A guest post by Sam Petersen
There really isn’t a need for more advice on post-graduate life, but I’m going to share my thoughts anyway. Maybe there’s one person that can benefit from what I’ve learned. 🙂
First, everyone was right when they said building your life takes longer than you thought. But they were also kind of wrong. The first six months after I graduated, I moved three different times due to circumstances out of my control. However, I found the church I weekly attend to this day within the first five weeks of being in Indy. It’s taken me about a year to find other areas, besides work and family, where I wanted to invest myself, but it only took me about two months to ramp and feel like I understood my job.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t cry during those two months, or a few times after that, but I didn’t feel like I was drowning in misunderstanding or the “What the heck am I doing here?” phase. Some things took a while. Other things didn’t. Timing isn’t something that can be easily planned, so I kind of had to go with it.
Second, I talk to significantly less people than I thought I would post-graduation. The time I spend with people outside my immediate circles is limited. However, that doesn’t mean people I graduated with aren’t still my friends. Even though I don’t keep everyone abreast of each thing that happens in my life, when I know they’re doing something cool or went through something tough or I have something big happen, I still reach out. I thought it would feel disingenuous to maintain some friendships on a once a month or every few month cadence, but sometimes that’s how it happens, and those friends can still mean the world to you.
Just because your friendship doesn’t look like it does when you were in college doesn’t mean those people aren’t still your people. Shauna Niequist has a great quote in her book Bittersweet (if any book represents what it means to graduate college, it’s this one). She says, “SAY SOMETHING. Always say something. Now when a friend loses a job or when a heart is broken or when the test results are bad, even when I don’t know what to say, I say something.” Something is better than nothing, even when it feels strange or different or hard at first.
Lastly for now, reading becomes fun again! I’ve still spent quite a few nights in front of my TV, watching my favorite shows because I don’t really want to think after coming home from work. But frankly, more and more, I’m turning off the TV in favor of the plethora of books I’ve always wanted to read, but have never had the time to crack. My fiancé recently bought me a collection of C.S. Lewis (many of which I haven’t read. I know, what kind of Taylor grad am I?), and I’m stoked to dive into writings that make me think in a way less called for in my day to day life.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but its few things that came to mind when I thought about what so many of you are about to experience. Lean into the tough times, because adult life is so very full if you let it become so. I believe in you, almost-college grads. I’m on your team.
Sam Petersen is a twenty something recent college graduate living the good life in Indianapolis, IN.