The question that every college senior loves to hate. It only takes a few weeks after beginning the most emotionally charged year of college (and in my opinion, some young adults existence) for a well-intentioned by stander to throw a new question into casual conversation; “So what are your plans after graduation?” Considering it was only October, my answer was always “I don’t know yet, but I’m hoping for x,y, and z.” I filled in the blanks with any variety of legitimate goals for myself post graduation, few of which I had taken any action towards making a reality. I was almost always met with a half-hearted, “Don’t worry, you still have plenty of time!”, as if the question alone hadn’t watered the seeds of insecurity within me.
I have had my sights on a Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) year for quite some time, but even so I have far from escaped the turmoil familiar to all college seniors. The idea of spending a year in service with the Young Adult Volunteers was first presented to me a little over a year ago at the Montreat College Conference. After about 9 months of ruminating on the program, it had become one of the staples in my grab-bag of dreams used to answer that one awful question. Its persistence alone had me thinking God probably wanted me to take it seriously.
I applied the same week the application opened, interviewed with four potential service sites, and then entered the seeming purgatory that is waiting to hear back.
The months of long winded responses to the never ending question finally ended with what can only be described as an emotional day. I had successfully slid into a place of doubt and was attending a career fair in the hopes of securing a back up plan. A morning of interviews whose intention was to put me at ease, ultimately left me facing the possibility that a year of service might not become a reality. Was God pushing me towards starting a career?
No surprise here, God had something else in mind. The long awaited YAV site placement arrived in my inbox only hours after my final interview.
I have since accepted a placement in Little Rock, Arkansas serving at Ferncliff, a certified “Green Camp” and center of ecological sustainability. I couldn’t have asked for a better fit, and I am certain that the coming year will be one of personal growth and challenge. I still am unsure where my path is ultimately headed, however that is certainly a worry for another day. For now, I am thrilled to actually have an answer to every senior’s favorite question.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” -Hebrews 12:1