the Quaker circles and some dance groups. Her life seems amazing and full and fun. It’s been wonderful to get to hang out with her and see this wonderful vision of life after Earlham. Some of it, I think, is how amazing and outgoing Hannah is herself. She makes great choices and has found a place that makes her heart sing with work that makes a difference.
That last sentence sounds like the Earlham I know and love: the experience of many, many graduates. And then Piper adds this about her own thinking, now that she’s a junior:
It was helpful to talk with her about my own confusion. It’s a Junior year thing, apparently, you know you’re about to be thrust out into the big wide world but you’re still not sure where you’re going. It’s wonderful to see someone who’s so clearly come down in the right place. I still don’t really know what I want to do. There are a lot of things that interest me and a lot of things to think about, but I think I’ll be well prepared to make those decisions when I finally need to, and if I think deeply about it, I hope I too, will end up somewhere that’s just right for me.