Guest blogger Lauren Farmer, who serves as an Event Project Coordinator for LifeWay’s Women’s Training and Events and helps leaders understand the life of a college age woman in this post today. This is a great post to forward to your young women as well!
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to lead breakout sessions for college girls on the topic of preparing for life after college at one of LifeWay college event’s, Collegiate Week. Not only was it a sweet time of refreshment and encouragement for me personally, I also got to meet and get to know some amazing young women. I was overwhelmed by the number of girls who stayed after the sessions ended to talk, share, and ask questions. I was most overwhelmed by the number of girls who told me that the session was "exactly what they had needed to hear" or that no one was talking about these issues (or at least doing so honestly). I don’t say this to toot my own horn at all… rather I want to encourage you as leaders to continue to invest and speak into the lives of a younger women. And, do so with authenticity. You don’t have to be perfect or have it all together. Just be yourself. Be honest. Be real. Walk with them through life.
Although I don’t have space to share all the practical & heart issues we addressed in the breakouts, I do want share with you the 10 "must-do’s" I gave to the girls for transitioning from college into young adulthood (although I think these could apply to transitioning through various seasons of life)….
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t know everything even though you have a college degree. There I said. It is true. Accept it. Move on. And ask for help when you need it. Trust me; it will save you a lot of time and energy.
2. Find someone further down the road than you. We all need someone who understands us, who has walked a mile in our shoes. Find someone who can help you through the transition to this new season of life.
3. Be intentional. If you want to find someone further down the road than you it takes being intentional 9 times out of 10. Actually, most things in life require you being intentional to get them, achieve them, whatever. You don’t expect a job to come looking for you after college (at least I hope not!) and you can’t expect community or a mentor to magically walk into your life without some intentionality on your part.
4. Read, listen, learn, prepare, plan! My pastor said in a sermon last week, "God is opposed to earning not to effort." While he was talking about salvation, I think this can be applied to many areas of our spiritual life. Be a learner, plan for the future appropriately, etc. Don’t think, however, because of your effort God is somehow obligated to fulfill your plans and dreams.
5. Be flexible. You have plans. They will change in some way. You don’t like that one. Neither do I. Join the club. Learn to hold things loosely early on and let the Lord do what the Lord wants to do.
6. Have reasonable expectations. You probably aren’t going to learn your dream job right out of college. I know, I am a real Debbie Downer. The point is, be reasonable with your expectations for this new season of life. It is just like any other season of life… full of blessings and challenges. Know that life isn’t going to be perfect but God is good and has good things in store for you (despite if you end up taking a job that gives you a lot of paper cuts)
7. Surround yourself with a few good girlfriends. And by "good" I mean girls that genuinely care about you, will encourage you, and help you walk through this interesting thing called life.
8. Stay committed to a church family. Find a church. Commit to being there and being a part of the church community through small groups, Sunday school, serving, etc. It is easy not to go in a new city or when there is a big life change. You need to hear the teaching of God’s Word and you need community. I don’t care if you went to bible college and know Greek (I did and I do). You need to be a part of a church body. I know it sounds crazy, but this at times can be one of the hardest things in young adulthood.
9. Use your time wisely. This season won’t last forever. Use your time for Kingdom purposes. Don’t waste your life. Even if you push paper to pay the bills figure out a way to live in the context God has placed you significantly.
10. Lean into and focus on the LORD! It is easy not to, especially in the midst of change. No matter where you are or what you are going through remember who the Lord is and seek him. Life isn’t always easy, especially in the "real" world, but our God is good and faithful. He walks with you through every season, every struggle, every joy. You know that now you say. But one day you might just need to be reminded of it.
Lauren is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where she received a Masters of Divinity in Women’s Leadership. During her time in Louisville, she served as interim Associate Director of Student Life and Adjunct Instructor of Christian Education at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Lauren has a passion for reaching and equipping young women.
Leading Young Women (past blogs relating to leading young adult women)