Last Fall, I legitimately thought that after my final exams were over in Spring, was going to be the moment the world ended. I thought I’d graduate, move back home to Montego Bay and die a slow, painful death away from my friends, miserable and alone. Dramatic? Perhaps. My reality then? Absolutely.

College was, for me, an amazing four years from day one. I never went through homesickness, ever! I made some pretty amazing friends, mostly male because my department had very few women. College wasn’t that bad for me, if I should be honest. It was more fun than I expected. I attribute this entirely to the Lord’s faithfulness. You see, I was always a spiritual person, but I officially became a Christian January 28th, 2017. I’ve not regretted the decision, but I wish I made it sooner.*sad face*

Of course, there were rough patches of college–sickness, missed assignments and general life difficulties–but overall, it was an amazing, beautiful, blessed four years. And even the hard times were fragrantly accompanied by friends that “rate me” and “checked for me.” So, to me, it seemed that separation from school (known to most as “graduation”) will be separation from all the goodness that had bloomed over my four collegiate years…Or maybe not!

It’s true that life comes in chapters, in seasons, in chunks of time. Some are valleys, others are mountains. Good and bad. Easy and tough. High school was, more or less, a valley. (There were a lot of contributing factors to this. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t easy either). College was,more or less, a mountain. In my mind, I assumed that life had to be valley-mountain-valley-mountain…you know, a pattern?

After a few weeks of wrapping my mind around “life” as we know it, that’s when I could feel the fear on the horizon. The dust had settled, and I was awakened to the new reality that I now need to start job hunting. oh Jesus! Fear crept in when I thought of not being able to land a job in my field of study and it was quite frightening, to say the least. Furthermore, after spending 4 years in college, paying millions in tuition, having sleepless nights, finishing up 10 assignments all due 11:59 pm, one would hope to use their skills learned in the world of work. Hmm? The Jamaican economy is dying a slow painful death (I will not get deeper into this), when she’ll finally die, no one knows.

But I refused fear

Actually, Jesus refused fear for me. He just kept whispering “Do not be afraid Dainya. I’m with you. I love you. I’ve got you. Do not be afraid.” And so for the first time in a long time, I wholeheartedly trusted and relied on the Lord–not on family or friends or anything else. Because really, He is all I have.

And it was that decision–the decision to refuse fear–that rocked my world.

I am in love with my life.

It’s amazing. I am joyful, so joyful. I am fulfilled, so fulfilled. I am growing and learning and reaching outside of my comfort zone. I will miss college, of course. But even with the pieces of school that I will miss, I’m not living in the past. I’m living in the here and now, because the here and now is awesome and full of beauty.

And so this is why it’s okay to graduate

The reason graduating college isn’t actually the end of the world is because your four collegiate years are but a blip on the radar of your life. They are years full of self-discovery, years of laughter and joy, years of laying a foundation for your future. Those four years are amazing.
But when God laid out the plan for your life (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 29:11), He didn’t just decide to give you all of life’s happiness in four short years. No! He has a journey laid out unique to you, and it will be abundantly full of His grace and joy, and you will be filled with His spirit of hope should you choose to accept Him.

Don’t listen to the people who hate living in the “real world.” Don’t listen to the people who say that life after graduation is terrible and awful. Life is about moving forward, forward, forward. Learning from the past and looking towards the future and living–living is done in the here and now.

So take heart! When you graduate, you’ll survive. In fact, I bet you’ll do more than survive if you have the right attitude. I think you have the power to fall in love with your own life.

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