Farewell to December Graduates/by Austin LaBrot
Merry Thanksgiving! My present this year is a very expensive piece of paper put in a very expensive frame. What will I be doing with my present? Good question. Besides looking at jobs on Indeed.com and profusely emailing Taylor Ormon in Career Services, I will hang it on a wall somewhere in my room at home.
This year, myself and many others completed their 130 credit hours, took the Writing Proficiency Exam, and may or may not have gotten their ring by Thanksgiving.
These past four years have taught me many things beyond the Oedipus Complex and hermeneutic loop.
I have learned the importance of friendships, finding my identity in Christ, and seeking out help in all aspects of my life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social.
FRIENDSHIPS: I found my best friends here at MC. I remember the day I met my first best friend my freshman year in the Hederman dorm lobby. Over the years, I became friends with those in my classes and acquired a great social circle that I am proud to have created.
IDENTITY: The Enneagram, StrengthsFinder, Love Language, Spiritual Gift, and Myers-Briggs tests are real. I encourage everyone to take each of these tests (easily found online). Knowing how God created me has been a journey. I found myself asking God repeatedly, “Why did you make me the way that I am?” The answer: I don’t know. As I continue my life, I believe God will reveal to me the purposes He has for me; then, I will know why God made me how I am.
HELP: If there is one major lesson I learned outside the classroom; it is asking for help. When I started feeling down my freshman year, I sought therapy. When I felt like my prayers were bouncing off the ceiling, I sought out my pastor. When I realized that my family is crazier than I originally thought, I went back to therapy.
Many of us December graduates are all wondering the same thing: what’s next? The past twenty-ish years, our paths have usually been predetermined. Elementary school, junior high, high school, then undergrad. But what now? Do I attempt a master’s program? Do I go directly into the workforce? Do I get tested for COVID again just to be safe? Here’s the answer: I don’t know.
This may not have been the most encouraging “farewell” you expected. So let me end with some hope, which I believe will lead to peace.
Every answer I had to my problems is “I don’t know.” But you know who knows the answer you are searching for? God.
Paul gives us almost-grads some encouragement in 2 Corinthians 12: “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But God said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”
Let your anxieties about the future push you towards God. Let your worries deepen your faith. Let your uncertainty drive your passion for the Lord.
These “thorns” have been given to us for a reason, and I believe that reason is to get us closer to God. Keep the faith. Run the race with perseverance. End strong. Sprint towards the Lord.
Merry Thanksgiving, and welcome to the rest of your life.