During my time as a residential faculty member, numerous students have come to me, asking what I think they should do after college. What should their next steps be?
To help guide their thinking, the first things I usually ask are “What do you want to do?” and “Where do you like the weather?” If you are young and unattached, why not live some place you are going to enjoy when you aren’t working? As long as you and your family members live near a major airport, you can still see quite a bit of one another.
One thing you do need to realize is that this is a MAJOR change to everything you are used to. Don’t let that blindside you, once you get out of college. Your whole life, you have defined yourself as a student and now you won’t be. It can be a real culture shock.
So, who are you? You have been a son or daughter, and you still will be, but who are you, as a person, an adult? I can tell you who I am- perhaps that will help you define yourself.
Okay, here goes: I am a daughter, sister, mother, and grandmother who teaches residential classes and online courses for a major Christian university. I am a runner, writer, sign language interpreter, and choir member. I am a child of God.
That wasn’t too hard, but I knew ahead of time what to say. Now it’s your turn. What do you do? What do you enjoy? Tell me about yourself and it will be easier to know who you are. Do you support the arts? Do you enjoy sports? What kind of work would you love to do, even if you didn’t get paid for it? Perhaps student debt won’t allow you to do that at the start, but that could be your next goal.
Where do you want to go in life? Do you want a big house and a really nice car or would you prefer to be a full-time missionary living out in the wilds of a foreign land? Or do you believe, like I do, that your mission field is here in the States?
I know a young man who worked for years as an employee for a secular company, but he now works for less pay at a major Christian nonprofit company. He absolutely loves his job and finds great fulfillment in it. “Tell me what you love and I will tell you who you are,” as someone very wise once said.
So, your first step as you prepare to finish your coursework should be to determine who you are. Once you know that, you will have a better idea of what kind of job to apply for and what your next steps will be.