Don't Let Judgement Get you Down, Fighting Post-Grad Anxiety
As a recent college graduate, I’ve had to make some pretty important decisions in the past few months and the months leading up to graduation. Being on the brink of entering the workforce and officially “adulting” is one of the more nerve-racking experiences a person can go through. You constantly have questions coming at you from every direction. What are your plans for after graduation? Are you planning to go to grad school? Will you be moving out on your own? Once you formulate your answer in the least questionable way possible, they fire back with their opinion on your current plans. Usually they don’t even have to verbalize their response, you can read it on their face whether or not they approve of your plans. That’s tough.
This is where people fresh out of college struggle the most (or at least I did) when they look into that person’s face anticipating either a look of obvious disapproval or joy for their future. But wait, who are they to judge your plans? They aren’t the ones who will be fulfilling that new job position, taking the plunge and moving, or taking that break between undergrad and grad school. You are. So who are they to make you feel as if your plans are inferior? Want to know something else? God has a plan for your life and He’s not going to give you anything you can’t handle. Sometimes it may seem unclear what’s coming next or if you’re making the right decision, but I promise you, He knows and He is guiding you.
When entering this drastically important phase of life the last thing fresh college grads need is a feeling that everyone thinks they can do better. It is so important for us as college grads to remember to be confident in the decisions we have made for our future. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that we are guided in certain directions because that is where we are meant to be. That may be a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true in my eyes.
I personally did not take the same route that a lot of my classmates did. A lot of people either chose to move on to grad school or start their career. I chose to take advantage of the fact that I still live at home and complete another internship in a field I am interested in going into. While this isn’t unheard of, it’s not very common either which led to some of the reactions I mentioned earlier. Seeing those disapproving looks and hearing questions of why I didn’t go on to get a fulltime job was discouraging. I had my reasons for choosing the path I did, just as everyone does, and I’m learning valuable skills while still being able to pursue other interests of mine. I’m choosing to think of it as an opportunity I was presented with. I had the advantage of living at home on my side. In a lot of ways this gave me the chance to explore my options more and make sure I am comfortable with my next move.
I hope you take away from this, if nothing else, that your life and your decisions are just that, YOURS. Just because someone else may disapprove of your next move doesn’t make it wrong. It may be wrong for them, but if you’re confident and comfortable with it then that’s what matters most. It is also important to remember, God has a hand in everything that happens in your life. He will not steer you wrong. You know that feeling you get when you just know something is right? That’s Him nudging you in the right direction. Don’t ignore the nudge.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope for the future.’” -Jeremiah 29:11 NIV