I know a lot of former students now in the marketplace who loved college life. Sleep when they wanted. They sat around with friends chatting about their hopes, dreams, and aspirations, eating often, and laughing more than crying. Many went to the gym as long as they wanted to since it was paid for, and they could work on all sorts of exercises and activities. Homework was a reality and a manageable stress. The thing many alumni mention was the freedom to use their time anyway they chose to when scheduled things like classes or work study wasn’t required.
College is really an illusion, or a few years separated from reality. Consider that there is pressure and expectations to get good grades, make professional contacts, and have a career path to embark on. Yet even as young men and women get around to the decision about what they are going to do after graduation, it’s what they also connect with along the way that is interesting. It’s not all a party experience, but it is often unusual and a bit goofy. It’s no wonder many say that college was the best years of their lives.
But after four, five, or gulp, even six years, it has to end. Graduation finally arrives and the time has come to face the end of college and the transition to the real world. The insecurity of trying to avoid what you are going to do the next few years is over. The need to think critically and have a decent plan to head into the marketplace is finally in front of you.
I know it’s not an easy transition to tackle because it raises some hard-to-answer questions. How do I know if I am ready? Am I really qualified for some sort of job in the field of study I chose? But I could have put in much more effort and done better instead of goofing off and sliding by for a few semesters. How should I view the next season of my life? My parents kept suggesting I should think about questions like earning a living and starting a savings account, getting serious about marriage and my own family, and where to live, but I brushed them off. Now, I’m starting to realize I should have paid more attention and given some time and energy to considering those concerns.
Read Hebrews 5:11-6:3.
The writer to the Hebrews says that some people appear to want to avoid growing up to maturity. He continues (it may even come across a bit harshly) to say there are those who stay too long in spiritual immaturity and should have moved on to maturity by now.
The reality is everyone matures at a different rate. Often the four years of college contribute to helping a young person leave behind immature ways. It does take a while to assess who you want to be, the values you want to adhere to, and the path you are ready to take. Parents cross their fingers and toes and pray often that when their children walk across the graduation platform, get their diploma, and toss that tassel to the other side, they are now signaling their readiness to move into adulthood. The party is over and it is time to put away childish habits.
Life is full of transitions into maturity. Taking responsibility for your spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, and financial health are examples of much needed growth markers (see Luke 2:52). You can no longer rely on your parents’ urging to face and handle those areas of life. So what are your growth goals for the next three months? How would you assess your maturity at this time? What is your individual growth plan? Grow devotionally. To get going, get growing.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz