The Beginning of the End

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Today, my winter break comes to an end and it’s time to return to UMBC for my last semester as an undergraduate student.  I’m not too excited about all of the work that’s lying ahead of me, but I’m glad I’ve come this far.  It’s crazy to think that three years ago I was a freshman in college with no idea of what I wanted to do.  I was an undeclared major, still working as a part-time dance teacher, and anticipating what the rest of my life was going to look like.  Now, I’m finally at my last semester, something that I at times thought would never come.  I remember the late nights, the weekends filled with homework, and the dire need for Starbucks throughout the past years.  I can still feel the stress of taking 18 credits and working three jobs two semesters in a row.  The thought of endless research papers are still too close in my memory to be the past and now here I am… about to start my last semester of college.  I’ve taken on a lighter load, thanks to AP credits and jam-packing a couple of semesters, which is definitely making me dread the next four months much less than other undergrads and I must say I’m so proud of myself.  Despite all of the stress, I think I did pretty well as a college student and I’m ready to finish off my education on a high note.  I’m ready to close the collegiate chapter of my life and move on to the next stage.

The funny thing is that now that I’m nearing my graduation people always ask me if I’m going to go to grad school and, at first, I was dead set against it.  I haven’t always been a fan of school and I always saw my Bachelor’s Degree as the end for me, but, I must admit, there was a point in time when I did think about grad school.  However, I only thought about it for a very brief moment because then I remembered how much of a pain college can be at times and I was reminded of how badly I want to move forward in life.  If I were to go to grad school, I would be using it as a crutch.  It would be because I’m too afraid of the “real world” and truly going after my dreams.  Yes, the thought of having a safety blanket for a couple of more years is absolutely enticing, but, at the end of the day, it’s just not for me.  I would much rather jump now and get to my end goal without hesitation, than to stall in school for a few more years.  When you’re a creative person like me, a formal education can only get you so far.  There comes a point where you just have to let life experiences teach you what’s truly going to mold your craft and that’s exactly what I can’t wait to get started.  That’s the next step and finishing this last semester of school is just the beginning.

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About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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