7 Tips for Hitting Life's Post-Grad Curveballs Out of the Park - Every. Single. Time. By: Ashley Winkler
16 months ago I graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. College was a blast! For four years I was joyously surrounded by some of the best friends in the entire world. College life was good, and I didn’t want it to end.
Three months after graduation, I was offered a job in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I promptly packed up my car and moved across the country without knowing a soul. Since then, life has been an exciting, challenging, scary, and exhilarating adventure. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
Question: Looking back, did you ever expect to be where you are right now in your life & your career?
Honestly, if someone were to ask me that question right now, I’d just have to laugh. I never expected to be where I am now, but I am so very grateful that I am.
Life has a funny habit of throwing us some pretty crazy curveballs. I know this first-hand, which is why I’ve included my top 7 tips to hitting life’s curveballs out of the park. Every. Single. Time.
1. Embrace CHANGE.
Life is full of surprises. You could have the whole next year of your life planned out, but it doesn’t mean those are the plans God has for you. Learn to be adaptable. Follow where He leads. If He calls you to a new place, know that He will also provide for you in that place. God won’t call you anywhere that He hasn't been already. Remember, it’s in the midst of radical change that we have the opportunity to grow the most.
2. Don't be afraid of NEW community.
In college, it’s easy to believe that the friends you make are the only “solid” friends you’ll have for the rest of your life. The people who will stand beside you on your wedding day, help you pick out names for your future babies, talk with you on the phone every day… and for some, those things may be true. However, making life-long friends doesn’t stop after college. Allow yourself to branch outside of familiar friend group, and create new community. It takes time and effort, but I promise it will be worth it.
3. Seek MENTORSHIP.
Mentors are people who are already far along in life and have valuable wisdom to offer. Find a mentor, ask them to share their wisdom, and when they do - soak it up. Be intentional about setting up time with them to pick their brain. Find a different mentor for different aspects of your life: relationships, family, finances, career, etc. Mentors are a well of life experiences – all you have to do is ask.
4. MANAGE your finances.
Your future self will thank you. There is no reason to have five credit cards. Simplify your finances. Pay off your debt, and better still – create a budget. Taking the time to become disciplined in your finances early on will benefit you (and your family) for years to come.
5. TRAVEL. All. The. Time.
YOYO! You’re only young once. So take that spur of the moment trip to California on a long weekend. Pick up that once in a lifetime airfare deal, and don’t think twice about it. There’s so much to see and experience in the world, and it’s only one flight away. Adventure is waiting. Go find it!
6. Be PATIENT with your career.
Good things take time. That promotion won’t happen overnight. Simply work as hard as you can in the position you’re in. Be diligent in improving your work ethic. Trust the leadership above you to know what the best next step is for you in the organization. Remember, there is always more to learn in the role you are in. Always remain humble when striving for the next step on the career ladder.
7. Find MARGIN to rest.
In a society that’s always “go, go, go” it can be hard to slow down and be still. Take care of yourself. Find activities that energize your soul, and do them. Because at the end of the day, if you’re burnt out, you won’t have anything left to give. Remember to fill your mind, body, and spirit with life-giving things.
Sometimes I wish that God would just give me a quick glimpse of my future so I would know exactly what to expect. I would know exactly who I’m going to meet, where I’m going to live, what I’m going to do. Ultimately, so I can know all of the challenges I will face before they actually happen. I’m fairly confident that I’m not alone in that wish.
Truth is, there’s absolutely zero excitement in being able to see ahead, into the future. In my time post-grad, I am continually learning to enjoy life, and respond to its crazy curveballs as they come! I hope this list helps you do just that as well!
Written by: Ashley Winkler
Ashley Winkler is a Baltimore, Maryland native who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Public Relations from Southeastern University. She is a die-hard fan of the Baltimore Ravens and a lover of Jesus Christ. With a heart for serving others, Ashley is living out her dream and operating as a vital member of the LifeGroups/LifeMissions team at one of Life.Church’s 25 national locations. With campuses all over the U.S, and services streaming online – Life.Church reaches people worldwide!