Dear College Senior,
May is approaching so quickly, isn’t it? The day when you wear your cap and gown, reach for your diploma, and finally enter adulthood will indeed be bittersweet. Everyone tells you that college is the best time of your life and that post-college will be the worst time of your life. Perhaps the best time of your life will officially be over in approximately three months.
So you panic.
Goodbye, Best Years of My Life
College Senior, I get it. The whole career thing is intimidating. You will suddenly be expected to have a full-time job with health insurance, paid time off, and a fat paycheck. What should you even apply for? Should you get a master’s degree first? What if you should do mission work instead of getting a typical 9-5 job?
Also, if you don’t meet your future husband in college, where will you meet him? There’s no ring on your finger. No guys asking you out. No special fella in your contacts. And absolutely no prospects.
Unlike many of your friends, you can’t go from a fulltime student to a fulltime wife and mom. There’s no guy in the picture to make that a thing. You can’t put your life (or your bills) on hold while you wait for Prince Charming to arrive. Your car insurance and cell phone bill don’t have a Doing-My-Best-While-I-Wait-for-Prince-Charming payment plan.
And how will you even make friends out of college? Where will you meet people? All your college friends will go in different directions after they graduate.
Your wealthy best friend will go to Europe to travel, your talented roommate will go to Hollywood to become an actress, and all your classmates will probably get engaged. Ugh.
Of course, there are so many things you would love to do after you graduate. You want to write. Or sing. Or lead a ministry. Or style hair. Or bake wedding cakes. Or be a photographer. Or plan events.
But writing, singing, leading a ministry, styling hair, baking wedding cakes, being a photographer, and planning events won’t pay your many bills. You’ll just need money to pay for gas, shampoo, and ramen noodles.
Sure, graduating from college will mean several positive things. You will no longer have to eat in a crowded cafeteria that only serves slop and cereal, share a community bathroom with 30 other girls, or have to scan your student ID card to enter every building on campus.
But graduating from college will also mean several negative things, right? You will have to figure out what a Roth IRA is, rely on Dunkin’ Donuts to get you through an eight-hour workday, and realize how expensive a 45-minute commute is.
Hello, Best Years of My Life
College Senior, I know this adulting thing is scary. It feels like there are too many question marks and not enough periods in your life right now. And you’re confident all the exclamation points will leave once they find out you’re becoming a real adult.
As a soon-to-be college graduate myself, my best advice is simply to be proactive. Apply for jobs where you can use your God-given talents for His glory. Visit churches that are close to the place you plan to live. Find a singles’ group with likeminded young adults (especially males, ahem). Make your place—whether it’s your parents’ basement or a shared apartment—a real home. Stay in touch with friends from college. Be willing to make new friends out of college.
And don’t be discouraged if you lack the time, money, and energy to do all those exciting things right after graduation. Don’t give up on those dreams, passions, or hobbies. Set aside time for those things, or they will indeed fall by the wayside.
While the college years can be amazing and exciting, that doesn’t mean the post-college years will be miserable and boring. Adulthood doesn’t have to be the worst time of your life. Thankfully, you can make it the best time of your life if you take advantage of the post-college opportunities God will provide.
The soul of the lazy one craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made prosperous. (Proverbs 13:4 NASB)