Looking Back, Looking Forward: Alumni Story

Veronica Rosiejka was a FRIT student assistant in 2008-2009 studying French. Check out her awesome story here about the surprising and exciting places your major can take you:

Now I’ve Graduated: Should I Follow my Passion or Should I Follow my Heart?

I graduated from the U with my Bachelor’s in French in 2011.  I, probably like many French majors, dreamt of moving to France to have a year off before grad school, and even had loose plans to do so.  It was a dream I could see so clearly, it was the only future that awaited me. Or so I thought.  But real life caught up to me like it will to everyone, in one way or another.  In my last semester of undergrad, I met a guy.  From the land of the Vikings.  We fell in love and I moved to Norway.  I worked as an au pair for six months, started learning Norwegian, traveled, we moved in together.  The more time that passed, the more I missed French and the farther my passion kept slipping away from me.  I wanted to study French, but instead I applied to a grad program in Bergen I ended up not liking.  I stayed with it only a semester before switching to master in French.  It was a relief to be studying French and to be back in the francophone world again!  I am still studying and have a job working in a Norwegian hospital now, but I am also a translator.  One evening, at a friend’s birthday, I was having a conversation with someone who had heard that I speak/study French.  He gave me a name and phone number, and the next day I was hired to translate a website from French to Norwegian.  I could not have been luckier to stumble across this opportunity that has the possibility to turn into much more.  I love where I am and what I do.  It’s not at all what I expected, but I am really happy with my life and where I’ve ended up so far.

As you approach graduation with all of your idealistic dreams, remember that things don’t always go according to plan.  Don’t despair.  Take the opportunities that present themselves to you.  The most important thing is to follow your heart and do what makes you happy.  I know that that can be hard; I fought with myself plenty of times.  But you never know where you’re going to end up and you can do some pretty amazing things along the way that you would have never experienced if you weren’t flexible and willing to experiment.  Who knows where life will take you!  I don’t mean that you should necessarily be a leaf in the wind, but your passions will always find a way back to you, somehow, even if you don’t end up doing exactly what you had planned.  Even if you have two things that you feel you need to decide between, be patient, follow your heart and you’ll have it all.

By Veronica Rosiejka

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