The 2012 Graduate: Seven Months Later…

Dear Annie/Marianne,

You graduated at the end of June last year and things haven’t exactly been smooth sailing. The transition from student to graduand to graduate happened in the blink of an eye and, for a few months, you found yourself unemployed, sleeping late most days, and constantly looking for jobs. You had no idea what you wanted to do with your life and summer 2012 was far from the excitement you had found in your student summers, jetting 3000 miles away two years in a row and exploring the Grand Old US of A. But you put up with the Northern Irish weather, hung out with your pals every so often, and spent a lot of time with Jesus. That was the best thing you did with your time last summer and you’re so grateful that He was there for you through it all.

August rolled around and you decided to help out at a kids club in Co. Cavan, something your pal had been asking you to do every summer for years but that you’d always chickened out of or missed because of your travels. You were hesitant but figured you should go for it and it turns out it was the best week of your summer. You made some brilliant friends, worked with some amazing kids, and grew even closer to Jesus. Oh, and I forgot to mention this, but before you went you managed to find a job too. Not exactly the one you’d been dreaming of (because, really, you had no idea what that was in August) but it was something, and something is better than nothing.

Finally it was September again. You were filled with thoughts about how this was usually the time you started packing up to go back to uni, but instead were preparing to start your new job. You weren’t exactly excited for it but after a few days realised you were going to be working with some of the best people you’d ever met. Work has had it’s bad points, but the people side of things has always been amazing. Your work mates are what keep you going throughout the day, and are way more supportive than they have to be; you really appreciate them.

You also started learning to drive in September! You’d waited for that one since you were eighteen and were so ready to no longer have to constantly rely on people for lifts. You really wanted to have passed your test before Christmas but decided that mid-January was a more reasonable time. When your test rolled around you’d prayed lots about it and managed to pass first time! You had also passed your theory test first time too, so you saved yourself a lot of money in not having to re-sit anything.

Things started to slow down at the end of 2012 and the last two months are this horrible blur of what felt like really bad depression. You were lacking in any sort of social life, angry that you still hadn’t figured out what you wanted to do with your life, and were scared that you would be stuck in your current job forever, and that it didn’t matter how quickly September 2013 came around, you would still be in the same place. You were as far from God as you may have ever been until you picked up a little book called The Screwtape Letters by this guy called C.S. Lewis. That blew your mind and got you back on track. As soon as you awoke on New Years Day you knew 2013 would be better and you haven’t struggled with any sort of depression at all so far. 

You’ve spent a lot of time since you graduated working on the things you’re good at, like guitar and singing, and writing, and cooking and baking. You’ve understood how insanely talented you are, mostly in things that you don’t feel you’ve had to put all that much effort in to, and you realise how lucky you are in that respect. You’re also hoping to buy an SLR before the summer. You’ve always adored photography, another thing that comes naturally to you, and feel that if you can finally afford one then you should go for it. You’re also excited for the film aspect of it too. Who knows what could come of that?

This is where the next step may come in. You’ve decided to apply to apply for a catering course at Belfast Met. You’ve adored baking since you were tiny and found a real love for cooking when you moved away for university and, after months of trying new recipes, you decided that your Mum’s suggestion of applying was probably a good idea. You had originally wanted to apply for a Master’s degree in Canada, and then a Canadian work visa, but figure you should get this qualification and then apply for the work visa.

No one told you that the first year of life after university would be so hard until you were in the thick of it; nothing could have prepared you for it. But, with Jesus, you’ve done good. It may not feel like that right now but you’ve accomplished so much. Yes, there’s a few other things you’re still hoping for in life, but those will come in time. Give Jesus a chance to do some more work and you’ll see how good life can really be.

x

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