Dear College Grad . . .

Dear College Grad,

Congrats! You’ve worked so hard, and now commencement is over. I was cheering big as you walked across the stage, and I’m praying for you as you make this transition out of college. I remember well the conflicting emotions: mourning all the goodbyes, anticipating all the adventures just ahead.

Speaking of adventures just ahead . . . let’s talk about that, because if your experience is anything like mine, reality won’t quite meet your expectations.

Let’s Talk About . . . Your Friends

Your circle of peers is likely going to decrease. Significantly. You’ll no longer have a built-in community to play intramural basketball or to go out with for ice cream.

You’ll need to work to find new friends. You might look right past them at first, because some will be older than you, others younger, and most not much like you at all. And while that might not feel okay, it really is. They have a lot to offer you, and you have a lot to offer them. Befriend newly-married couples. Befriend preteens. Befriend families with kids. Befriend senior citizens.

Let’s Talk About . . . Your Local Church

Where can you find all these new friends? The best place to look is at a local, Christ-centered, Bible-teaching church. Of course, that’s not the only reason you’re attending, but as you spend time with these brothers and sisters in Christ week after week—hopefully in smaller settings throughout the week
as well as in corporate worship on Sundays—you will begin to feel and receive true affection for and from them.

Let’s Talk About . . . Your Relationship with God

It’s not enough to just hear about God. You need to hear from God through His Word.

Attending a local church is important, but it’s not your only connection to God. And while the Christian life is not meant to be an individual affair, it is deeply personal. It’s not enough to just hear about God. You need to hear from God through His Word, as that’s the way He’s chosen to reveal more about
His character.

  • Are you aware of and in tune with His presence as you go about your day?
  • Are you regularly spending time studying His Word?
  • Are you talking to Him about everything, as He is your Father, your Counselor, your Lord, and your Shepherd?
  • Are you praising Him with songs—even if you have a terrible voice or you’re feeling depressed? (That’s the best time to sing, actually!)

Let’s Talk About . . . Your Career

It’s rare that you’ll get your dream job right out of college. Don’t be discouraged if your first job seems . . . beneath you. Mine sure felt like that. But I had a ton to learn about blessing my employer rather than making a name for myself.

Learn, learn, learn. Grow, grow, grow. Give more than you take.

So be patient. It’s not likely that your first job will end up being your lifelong career. Learn, learn, learn. Grow, grow, grow. Give more than you take.

Trust God and know that a) He doesn’t waste anything, b) He is still writing your story, and c) He is where satisfaction is found. True contentment is found in Him, not in a dream job.

Let’s Talk About . . . Your Ultimate Purpose

True happiness and peace come from knowing, enjoying, and seeking to make much of Him, not much of ourselves.

Life is not about us; it’s all about God. They won’t tell you this in your business classes, but that doesn’t make it any less true. We were created by God and for Him. True happiness and peace come from knowing, enjoying, and seeking to make much of Him, not much of ourselves.

I’d love to hear back from you. What are your expectations for friends? Do you plan to commit to a local church? What’s your plan for pursuing God daily? What are your career dreams? And what do you consider to be your ultimate purpose?

Rooting for you,

Paula

PS: Interested in a related post? Check out “35 Things I Wish I Had Known in High School.”

About Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She's married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her son, Iren, and writing for Revive Our Hearts. She's the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in New York.

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  • Natalie

    I’m not a college graduate, but I just finished my first year of college and have made the decision to change career paths. This is exactly what I needed to hear, as I’m unsure about the fall and I’m currently working 2 mediocre jobs. The part about friend groups diminishing has also been true for me since finishing high school. Thank you so much! God is so good in His timing!

  • Feranmi

    Well I am about to graduate high school and head off to college so it’s good to find out a little bit about what college is like. Thanks for the post.

  • I LOVED THIS. I just wrote a blog post on many topics you touched especially the career and purpose points. I pray that wherever we are and wherever God puts us that we focus on giving him full glory in our actions and thoughts! This can be so hard when the world is constantly throwing the #girlboss hashtag on our screens, but my goodness is it completely worth it. Great post Paula!

    Melanie

  • Marissa

    I graduated in April with a degree in Elementary Education Emphasis in Math. I just found this website today and this is the most relatable post.
    I didn’t have many friends in high school, so made a ton while I was in college.
    As far as hardcore friendship goes, I only have a few. It’s fine with me but I’d like to make more friends.

    I don’t really come from a church family, I’d like to find one but I’m almost 22 without a car, so Ill just have to wait until I get one to start finding the right church.

    I am taking my teacher exams right now which are very difficult. One I had take four times just to get a passing score. I have one more to go.

    I also have no idea where I’m going to teach but I know I’ll be employed by the end of July since schools here start in August.

    • Welcome to the blog, Marissa! I’m so glad you stopped by.

      Sounds a bit like the CPA exams my hubby had to take. You’re so close! Praying for you now.

      Re. church, do you live in a city with buses or taxis? If not, have you considered calling the church and asking if someone would be willing to pick you up on Sunday mornings? I would think they’d be delighted to.

      I’m happy to help you choose a solid church by using the web if you let me know what city you live in. You could email me at Paula@PaulaWrites.com if you want.

      Blessings, Marissa,

      paula