• Bethany Mac

I Graduated College! Now What?

I graduated! Cue the champagne *pop*!

What an exciting, sad, confusing, whirlwind of a time! All your friends move out, move states, suddenly you're thrown into the "real world" and handed a multitude of responsibilities. I didn't ask for this? Who said I could graduate! We've been in school our whole lives, it's all we've known! I'm here to write the ramblings of my heart during this transitional period in hope's to provide some relief in knowing you're not alone! Transitioning is hard, but it's the next step and for that, we can be excited and expectant of what the Lord has for each and every one of us!

I graduated from Anderson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing & Sales. The best 4 years of my life!

Honestly, it hasn't hit me until recently. Months after graduation. Now that many students are heading back to campus, you realize you won't be. It's such a sad feeling. If you're like me, an enneagram 7, you instantly get FOMO (fear of missing out) on all the events, social life and overall experience that goes on without you. It's not that I see college as a sad time looking back, it's those times that feel so full of joy that makes me miss them the most!

For my graduating class specifically, so much of our college experience was taken away due to this little thing called Covid-19. Half of our junior year + our whole senior year was full of quarantines, zoom classes and different restrictions that took away a lot of what college is supposed to look like. Athletic events suddenly had a capacity, dining halls had a seating chart, every classroom was socially distanced, and events like formal or homecoming didn't happen. I totally understand the protocol and severity of this worldwide pandemic, but it doesn't take away from how college students felt. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to still be attending college and thankful for Anderson University's willingness to make it as normal as possible.

All of that to say, it's almost like we graduated early. College wasn't the same already. Now that things are starting to open back up + restrictions are fading away, its hard to see students go back to the normal college experience we once knew too. So now all the feelings hit, realizing we won't be going back. There's lots of emotions, but I just keep telling myself it's the next step, it's part of the journey, there's more ahead.

The "real world", a statement many adults use to prepare you for what's ahead. Excuse me ... I don't want that either! Sounds taunting and scary to say the least. Resumes, cover-letters and job applications suddenly consume your mind.

Where do I begin?

How do I start?

Am I even qualified for this job?

Does this cover all of my bills?

I get it, all of these questions are a part of my daily thoughts when it comes to finding the right job. Here's a piece of advice i'll give to you that has given me some peace:

Your first job will not be your forever job.

Your first job probably won't even be your dream job.

Your first job may be less pay.

Your first job may work you like a dog.

Your first job may not be where you want to live forever.

It may not look the way we wanted at first, but its a step in the right direction. If you're in a job that feels different than you anticipated, just use it as a way to make yourself more valuable, experienced and qualified for the next one. God has used so many random day jobs, that I didn't see had any value, launch me into places that I wouldn't have any business being in if it weren't for those past experiences. For example, I worked at a bridal boutique in Greenville, SC only on Saturdays. Doing nothing more than running dresses back in forth and welcoming brides and their families into the shop. Now I work alongside Katharine Marie Weddings, wedding planning and bridal boutique, as the marketing and social media manager. I wouldn't have gotten here if it wasn't for my past experience in the bridal industry! Looking back, I can be thankful and know that it all was a part of His divine plan for my life. How encouraging, how sweet of a God we serve! I can also be excited to know this isn't my final destination.

If this post rings true to any of the possible feelings you experience, i'm glad to know i'm not alone either! This can hopefully be some relief to you as well. Sometimes change isn't fun at first, but we have to hold on to the hope of knowing there is so much more in life to experience, while being thankful for the times we did have.

For all my Anderson University friends + graduates, Long Live Anderson!

* both rompers are from ShopTheseThree! *