I Graduated College--Now What?
Attention all college graduates: Would you like to know a surefire way to end up in a dead-end job, working minimum wage, and barely able to afford rent? Get a business degree during a period of extreme economic hardship!
Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little. But since I graduated college I have yet to use my Business degree and over the past year have really begun to wonder why I even went to college. I know I didn't spend all that money to be stuck working a job geared towards high schoolers!
Perhaps you're feeling the same way. You worked hard in college to earn the degree you thought would secure you a career only to find yourself working in a dead-end, minimum wage job that barely, if at all, pays the bills.
But guess what? God is still there with you as you make your way through this valley. He knows your concerns, your frustrations, and your confusion. And He wants to help! You just have to completely surrender everything to Him. Every single doubt, insecurity, and fear. And while things may continue to get difficult, it will be easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you let Him take over.
I graduated from a private Christian college in 2007 with my B.S in Business Administration. I was so excited to be out in the real world. It was finally my time to shine, to make a name for myself, to prove to my friends and family that I could make my own life.
I remained in Nashville after graduating, moving in with friends. Even though I was working at Office Depot, I knew that I would eventually find my dream job. It just took time. I told myself that I just needed to be patient. As long as I kept putting my resume in at several places, eventually God would open up a door to a great career opportunity.
My dream job was out there. I just knew it. However, patience has never been one of my strong suits (and I doubt it ever will be), so after only a couple months I was getting frustrated.
I chose to stay in Nashville because I thought that was where God wanted me. But when one problem after another continued to plague me the entire year and a half that I was there, I knew something needed to change. Roommate troubles. Health problems. Inability to find a good job. One after another, these problems just would not ease up.
Where was my career? Where was that great job I was supposed to have?
I decided to take a trip home to Virginia to figure out what it was God wanted me to do. And would you believe it? It was Homecoming at our church. Homecoming. Immediately I knew God was trying to tell me something. It was as if He was saying, "Daughter, you were supposed to be here all along. You need to come home."
So when I returned to Nashville, I knew I was doing the right thing to leave. A few weeks later, I packed as much as I could into my little red Honda and drove the 700+ miles home to Norfolk, VA.
Of course, I wasn't foolish enough to believe that my problems would go away once I had changed locations. Of course not. They were still there. I had my moments where I would cry myself to sleep because I missed Nashville. I was so ashamed to tell people that I had to move back in with my mother. I was a 25-year-old college graduate. I was supposed to be on my own, working for a major company, enjoying what life after college had to offer me.
For a couple months, I was angry. All my friends were married, some expecting their first child. And me? I was single, living with my mother working a meaningless, minimum-wage job.
I felt like I had all the reason in the world to be angry. Why in the world was God allowing this? How was this a part of His great plan for me? I had to cut back on so many things that I sometimes felt ashamed. I couldn't go out with friends that often. I felt isolated, confused, hurt. Where was God through all of this?
Then something wonderful happened. One night in June, I surrendered to God. I broke down, gave Him all of me. I just couldn't take it anymore. I was tired of trying to make a name for myself without consulting God first. Without Him, I was going to continue to feel this way, hopeless and ready to give up completely.
I began to read Jeremiah 29:11 in a different light. God does have a plan for me, but I have to let Him work in my life.
Sure, I'm still confused as to why I'm still stuck in this frustrating, migraine-causing job, but if this is a part of God's plan for my life, then by all means, let me go to work!
It's not going to be easy and I'm okay with that now. Now that my attitude towards life has changed, I can finally let God use me the way He's been trying to all along!
Leigh Stone is from Norfolk, VA.