We just finished off a VERY busy graduation season over here. In fact, this year several of “my girls” from youth group are graduated from high school.
I remember being so stressed before and after I graduated high school.
What was I going to do next????
I swear, everyone AND their Mama and their Mama’s Mama asked me “well what are you going to do now?”
I remember thinking, “I DON’T KNOWWWWWWW. But would you please stop asking me”
Of course, I couldn’t admit that very much publically.
What WAS I going to do now? Now I had a choice? No one was telling me exactly what to do. What if I made the WRONG choice? What if I went to the WRONG college? What if I hated it? What if I sucked at it? What if I couldn’t make any friends??? What if…..?
In hindsight, I really was freaking out way too much. In an effort to help make your life a little easier and help you learn from my mistakes and victories, here are 10 things that I wish I would have known (or been reassured of) during those transition periods. These are things that I would say to my 18-year-old self. This advice is pretty specific to post-high school, but really, the principles hold true for any major life transition.
1. Even if you make the wrong choice, God is big enough to compensate for your mistakes.
Yep. You will probably make some less than stellar choices. So repent quick, forgive quick, and be quick to obey. If God can take Abraham, a lying adulterer(albeit the adultery was per his wife’s request), and still complete His plan, He can certainly fix your wrong college choice or friend choices or job choices and still accomplish His amazing plan for your life.
2. Don’t waste your time or your emotions dating just “for fun”
Seriously, you have a pretty darn good idea of whether someone is “marriage material” long before you actually enter into a relationship with them. If someone doesn’t love Jesus more than anything else, don’t waste your time dating them. None of my dating relationships added anything beneficial to my marriage
3. Don’t be afraid to try new things and learn new skills
Even if you look like a goober and feel like an idiot, try. Every expert was once a beginner. Give it a try. If you hate it, move on. No harm no foul.
4. Don’t waste so much time and emotion on friendships with people who don’t return the effort.
In the long run, those relationships won’t last anyway. Put that effort and time into the friendships that are mutually building and life-giving.
5. Even if you can probably get an “A” in the class without even trying, try anyway.
You will learn more and it will benefit you later. Plus, you will learn valuable lessons by actually applying yourself even if it’s easy.
Partly for the benefit of being able to look back and see what happened when, but mostly so you can look back and SEE the work God did in your heart, the growth that happened. Being intentional about your own growth will better equip you to help others in the future
7. Nothing good happens after midnight.
Just go home. Hang out with your gal pals or roommate if you feel like staying up late. But boys and parties are extra stupid after midnight.
8. Read your bible and get planted in your church.
You will never regret the time that you spend in the Word or in your church.
Seriously, this habit that you cultivate now will carry you through the rest of your life and benefit every single area of your life. Whether you feel like it or not, read your Bible every day. Pray. Talk to God. Make your spiritual development TOP priority and everything else will fall into place.
9. Take a chill pill on the sweets, kid
I know you think that “pecan pralines are life” but they’re not and they just made you gain10lbs in a week. All that sugar isn’t good for you anyway. Simmer down, Faith. Simmer down.
10. Stick to your guns about not drinking. You will be thankful that you did.
My brother and I made a promise to each other to never drink alcohol. It is a promise that we have kept, and I am so glad that we did. To put it quite bluntly, I’ve never seen drunkenness benefit someone’s life long-term, so why would I want to flirt with that?
Transitions can be tricky, but they can also be an opportunity for radical growth.
You don’t have to flounder through the changes and transitions of life. God is the God of EVERY season, not just the comfortable and familiar ones.
Change is inevitable, but how you handle it determines your growth.