Today marks a week since I graduated from college and to my surprise, I haven’t had a mental breakdown of any sort 🙂 Instead, I’ve been doing a lot of searching; soul searching… searching for summer reads… job searching… and most importantly, searching for God (because Lord knows I need Him). And now that all the ceremony pictures have been posted and the confetti has settled… what happens next?
My initial feelings were indescribable. There was apprehension mixed with confusion with a hint of an excited rush of worry. Like free falling off a cliff. It was the feeling of finally gaining enough courage to take that leap off the edge of a mountain, jumping, and having no idea where the bottom is or if it would even come.
It wasn’t too long after I departed from my beloved home-away-from-home for the last four years, that the reality of me not returning hit me; hard. I cried at the Carrabba’s dinner table over my spinach spaghetti, I fell asleep on the road, then woke up and started crying again. When I got home, I was convinced that I would have an anxiety attack of some sort, but didn’t, and by the time the next morning came around, I was fine. Crazy, right? I didn’t image that it would be this way; I had such a rough last two years at my school that I thought I could just walk away from it with no ties, no attachments. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. In retrospect, I had the pleasure of meeting a number of amazing people during my time on “the Hilltop High” and although I had my reserves about the institution, it’s the people who I’ll truly miss the most.
But the question still stands… now what? I’m always trying to give you all, my lovely readers, advice as I figure things out myself, so below are seven gems that I’ve come up with this past week, one for each day, that I hope will sooth some of your post-grad blues (or at least let you know that you’re not alone):
- Avoid stagnation & complacency: This is one that I’ve been internally battling with since before I even crossed the stage and on graduation day, I had a brief, but meaningful conversation with one of my classmates surrounding this topic that really blessed me. We were both in a funk about not hearing back from places that we applied to and shared a common desire to stay ahead by giving ourselves a deadline as to when it was time to get out from under our parents roof in pursuit of our dreams. We agreed that when you have a goal in mind, whether clear-cut or gray and fuzzy, setting a deadline applies gentle pressure that will help maintain your focus and allow your goals to come to fruition without too much time passing.
- Pray: Jeremiah 29:11 say, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Now if that isn’t motivation enough to have peace about your post-grad endeavors, then I don’t know what is. Only God knows what the future has in store for you, so doesn’t it just make sense to spend some time with Him so He can speak to you and guide you on the straight and narrow path that He already designed for you? See where I’m going with this?
- Apply, apply, apply: I know searching for jobs and internships can get daunting and by application #14, you just want to throw in the towel and have a drink, but don’t give up! You never know if application #15 will be the one that sticks, so keep going until you get that response you’re looking for! (read my previous blog post for more info on this)
- Remember that no job is too small: Guess who got hired at McDonald’s? Yeah, me! Small victory, but a victory nonetheless. I knew that I needed a job that would allow me to get my paper up for the summer and the Lord put me in the right place at the right time, and I got hired on the spot (I guess that degree isn’t going to waste after all, huh?). But it’s also because I knew that I’m not too good to work at McDonald and I will do everything in my power to work hard and be the best crew member I can be until the Lord opens another door. It’s not permanent, but one thing I know for sure is that the Lord will see how you act with something small before He gives you something BIG. *message*
- Stay in contact with your friends from school: I mean you did spend four years of your life with these people, don’t act brand new and forget about them. Most of us met our best friends for life while in college, so be sure that you’re checking up on them to keep those relationships going; you never know when you’ll need them.
- But in the same breath, do some unfollowing on social media: You know those people that just seemed to slip through the cracks who you’ve followed forever without even noticing? Or maybe you didn’t care for them in the first place but since they followed you, you followed back and didn’t want to unfollow them because you didn’t want it to be weird when you saw them on campus? Yeah, well you’re free to unfollow them now. You’ll be glad you did.
- Consolidate those loans: Need I say more?
I hope this has helped you in some way to continue on with your post grad journey. How are you making strides as a new college grad? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear! And if you’re not a recent grad, share this with one you know!
You’ve just been served.