What have you learned?
Not to be cliche, but several of us are at a “crossroads” in our lives. Some of my teammates just graduated from college, and I will be graduating on August 8th (as long as my internship paperwork passes, so please pray for me!) We’ve been asking ourselves what’s next. Is it grad school or a job? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? How do I even go about finding a job? Will I survive in the real world? Can I assemble IKEA furniture?
A few days in, one of my friends back home asked me what I had learned so far. I figured that I should probably learn a lot this summer. So, I started asking the host families if they had any advice for college students/young adults.
Here’s the advice that I’ve received throughout the first half of the summer:
1. Keep the windshield clean, AKA, go to confession often because then you have to face your sins. You know what you repeat, so you can try to overcome that sin.
2. (Analogy) You’re going to ride an elevator up to the top floor (heaven) of a skyscraper. The elevator operator (Jesus) tells you to leave your baggage in the lobby so that an employee can bring it up. You drop some of your luggage off, but you insist on carrying the rest up yourself. You have so much luggage in the elevator that the elevator is too heavy and so you have to keep returning to the lobby to drop off baggage until you are light enough to make it to the top. (It was more eloquent then that, but I think I forgot a part).
3. Figure out how to use your degree in a way that you enjoy. Opportunities come in unlikely places. We met an electrical engineer who was working and travelling with the Disney Live! shows, making sure that the animatronics and lights worked in the appropriate manner.
4. God gave you special talents that you can use to serve him, no matter what your vocation. Don’t be worried about taking the wrong job or not meeting the right person. As long as you are trying to serve God, everything will work out OK. There are many paths that you can choose.
5. Be present. If you’re too worried about the past or the future, you’ll miss what seems like a small moment in the present, but it can actually have an impact. You don’t know someone’s story, and a simple “hello” might lead to a very important conversation that you otherwise might miss.
6. Cut unauthentic friendships, because they will only bring you down.
There have been a lot of people that I have learned from along the way, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer!