Graduations are always such a momentous time. Students are experiencing the reward of their labor and transitioning into a new chapter in life. Although we are in a unique pandemic situation, it doesn’t change the fact that the time of elevation, promotion, and new beginnings for graduates are on the horizon. A very exciting time it is…but it’s also SCARY for some. Family and friends hit you with those oh so famous questions about what’s next. And for many of us, though we have an external plan for the public to see, the truth is that we don’t know. Many graduates have just set a plan in place to appease their family when in all reality they have no idea what they want to do. Learning a trade, going off to college, working a job, all seem like practical options to pass the time, but lifelong career choices of passion are often difficult to identify and recognize in this phase of life. 

Unfortunately for many graduates, their plans won’t go as planned. You may not get into the college you want, or get the job in your degree field. You may not have the finances to start that business, or pay for that certification, however…you have accomplished something great and that is to be celebrated. The truth is LIFE HAPPENS and many of the plans you set out to follow will often get derailed. I encourage you to keep going. You should appreciate the waiting season and what it has to offer. Sometimes when you have a timeline on your goals it can be unrealistic. In my experience the waiting season caused me to question if I had followed the right path and if I was ever going to be good enough to go to college or get the jobs I pursued. 

Honestly speaking, none of my plans have gone how I wanted after each of my graduations. I didn’t get into my dream school because my SAT scores were too low, I didn’t get a full scholarship anywhere, I have mounds of student loan debt, I didn’t finish at the school I started at, I didn’t have the funds to pay for school or to even buy the things I needed to move in my dorm, my car was always breaking down and I was working a minimum wage job. As an honor roll student my entire life, it was not what I had ever envisioned. But through the process, I’ve had to learn not to be so hard on myself. I had to release my need to be in control and let God figure out the pieces to my puzzle…(the one he created). I had to stop doubting who he was and who he created me to be. I let God be God and it helped me to better enjoy (or rather accept) the journey I was on. Was my journey ideal? The answer is “no.” Would I change a thing about it? Once again, “no.” I’m still on the journey. I need funding to finish my schooling for my Ph.D. right now. I’m in the process of transferring to another university, I have student loans staring me in the face for repayment, and I just had a major career change. I certainly don’t have it figured out, however, I am at peace. I’m not stressing like I have in times past because I understand that God has plans for me that exceed far greater than anything I can organize. If it is His will for me to do the things I desire, he will for sure make them come to past, and he doesn’t need to take any direction from me.

To all the graduates in the class of 2020, enjoy this season of your life and learn to trust God’s plan. Don’t worry, don’t stress! Just celebrate and learn yourself. That will make the journey  more rewarding. No matter what comes next, remember you are successful because you’ve come this far. Keep pushing and celebrate every moment.