Recent Graduates Don't Need To Have It All Figured Out

To The Recent Graduate, You Don’t Need To Have It All Figured Out

The expiration on exploring your interests, enjoying life, and figuring out your path isn't college graduation.

Omar Lopez

I graduated in May, and not only do I still not have a steady job, I'm not entirely sure what my next few steps should even be.

Graduate school is an option, but I need money for that, and I need a job to make money. All I want is to find a job that doesn't make me want to claw my eyes out (AKA not a 9 to 5 desk job), so I've settled into freelance work until then.

As I've talked to other recent graduates, I can tell my situation is not uncommon.

We're told when we're seniors in high school that we need to figure out a college, major, and career path. To know ourselves and what we want to do for the rest of our lives at eighteen is daunting and near impossible. Then we actually get to college and realize that we're allowed to take it easy, to use those four or so years to explore our interests and figure out what we want to do.

But senior year panic strikes again, and we find ourselves still operating under the assumption that we must have it all figured out.

We graduate, and we feel directionless. We see other graduates getting adult jobs or pursuing higher education, and we wonder if there is something wrong with us for not knowing what to do.

But there's not.

The expiration on exploring your interests, enjoying life, and figuring out your path isn't college graduation. You're allowed to take more time.

I came to that realization the other night while hanging out with a friend of mine who took a year off after college to travel and is now starting grad school. She reminded me that I don't need to be stressed or worried right now, even though things are unclear; I can enjoy this season.

I've heard that over and over, but for some reason, this time it finally clicked.

I'd been meeting a lot of new people this week and having to tell them when I graduated, what I majored in, and what my plans are. Every time I talked about what I was up to now, it was with some measure of defeatism and slight self-deprecation. I suddenly recognized my error in those instances.

It's not a bad thing that I don't know what to do or that I'm not exactly employed at the moment, at least in the traditional sense. My freelance work isn't a business I started; it's just me doing various jobs for people and getting paid. I'm editing books, helping a friend with the social media aspect of her new business, and babysitting. I'm not a receptionist somewhere (my original plan), making money to save for grad school so I can become a paid screenwriter.

And yet, that's okay.

Because I can use all this spare time to take spontaneous or planned trips to wherever or reconnect with old friends, or deepen my existing friendships, or take up new hobbies. The possibilities are endless.

I can enjoy myself before I get sucked into the corporate machine that is the American life of working until I can retire at 75 when I'm too old to do all the things I wanted to do when I was 20.

I can take it easy. I don't have to be worried because even if I don't know what I'm supposed to do, God has a plan, and it's for my good.

Psalm 139 promises that God has written every single one of my days before they came to be. And in Psalm 84, I'm told that God doesn't withhold anything good from me. As my Creator, He knows me more intimately than I know myself, and He's cheering for me.

He has a plan that is the absolute best for me, and I only have to ask, seek, and knock to find it (Matthew 7:7-12). And He'll be faithful to reveal it to me because He's promised that I'm His friend and not His servant, because servants don't know their master's business, but everything the Father has revealed to Jesus, He has, in turn, revealed to me (John 15:15).

At the right time, the Lord will guide me into all the He has for me, including a career path that is the best fit for me.

In the meantime, I can rest, because the ultimate good that He will never withhold is not just good things in life like a great job or relationships. It's Him. He is the ultimate good. And I can always have Him, whether or not I have a clear career path.

You're not behind or doing anything wrong. You're right where you're supposed to be. Enjoy the time you have, and rest in Him.

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