I graduated three years ago, summa cum laude, from a private Christian college, only to find myself working part-time filing and making copies, with no insurance, moving home with mom and dad to make ends meet, and then changing jobs five times.
I was confused to say the least . . . I mean, I thought God had this great, amazing plan for my life. I was going to walk off the graduation platform into a completely fulfilling, full-time job that utilized all my amazing talents and abilities, live on my own with my friends, promptly meet Mr. Right, and live happily ever after. Dude, what went wrong?!
Then I was depressed, with this weight that lay on me like the led vest at the dentist office. It didn’t go away for about two years. Living at home made me deal with family issues, both collectively and personally, that quite honestly, really sucked. The girl who had everything together in college ended up in counseling on more than one occasion. Mr. Right never did appear. And I bounced from one job to another.
I felt like I had walked out of college, wearing my swimsuit, with surfboard in hand, ready to hit the beach, only to find it snowing outside. Every day I’d walk outside again, sure that July was just around the corner. But it just kept snowing. And getting colder.
My story is a common one, I think, for young adults.. We’ve spent our ENTIRE life in school, which provides us with externally imposed boundaries and goals. And we climb the ladder of education. But when we reach the top of the ladder, and graduate, we find ourselves in a foreign country, with some bad culture shock.
Whatever support systems we had in school often disappear. For many of us, the degree we earned doesn’t seem to get us any further than a high school diploma. We find we have little interest in working in our major field and our student loans and credit card bills really do add up. Though we’d like to get married, and have tried several relationships, we’re still single.
In short, life isn’t what we thought it would be, and honey, I can guarantee you this trend will continue throughout the rest of your life. God does have a great plan for our life, but we need more realistic expectations of what it looks like. Allow me to share a few pieces of advice from my journey:
Quit hitting your head against the wall, frustrated that it’s snowing outside. Life isn’t the beach you thought it would be. If you’re in a winter season – deal with it – enjoy it – quit fighting it. It’s time to grow up, make a budget, get help to deal with issues from when you were a kid, appreciate the job you have even though it’s not ideal, enjoy the freedom of singleness, and for goodness sake, get a support system of Christian community in your life to work all these things out with you.
At Woodland Hills, the Life Challenge young adult ministry [now called "Immerse"] is here to come along side you in this season. Live life in community with other twenty-somethings in a weekly Community Group and participate in a monthly interactive worship Gathering. In the end, just know that you’re not alone in the joys and struggles that you face in this season of transition.