On Monday I started not what would just be just my last “year,” but my last ever semester of undergrad. Having completed all of my required classes, I’ll be graduating early this coming December. With that in mind, starting classes this week felt a little surreal. It is hard for me to believe that in just four months I’ll no longer be a student of the University of Akron, but instead I’ll be an alumna.
This fast-coming graduation has evoked a lot of thoughts and emotions: excitement at what is to come, nostalgia about the last three years of college, sadness about having to leave clubs and so many great friends, and, most unfortunately, stress and anxiety about the semester as well as the pending future.
With four literature classes on my schedule, I’m reading upwards of twenty novels this semester, not including all the presentations, assignments, and papers I’ll also be writing in additon to those. While reading is something I enjoy, I’m most worried about finding the time. I’m not really a “fast” reader, I like to take my time and soak up each word on the page; I really hate skimming, so this will be a challenge. I’m also leading and writing for Delight, a member of the Navigators, and work at the University Press. With job and internship applications on top of all of that, it is going to be a very busy semester for me, but, as my Jesus Calling devotional reminded me many times this week, it is vital for me to find rest in His presence which will bring me peace and keep me from pulling all of my hair out.
Now, about that future…
I have always been someone who had a plan. My goals have always been clear to me and I knew what needed to be done to get there. Whether that goal was college itself, a certain gpa, or what major I wanted to pursue, academically I’ve always known what I wanted and needed. The same was true with my career path: for years I’ve wanted to be an editor for a book publication. I envisioned myself in a corner office of a high-up building in New York City, reading and editing books and essentially being the nicer version of Sandra Bullock in The Proposal.
That dream has somewhat changed. A goal I’ve had for years is slowly losing my interest. Little things provoked this change of heart, including discovering that I hate sitting at a desk all day and realizing I hadn’t really thought about the day-to-day of this career I had chosen. To be clear, I still love my major (English), I still love writing, I still love reading, and I still enjoy editing. The thing is, I’m just not so sure if that is what I want to spend my life doing.
To tell the truth, I’ve been feeling a strong call to ministry these past few months. In the summer, Delight had a summer series all about dreams. Through this, I’ve realized that ministry is where my heart is. Whether it is a bible study, Delight, talking to someone about their/my faith, going to church, or writing about my faith, that is when I find myself with the absolute most joy. They are the things I look forward to in my day; the places I can’t wait to get to.
This really wasn’t a part of the plan at all. I can remember many times when I was growing up, especially when deciding on a career, my mom would say “I always thought you’d go into ministry.” To this I would sigh or roll my eyes and say “no, mom, that is not what I want to do at all.” It turns out I should have listened to her.
I really have no idea where this call to ministry is going to take me, but that is up to God. He has gotten me to everywhere else I’m supposed to be in life, so I am trusting Him with this too. And I’m not just throwing away the idea of the publishing industry completely, I’m just not as dead-set on it as I used to be. Everything really feels up in the air right now, but I’m trying to accept that about this season. It is an intimidating thought that I really have no idea what my life will look like in six months, but this is a time where I really have to lean into God and listen to His voice.
2 thoughts on “Last First Week of School”
Em, count yourself lucky this is the first change of your mind. I went through similar plan changes a lot during college. Jobs and internships make a huge difference in how you see the reality of your chosen future. Can you shadow someone in ministry after you graduate?
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I’d never thought about shadowing, but that definitely could be cool! I’m not sure what part of ministry I’d want to do so I’d have to narrow that down too.