Before you read this post, catch up on the other two “college-related” posts I’ve put up this year!
Today, I realized that my bachelor’s degree was finalized and I’m officially a college graduate. Wow. That hefty term seems like it could never apply to my life, but it’s who I am now. I worked four years to get here, and I’ve done everything I needed to do. I’ll be starting an internship in the fall, and it’s going to be a game-changer for me.
Does this sound familiar to anyone right now?
A lot of the girls I follow on social media have been talking about this topic a lot lately: they’re graduated women. That four-year degree that they’ve been planning for for years before, it’s finally over. The thing that’s consumed their thoughts for so long, it’s done. I know we go to college in order to prepare for our future careers, but our minds are often so focused on that university or community college.
That’s why it’s such a shock when we leave that place and lifestyle, and don’t really know where to begin. Many of us move back home to save money (hey, that’s what I did!) and all of us are searching for the next step. Sometimes that means an internship, other times it’s looking for a full-time job in the field you studied, or maybe one you didn’t.
Life at this time is completely unpredictable and a little terrifying. There’s an intense pressure to succeed and be 100% independent from the moment we receive that degree, but it’s not really the story many people tell about their lives.
So, if it sounds like I described you and your current feelings, I have a message for you. Keep trying and don’t give up searching. This can be the most exciting time in your life, if you let it be that way. Here are a few reminders that I’m keeping in my thoughts everyday:
PRAYER IS EVERYTHING
During these unknowns, God is even closer than usual. He’s holding our hand while we try to cross a huge, terrifying street, attempting to guide us through it safely. He wants us to pray and listen to His words. When we don’t know what’s coming next, He’s right there waiting to show us the answers. We may think that we will never figure out all of the uncertainty, but God is telling us another story.During these unknowns, God is even closer than usual. Click To Tweet
Prayer is everything, and it is powerful. We need to show our hearts to God and ask Him to show us His. Ask questions. Sit in silence. Journal your thoughts. Read relevant excerpts from the Bible. Watch sermons and people who talk about this exact thing. Examine your heart and deepest desires.
The ultimate goal is to wind up in the place God wants us to be, doing His work in some way. In order to do that, we need to know our unique talents and be listening to Him. The answers may not come quickly, but they will come.
These are the times when our relationship with God is going to grow and prosper the most. Take advantage of it.
EMBRACE YOUR MENTALITY
Okay. I know exactly how you feel at this odd moment in life: a little lost. Accept that feeling and embrace it, that’s step number one. You shouldn’t hide any of it, because it’s all necessary in order to grow and be prepared for even bigger changes in the future. Now that you’ve…embraced…that mentality, add to it.
So, great. You feel lost. But, what else do you feel? Think about all the places you could go in life, now that you’re not locked into a certain schedule every day. This is the time when you get to explore your talents and passions, plus you’ve got a degree to back you up.
Don’t forget: no matter what you got your degree in, you are never locked into staying in that field. If you feel your heart drifting somewhere else, follow it. You’re going to feel terrified and, yes, lost but we’ve already covered that: enjoy those feelings! Invite them in, instead of asking them to leave. But don’t let them stop you.
Let yourself feel inspired and excited. You should. You might not be happy with where you’re at yet, but how many people really are!? Don’t settle, and don’t give up until you not just like where you end up, but love it. Use everything around you and inside of you to push you forward.Use everything around you and inside of you to push you forward. Click To Tweet
DISCOVER YOURSELF (WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?)
It’s taken a lot of your time and energy to get you through those college years. Your main focus is becoming who you’ve always dreamed of becoming, right? Now, you’ve finally, actually started down that path and gotten over the first big mountain. You’re in the real world now.
Before you move any further, don’t forget to find yourself. I discovered that while I was in college, I kind of left parts of me behind. I was in a bubble during those years, and although I learned and grew so much from it, I don’t think I figured out everything about me that I needed to.
Now that you’ve moved on from that part of your life, it’s the perfect chance to do a little soul-searching. What did you learn in that time, inside and outside of the classroom? Who did you wind up surrounding yourself with? What passions did you uncover in that time? Who do you want to be in the future?
Start truly finding the answer to those questions, never forgetting that your identity is never fulfilled without Christ.your identity is never fulfilled without Christ. Click To Tweet
I’m not trying to say that you’re lost after college, but I’m sure there are parts of you that were unearthed during those years that you didn’t have time to realize until now. You don’t need to become a totally different person than you were, but you can always become better. The most important of those questions from above: Who do you want to be?
For so many people, this is the most unique time in their life (so far); you don’t have everything figured out and planned just yet. That’s okay and, honestly, it’s good.
When in doubt in life: Pray, Embrace and Discover.When in doubt in life: Pray, Embrace and Discover. Click To Tweet