Advice On Life After Gradation, Part Two

Last week, HCRU interviewed four Regent Alumni for post-college advice: Virginia Allen, 23, with a B.A. in Government (currently serving as a missionary in South Africa); Sarah Limardo, 21, with a B.A. English (currently working at CBN); Jonathan Slayton, 23, with a B.A. in Cinema Television (currently freelancing as videographer) and Beth Young, 22, with a B.A. in Cinema Television (working as a production office coordinator). This week, we'll find out what they wish they would have done differently in college and more!

HCWhat have you learned since graduating from Regent? What has the Lord been showing you?

Virginia (VA): Worship and thanksgiving are the most powerful tools to overcome lies, insecurities, and discouragement. When in doubt, give God thanks!

Sarah (SL): There are a lot of things for which you have to grit your teeth and push through. Life changes a lot in the months after graduation, and it’s a lot to learn and stay on top of. It’s things like budgeting, paying bills, expecting expenses, paying debt quickly, staying healthy in a new lifestyle, being more intentional with friends. The Lord has shown me that I really need to trust Him and hold onto Him, because He is the only thing that makes life work.

Jonathan (JS):  To just take life one day at a time. And try not to worry about the future, which God has been teaching me. I feel a lot more dependent on him now than I did in school. 

Beth (BY): I have learned both that I am so much smaller than I think I am in the grand scheme of things, and I can make so much more of a difference than I think I can.  Jesus fills the gaps, and in Him I find my confidence.

HC: Did you feel prepared for your field after you graduated?

Virginia (VA): I am not currently working directly in my field but I do feel that being a government major gave me critical thinking skills that are helpful in all areas of life.

Sarah (SL): Yes! I’d actually taken a class in the exact thing I’m doing in the semester before I started my job. For anything I wasn’t prepared for, I learned as I went.

Jonathan (JS): In some ways yes, other ways no. I feel school helped me with the basic concepts of my field. But I felt like I had to figure out the business side of my field by myself.

Beth (BY): When I graduated, I thought I was pretty great. Then I actually worked.  I definitely feel that I had been well-equipped and trained for my field through my undergrad experience, but no amount of training could really prepare me to just walk into any job and start perfectly.  Being humble is extremely important when working in the real world.

HC: Was adjusting to adulthood hard, easy, or in the middle?

Virginia (VA):It has felt natural. I loved Regent so much, but I think I was ready for a new season of responsibility and trusting the Lord. It never stops being an adventure of trusting God.

Sarah (SL): In the middle. There are parts of it that make me long for college and I often find myself getting nostalgic. Money is really the biggest stressor, so if you have a good understanding of finances, you’ll be all right.

Jonathan (JS):  I personally enjoy adulthood more than child hood. I love the freedom and although some days are confusing I do have more power.

Beth (BY): For me, it was a lot harder than I would have cared to admit.  The biggest challenge for me was simply the loneliness.  I moved to a strange town in Illinois, where, aside from my immediate family, I knew absolutely no one.

HC: What would you have done differently in your last semester to prepare for life after Regent U?

Virginia (VA): I wish I had utilized career services more and done more mock interviews. I also wish I had practiced worship and thanksgiving to God with greater intentionality.

Sarah (SL): I wouldn’t worry so much. I would start searching for a job sooner, rather than waiting 2 months before graduation.

Jonathan (JS):  I wish I had taken time to look for more work. But at the same time I was struggling to keep up with the demands of senior project and finance class so I don’t think I could have done anything different.

Beth (BY): If I could go back, I would have started submitting job applications much earlier in my senior year.  I was so focused on enjoying the college experience for as long as I could that I procrastinated on my job search. Finding a job took much longer than I expected.  It is incredibly important to treasure college while you’re in it, and I am grateful that I did, but it is possible to treasure this moment and be responsible for the next at the same time.

HC: How important is it to have a church community after college?

Virginia (VA): A church community is vital after graduation! If it were not for the community of believers I am in now I would really be struggling. We all need support whether you’re a missionary in Africa or working for a business in America!

Sarah (SL): Very important. After college, people disperse and you can find yourself lonely. So a church community is important.

Jonathan (JS): Having a church community is extremely important after graduation. When you feel lonely after graduation your church community will keep your sprits up.

Beth (BY): I have found that, for me, having a church community after graduation was vital.  I attended a church without really becoming a part of the community for several months after graduating, and I struggled a lot.  I finally found another church, filled with people who looked like Jesus and welcomed me in with open arms.  I have found so much support and encouragement to pursue Jesus in the midst of struggle.  Life isn’t always easy; in fact, it rarely is.  Having a community of unique people with the same love and same goal really makes all the difference.

HC: It seems that trusting God, searching for jobs early, and plugging into a church community are vital elements that help prepare you for post-undergrad life. Go out and do great things, Regent seniors, and take time to prepare for your future!