What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About The First Year Out of College

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to have a career that truly makes a difference. That is completely due to the grace of God, but not in the ways I expected. There is a profound blessing in having trials early in life. What I didn’t understand at the time, was that those struggles granted me a more eternal perspective, one that is gripped by the hurtling hands of the clock.

That perspective has given me a deep desire to love and encourage others, something I believe is fundamental to my new position as the Creative Content Manager at College Park Church.

I’m still floored by the way God orchestrating my job search and placed me so perfectly where He wants me. The things that I thought would be most difficult– finding a job I loved and adjusting to work life– have been fairly easy. As exciting as that is, though, it leaves me wishing the world had warned me less about the actual employment piece and more about the real challenges.

I wish someone had told me how difficult it would be settle in a town that’s three hours from home, with only a handful of friends outside of college. I wish I’d known that the newness can be overwhelming– and the fear, paralyzing– at times.

I wish someone had told me that my introverted nature made it all the more important to prioritize a balance of new and old friends, to help me stay afloat in all the changes.

Perhaps you are a recent grad who is coasting through adulthood. To that, I say “Go you!” But I want to acknowledge the others who, like myself, are scared of the transition or are struggling in the midst of it. If you feel lonely, you aren’t a freak. If you are overwhelmed, you aren’t alone. If you are begging God to explain how you are ever going to feel at home here, locate your future spouse and/or correctly do your taxes: You’re in good company.

I want to legitimize those feelings for you. Friend, even good change can be hard.

I also want to encourage you to take the steps I did not initially take. Be honest with the friends who are around you; let them know that you could use a little extra love and support. Let your parents know; they are pretty smart and have been through a lot of these transitions themselves. Check out Meetup and groups at church and mutual friends.

Let yourself have those quiet nights to enjoy your new life, but challenge yourself to develop new connections, both for your good and for the good of others. We were created to be in community, and you’d be surprised to find how many people are craving it just as much as you do.

I’m only five months in to post-grad life and I just found out my WiFi was registered for the wrong apartment. Clearly, I’m not an expert at adulting. But I do know that God doles out grace faster than we can mess up, and He desires that we live in community with others.

Therefore: you, my little college graduate, are going to be just fine. This next year may very well be difficult, but it’s nothing you haven’t dealt with before; and it’s nothing God isn’t able to work in and through.

Basically: You may be out of school, but you get to keep on learning! And if you resonate with the struggle of finding a friend group after college, please try some of the suggestions I’ve given. At the very least: Send me a message so I can befriend you and pray for you. Let’s walk through this together.

Love,

Hannah

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