So you have finally finished university and the world seems to be your oyster! So, what’s the next step? First of all congratulations to all graduates it is a great achievement and not an easy feat at all! It feels like those years fly by and before you know it you’re walking the stage and on the way to starting your forever life. I started writing this blog after I had graduated and attended my convocation ceremony in 2018, but I found that I didn’t necessarily have the answers to the many questions and fears I had. Moreover, I didn’t have much positive feedback. The wound was still fresh and the blues were still very much present. However, hindsight really is a beautiful thing and we thank God for his grace and wisdom.
When I was attending my convocation ceremony I remember the angst that prevented me from really enjoying the moment. Although I tried as much as I could which was largely due to my amazing parents and siblings who really made me feel special!( and friends too). But, it wasn’t after I attended the convocation ceremonies for my friends this year was I really able to enjoy the ceremony and take in all the greatness that surrounds starting and finishing something.
The bible states
“Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.”
Honestly no words could be more true. I realized that sometimes just for the simple fact that one finishes something we should be grateful to God for the grace and strength to follow through. Funny enough, it was at this year’s ceremonies that I found out there was supposedly spots designated to take pictures with props and such. Can you imagine how I missed out on taking some epic pictures?? Anyways, it is all in the past but I was grateful for the opportunity to see the experience from a different angle and to celebrate with those that achieved such an amazing feat.
A verse that really encouraged me during the period of waiting and trying to overcome the ‘blue’ feeling associated with graduating was;
“But forget all that– it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new. See, have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
Isaiah 43: 18 – 19
I think one thing that was useful to understand is that every accomplishment in life marks a new stage in life. I remember researching and reading up during that period of time trying to understand why I just felt so discouraged and stressed. It was refreshing to see articles that spoke to how I was feeling and with tons of encouragement for moving forward (Dear Graduate, Joy , Post Grad). It isn’t all doom and gloom though. I found that I really tried to spend that time working on my relationship with God. Figuring out what exactly I wanted my career to look like. Having some tough conversations with myself as well as loved ones in the quest of getting to know myself better. Spin (or squeeze) whatever situation you are in into a positive one.
Generally, as human beings I believe we need to be more humble. Humble in the sense of being more caring . The biblical definition of humility in Philippians 2:3 states
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”
Although, there is a time for everything and a season for all things to be done right. I guess it’s all about having wisdom to recognize which season you are in. Whether you are in a season where you need others to pour into you and to receive the encouragement from those around you, ensure you are humble, patient and receptive to the (good) advice people give you. Meanwhile, you may also be in a position where you may not necessarily have received the manifestation of what you hope for, yet you are still able to pour out to others and advice those that were once in a position you were in. We require wisdom to be able to discern which seasons we are in and to act accordingly. Knowing that ‘whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we do it all for the glory of God.’ (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Practical tips for actually overcoming those post-graduate blues
One of the things I am learning is that life after University really is what you make of it and the skills I learnt during my undergraduate years are being translated to my postgraduate life.
I spent time working on my LinkedIn profile and connecting with people. Fam, I messaged so many people and read up on so many things that I really shocked myself. Sometimes we go through certain periods of confusion to arrive at a moment of clarity. The confidence and initiative I learnt throughout the post-graduate period (in fact, I am still learning right now!) will be highly beneficial for me in the future. As I said, I started reaching out to people on LinkedIn and asking them questions and even meeting up with a few of them. I learnt to utilize my established connections and make new ones. Be genuinely interested in what others have going on as much as you’re interested in figuring your own stuff out. You’ll find that people can generally sense if you are truly interested in them and that way they are able to trust you, open up to you and sincerely share their ideas with you. Then, you may unknowingly get some insight into how they achieved something you may be looking to get into.
Going to the grave empty
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”
In case you’re not fully satisfied with my above answers here is an alternative angle. Now, I don’t want to dampen the mood or give a dark overcast on the future, but recently one thing that seems to motivate me is death. Not in a morbid sense but I find that the decision to choose the life I want going forward after graduating from university, rests on me. Things like setting plans in motion and doing the necessary work to create the life I envision for myself.
We are all responsible for our future and how we craft our lives.
The journey may not always go perfectly to plan however we must at least plan something first. I had stated earlier about the sudden death of Cameron Boyce well recently I also learnt about the sudden passing of talented music producer LaShawn Daniels. It’s not that I knew much about him but I remember watching him on the ‘Tamar & Vince’ show where he was a regular cast member alongside his wife April. Funnily enough, I remember browsing through Instagram and randomly seeing him comment under someone’s post and wondering what he was up. Therefore, imagine my shock and utter disbelief when I started seeing posts about him online and his tragic involvement in a car crash.
All this shows me that no man knows the day and time we leave this earth. My biggest desire is that I go to the grave empty. That means I will love as much as I can, do all that I can to give glory to God and ensure to pour out as much of myself as I can into my work, passions and into the people in my life.
In conclusion, the remedy for me to overcoming the post-graduate blues remains continuing to live on mission and in alignment with God’s ordained purpose for my life.
Soli Deo Gloria.