Moving on after graduation can be an incredibly difficult transition. I know because I did it. And several of my friends have done it. Our stories have all been a little different, but we all experienced the challenges of this stage of life. This is the third post in a new series called The Next Chapter, in which I will detail the steps of the process from ending one chapter to beginning another. I hope you stick around for the ride! If you missed parts one and two, it's not too late to catch up!
Did your parents ever talk to you about being a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?
Maybe you find yourself feeling like that now-- a small fish in a big pond. Or perhaps you feel like a fish out of water.
I know that feeling! When I moved back home after college, I felt like I was entering some sort of warped version of the world I had known before I left for school.
Living with my parents was different. The church I had gone to felt foreign. The city no longer felt like mine.
I didn't have a job, and home didn't feel like home.
So, what did I do? I worked to make a new home for myself. No, I didn't move out right away. But I did jump at the chance to get involved with a new church plant, one that I could call my own. It also opened the door to new community and friendships, ones that helped me move forward from the ones I left behind in my college town.
Eventually, I got a job and moved out of my parents' house, steps that further helped me establish a life of my own post-graduation.
Less importantly, but I believe still part of the whole process, was discovering other places like new favorite grocery stores and coffeeshops. Having go-to places makes a city feel like home.
Getting my bearings and making a place for myself was crucial to preserving my sanity. It's hard to start building a life when you feel like you don't quite belong, like you're living in someone else's home.
I'm grateful to have had the well-timed opportunity to join in the launch of the church that I still call home years later, and to have the couple friends who saw me through that pivotal season of my life. And although my parents' home felt distinctly different after graduation, I am forever indebted to them and their kindness in allowing me to move back in for a little while until I found a place of my own.
Do you have a place to call your own? Have you felt like a fish out of water? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
To read more about transitioning to life after college, check out my book Ready, Set...Now What? Discovering Your Identity, Gifts, and Purpose in the Real World!