New graduates, I’m here to tell you about the “real world.” It’s a place I wouldn’t often recommend to others, but we all have to grow into it at some point. “Adulting” is a journey we have to take.
I remember those last few weeks before graduation so well! They felt like magic to me – all my favorite people, doing my favorite things, in my favorite place. It was a dream I never wanted to wake up from. Okay, I realize that sounds dramatic, but I was not prepared for the blunt transition into the “real world.” All in a day, I walked across the stage to accept my degree, snapped pictures with my friends and professors, packed my belongings and parted ways with my beloved Ouachita.
It didn’t take long for the waterworks to start on the ride home. Like a scene from a movie, my tear-stained face stared out the window, reliving flashbacks of my best memories from the past four years. And I had no idea what the next season of life was going to look like.
I realize that at this point, you’re probably thinking there’s no silver lining in this story or in the “real world.” But just wait, I’m about to get to the good stuff.
Nine days after graduation, I began a daily journal. I wanted to be able to look back one day and remind myself that these times of unrest and uncertainty are always met with God’s faithfulness. In my first entry, after a long explanation of my emotions, I wrote this: “I think one of the hardest parts about leaving a place you love so dearly is having an unclear vision of the future. I’m watching everyone around me move on while I’m stuck in limbo.”
Here’s what I can promise you. Your friends don’t have this “adulting” thing figured out. They may have an apartment, a new car, a dreamy job and probably the cutest puppy you’ve ever seen, but they’re just as new to this season of life as you are.
Don’t sell yourself short! You’re going to find a job – one that challenges you to be better. You’re going to make new friends and maintain those life-long relationships from college. You’re going to experience freedom the way you want to. You’re going to have money, and you can spend it (wisely, I suggest). And more than all of that, I can promise you that God will remain faithful to settle your uncertainty in this next step of your life.
In that same journal entry, when the future was so unclear, I also wrote, “I know I’ll look back on these days of loneliness and confusion and find that God was working all along.” And that’s what I’m doing now.
Your time at Ouachita doesn’t just end in four years, it’s something you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life. Your professors, your friends, your experiences – they all make a lasting impact on every season of post-grad life. So yeah, the funk is real. But at some point it ends, and you discover exactly the difference maker you’re meant to be.
Do you have a story you’d like to tell on the Ouachita Voices blog? Or a friend who needs to tell a story on the blog? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.
The Ouachita Voices blog is a place for the people of Ouachita to tell the stories of Ouachita. Lend your voice to the conversation. Submit your ideas to email@example.com.