Adventures Christian Advice

You’re a College Graduate. Now What?

“So what are you going to do now?” is the daily question I’m asked by caring family or friends, and I continue to stumble over. 2 weeks after graduation may not seem like a long time to you, but to a confused post grad holding an 8 1/2″  x 11″  piece of card stock as certification and a blank mind as to where to go from here, it’s a kind of eternity.

3 of my best friends--so hard to say good-bye after graduation.
3 of my best friends–so hard to say goodbye after graduation.

I closed up my 3 years at CCU with a 9-day trip to Ireland (rough life, huh?) last week. On top of making amazing memories with some of the coolest people and seeing so much of Ireland in that short period, I learned some valuable lessons about life. (Next post is definitely all about Ireland and the memories made there!)

Ireland-GroupBlarney
The whole gang in front of Blarney Castle.

It’s okay to live in the tension of transition.

 I realized we’re always transitioning because there’s always change around the corner whether we want it to be there or not.

Being able to be alone is a strength few possess; yet so rewarding when you can be at peace with yourself.

 If I can’t be around or deeply understand myself, how can I expect to meet others where they are and develop deep relationships? I thrive off being around others and building relationships, but I’ve been working on the ability to be alone and actually enjoy it.

Ireland-Umbrella
Artsy me walking down O’Connell St., Dublin. 😛

 You don’t have to be all things to all people; or rather, you can’t be. So stop tiring out your heart by trying so hard.

 Have I mentioned once or perhaps fifty times that I’m a people-pleaser? I’ll bend over backwards and do a couple flips for kicks and giggles to do what others want me to do or what I think they expect of me. The predictable result is that I become a doormat for people. I know it’s an awesome trait to care for people, but on the flip side, it’s not caring for my heart if I’m being manipulated constantly. It’s a delicate balance to find, and it includes figuring out who I am so I can stop striving to be something I’m not for others; yet another life lesson to add to the pending list.

Focus on what’s truly important, and pursue it with all you’ve got.

 This one came to me on the return flight from Dublin to D.C. I was watching “Eat Pray Love”, getting all inspired to travel and eat amazing food in Italy one day. While the character Liz is in India, there’s a line said to her by a mentor friend that goes something like, “You have to choose your focus of devotion and then be so intentional about pursuing it that all the outside distractions fade away” (these are my own words, not a direct quote from the movie). I realized I’ve had so many little goals, “priorities”, and distractions, it’s no wonder I had no clarity on what I wanted to do with my future. My attention was being pulled into too many directions to focus on the right things.

That being said, I have to make it clear that all these lessons haven’t joined to form a flashing neon arrow pointing to my life path. But even better than that, they’ve given me work to do on myself. I can continue living in the tension, getting to the core of who I am in the alone times and not changing that when there are people around, and most importantly, pursuing Christ’s heart and will as my focus of devotion before and above everything else.

So right now, the best I have in response is to coyly smile and respond with, “I’m taking it each day at a time. God has a way of opening doors in the eleventh hour, so I trust His faithfulness to continue.” Not quite the defined Steps A, B, and C most college grads have, but that’s boring anyways. Life doesn’t follow the plans we make for it, so call me what you want, but I know I have a bigger God than the circumstances of my day. As hard as the undefined future can be at times, I believe nothing will be lost on my end by living in this tension and learning to trust Him more through it.

stay lovely,
the tall girl

{{What transition or decision about the future are you facing?? Leave a comment below with it!}}

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