Discoveries and New Directions Postcollege

Duke grad Kalif Jeremiah ’15 shares eye-opening lessons learned as he enters the next chapter of his life.

Dear Class of 2019,

Congratulations, you did it! I remember being in your position and feeling both excited and nervous about my first year at college. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was confident that it would all work out. Today, I’m a graduate of Duke University and starting to find my way in my new postgrad life.

In college, you may have a solid sense of what you like, but what’s really eye-opening is when you discover what you don’t like. I now know that I don’t like having a roommate, having to share a bathroom, or having morning classes. Figuring all of this out as a freshman allowed me to tailor my experience in my remaining three years at Duke.

Going in, I feared that I would not be able to keep up with the work, but I soon realized that in many ways college was easier to manage than high school. By having the freedom to set my own schedule, I no longer had to be in class from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, I could opt to not have class on Fridays if I wanted, and sports became recreational, which I found more enjoyable.

With all of the free time in my academic schedule, it was much easier for me to manage my workload and get everything done on time. Although the papers were longer, because Poly taught me how to research and synthesize ideas, I was ready for the challenge.

At Duke, I found a new love for music. I went from being an aspiring lawyer, to an aspiring musician. I never would have imagined that I would spend three years signed as an artist to a school record label, or that the experience would make me change my career goals. Discovering this new passion has truly been a blessing.

(Photo: Kalif Jeremiah 15′ (left) graduated from Duke in 2019.)

Every day I’m grateful that I took a chance on myself and decided to try something new. Although I don’t have my life all figured out, I know that I’m heading in the right direction. Today, three months after graduating from Duke University, I’m still unsure of what my next step will be. And that’s okay. I’ve learned to move forward despite the fear, to take chances despite uncertainty, and to lean on the people in my corner whenever I need them.

Good luck,
Kalif Jeremiah ’15