Saturday, September 20, 2008

What does it mean to be in your 20s?

Christin and I are helping with a workshop at the fall conference in October about preparing for the work world. We wanted to get some feedback from some of our friends who have made this transtion. I thought I would share some of their thoughts to help paint a picture of why a 20-something ministry is so important.

What were some overall feelings or emotions you experienced?
-Disappointment that my social life basically came to a screeching halt after having been involved in tons of activities at college
-Being unsure, frustration, excitement, nostalgia, impatient, discouraged, disappointed
-Like I didn't fit in because of where I was at in my life
-Stressed out and inadequate
--Well, fear obviously. Being in the "real world" apart from the safety bubble that is college, having to pay rent and bills, possibly moving to another city or state even...all of this can definitely create out some fear. But at the same time for me there was a feeling of excitement and anticipation, especially of moving to a different place. The newness of it all, and in some ways a chance to "start over" with a new job, new friends, new city, new surroundings
number 1 emotion: loneliness

How did God reveal Himself in a new way to you after college?
-When I was especially lonely, his companionship meant more than at any other time in my life--When I felt I couldn't do my job adequately, I relied on him to "send me help from the sanctuary"
-The most evident for me has been that God is always guiding me.

-God has a plan and you are a part of it. Let Him work through you.
-God continued to show me his faithfulness in providing jobs, friends, and a church.
-God said "I have blessed you with many strong Christian influences and leaders that have helped mold you into the person you are in order that you can now lead others.
-I've let God use me in surprising and neat ways.

What is one piece of advice you'd offer to people getting ready to transition out of college?
-Ask the Lord for guidance in all decisions
-Keep expectations at a minimum, and realistic
-Go out into the real world is to get involved in a church/small group/etc.

-Every experience and each step will lend skills that will inevitably be used down the road
-Work diligently and in a God-honoring way where ever you are. Don't be afraid to take a less than perfect job while you are ironing out the details of the long-term. But, also, don't feel like you need to take the first thing that comes along if God is not giving you peace about it. This is a great time to take a couple months to serve overseas before you get settled into a regular job.
-Take time to really invest in those friendships that you know are going to last.

-Put forth effort. Get out and get involved. Don't look back. Try to establish roots. As I've transitioned and I've seen my friends transition, I think the ones who've had the hardest time or the people that are discouraged or depressed about their situation are the ones who've said, "I don't have time for anything but school right now." or "Let me get established in my job before I decide to get involved in anything else." Visit different churches, even if you have to go by yourself. If you need to, have someone you know keep you accountable to going and not skipping out because you don't want to go by yourself. Find fellow Christians in your workplace or school and ask them for recommendations for churches or ask them if you can join their small group. Other simple things - Meet your neighbors. Take time to explore your new city and see what interesting things it has to offer.
-Make community a priority!

-Live in the moment. Although new things and transitions can be exciting, enjoy the end of your college career. Don't be too excited for the future that you don't focus on the present.
-Your first job will almost definitely not be your dream job, and you may even feel insecure or disappointed during the transition when things don't go as you plan. Don't make a decision solely based on money/salary!!
-Even though our society tells you to stay young forever, there is great value in “growing up.”

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