A Message To Graduates: Set the World on Fire!
And so begins the rest of our lives! Did you just tremble? Was that a yelp I heard? Why so scared, nervous, anxious? So much life is before us! As we walk down the platform steps after receiving our diplomas, do not let the fear of adulthood, decision making and change overwhelm you. Embrace the reality that the future is full of opportunities. Whether you have a plan or not, a job or not, it doesn’t matter. The next few days, months, years, are brimming with potential.
This time of year is always so bittersweet, and I can’t say that I’m extremely excited to leave the comfort of my years of college education. I can say that I’m ready to make some mistakes and ready to live in a way that is brand new to me.
This kind of thinking is what’s going to get me through these next couple of weeks. I don’t know at all where I will be at the end of this year, but if I have learned anything from my parents, who have just moved from my home in Chicago to the far lands of Austin, it is that life is a constant adventure. Besides that, with God in the details even if I do fall on hard times, God will be there to help me get back up.
So, fellow graduates — as you look forward to the days after commencement, do not be afraid of the number of zeros on your first loan repayment statement or even the new sense of independence thrust upon you. Take this journey and live on. We are never given more than we can handle. As St. Ignatius said, “Go forth and set the world on fire!”
Here’s some Busted Halo®wisdom that might help put this time of transition into perspective:
“When In Doubt” by José Martinez
As a recent college graduate, I know a thing or 12 about doubt. There are plenty of reasons for that. I spent the last four years working toward a degree in theological studies. I don’t know if I’m looking at the wrong numbers, but statistics seem to indicate that theologians are prone to reaping spiritual and intellectual rewards far more often than they are financial gains. Which is great, but still. (continue reading here)
“Deciding Your Destiny” by Christina Gebel
Exactly one year ago, I was in the middle of a 40-day Facebook fast for Lent. Naturally, I found a new obsession: compulsively checking my e-mail. It was the final step in a long process. The test was taken, websites combed over, e-applications submitted, and emails with an “.edu” extension opened immediately. Now, it was time to decide where to go to graduate school. (continue reading here)
“Now What?” by Mark Irons
Three years after college graduation I found myself in a bit of a situation. I had just broken up with my girlfriend of two years. I was five hours from my hometown in Kentucky. I love my family but I wasn’t interested in moving back. I wanted to serve, but what would be the best way? Somewhere in there, my prayer life began to make me think, “Wait a second, what vocation am I called to?” Were other young people asking some of the same questions I was? More importantly, how did they go about making the big decisions in their lives? (watch the video here)
“When the Spirit Moves” by Caitlin Kennell Kim
I hate moving. I have moved seven times since I graduated from college. This August, we are moving again. I am vexed. Terribly vexed. I know that moving can be an adventure. I know that a change often does me good. But, to be perfectly honest, I am anxious. (continue reading here)
“I Said ‘Yes,’ God said ‘No’” by Marlena Loughheed
I don’t know too many people who get really excited about job hunting. As a new graduate, I certainly do not look forward to curling up with my laptop on a Friday night to rework my résumé. I’m in my mid-20s. I have two degrees, and I’m nearing the end of a one-year internship. When my internship ends, I will join countless new graduates searching for their perfect career while trying to be realistic about paying bills. (continue reading here)
“Post Grad Panic” by Jennifer Sawyer
“What are you doing after graduation?” There are few questions that will send a college senior like me running for the hills, but that is certainly one of them. The dreaded question lurks at family holiday parties, hides in professors’ offices, and creeps out of corners at the most inopportune moments. Those caught off-guard by this seemingly harmless inquiry face a brutal reality check. The glory days of college are coming to a close, the economy is in the toilet, and it’s finally time to enter the real world. (continue reading here)
I can still remember the feeling of numbness that hit me when I hung up the phone one afternoon last September. I’d been slated to go to Vietnam for six months with a friend of mine, and there were 12 days before we were scheduled to take off. Problem was, most of those six months were still unplanned and important things like, oh, lodging and vaccinations and visa issues were still completely up in the air. I liked the idea of living in the moment and taking each day as an adventure, but not as much as I liked the idea of avoiding malaria or getting in trouble with Vietnamese government officials. (continue reading here)