Written by Molly Fisher
My husband, Jacob, and I have often discussed the joys and struggles in transitioning from college to the “real world”. We lived through that change at the same time, and eventually, in the same town, but at times in very different ways. Community, finances, schedules, and responsibilities shift radically after college. My husband addressed several of these issues in this previous Life After College blog. I often felt as though my spiritual life and emotional health were dependent on how I was managing through this transition. I graduated from a small university in Austin in May of 2013 and didn’t have much of a plan other than moving to Lubbock. During the changes over the following several months, I learned a lot about searching for a job, investing in community, and the Lord’s constant provision.
Throughout that time, I learned most importantly that transitioning, adjusting, trusting, ____________ is hard, but God is good.
Between graduation day and my first day at work in a “big girl” job, seven months passed. I spent hundreds of hours looking for a job, submitted nearly twenty applications, had six interviews, and finally began working right before Christmas break. Several of you are deep in the throes of searching for employment, either in Lubbock or your new, post-graduation home. Many of you have just moved because of a job offer or the opportunity to continue on with grad school. Regardless of which position you’re in, this is likely a time of difficult transitions and growth. I hope this post serves as an encouragement to transition well into the place God has you.
Grow to Love Where You Are
Are you a secretary? Are you working nearly the same job you did in college? Are you working your first full-time engineering job? Are you unemployed? Great! Be good at it. God has called you to that location and position to teach you great things and to, most importantly, share the gospel in your present situation. Your ultimate work is not your current job, future job (or lack thereof), it’s to glorify God and to make his name known forever. Do not feel as though this time of transition is burdened with difficulty and only change, for your Father has not changed. Your work has still been ordained through your calling as a Believer. Your hope as a Christian is still secure just as it has been.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Ephesians 1: 16-21
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Maintain a Routine
There is a temptation in uncertainty and change to go wild with your time or grow lazy, both of which are unwise. Use this time of transition to instill healthy routines and consistent patterns that will push you to love your vocation, city, and community. Transitioning from college to the real world or one city to another (and in every other transition) can be used to start God-glorifying resolutions and habits. Be consistent in reading and prayer, instill patterns that allow you to work hard and rest well, and take the time and energy to invest in a God-honoring community. Next, learn how to budget, cook, and be productive with your time. Throughout this change, incorporate some things you “haven’t had time for” and teach yourself a new skill, read several books, and learn to be really good at what you’re doing right now.
For some of you, transition may be the routine for the next little while (like moving every.single.May), but seek to find some semblance of routine to push you to love and serve the Lord with where he has you.
Investing in Community Amidst Chaos
It takes energy to commit to finding a church and investing in an adult gospel community. Seeking out new community and getting to know families and working professionals when you’ve been been rooted in a College GC for four years will require time as you adjust. God will teach you a lot through you surrounding yourself with people who already work the 9-5 lifestyle in your community group and pushing you to invest your time with Christian families.
Serving Redeemer and jumping into an adult GC provided me a number of great opportunities to invest in others’ lives and see the richness of community that Lubbock and life after college could provide. Seven months without a job gave me a flexible schedule that allowed me to serve my GC in awesome ways because I had a lot of time on my hands. This led me to love my community more and more. I learned countless lessons from Redeemer moms and was blessed by caring for Redeemer’s little ones. Spending weekly time at GC and church drew me to share where I needed help and surrounded me with people praying for that transition time. Several Redeemer members encouraged me as I searched for jobs and connected me with resources to make ends meet while I was unemployed. This further led me to want to serve Redeemer and spend every moment of my time thanking God for his provision, guidance, and timing.
Important “Do Nots”
This is not a time to pull away from community, to mope, or to waste time. Those temptations, and many others begin to sound like reasonable actions during difficult times and hard transitions. Seek the Lord during this time of change, and trust that God is good.
Look out for the final Life After College blog regarding gospel-centered productivity coming in the next couple days from my husband, Jacob!
Some final questions:
1. What are some ways you value this time of transition?
2. How are you seeking to grow yourself as a believer in this time of change? How will you plan to seek the Lord and his provision through this transition?
3. What is your action plan to create a routine and invest in your community? How do you intend to maintain your focus on Christ while enacting this plan?