Only the Beginning

What are you going to do after you graduate?—a question I get asked quite often as a junior in college. Initially I just want to ignore the question and continue talking about other more fun and exciting things, but my response is always a quirky that is a good question, because well, it is a good question.

Going into college I knew I had four years to figure that out, and by my junior year I thought I would know this by now. But… I don’t.

My major is journalism, and for the longest time I had my mind set on becoming the next Oprah Winfrey or Ellen Degeneres. Of course becoming a talk-show host would be an amazing and fun career, and I still would love to do that in the future if that is my purpose, but realistically I can’t just walk the stage and immediately have a show waiting for me. (If only it were that easy.) For now I will continue in my search for my purpose in life.

What is your purpose in life?—a question all Christians struggle with. It is a constant search trying to find the perfect balance between our likes and needs with God’s wants and plans. How do we find that balance?

During my on-going search, I have found a way to keep me sane: Faith and prayer. I have faith in God that He will show me my path in life if I give Him my full effort with trying and my full attention with prayer.

After my life-changing experience of my car accident, I thought I had everything figured out—He placed me in the most perfect university and showed me my love of writing! In that moment I didn’t have much to worry about other than my deadlines in my classes and applying for scholarships. As a freshman, I knew I had four years between then and my future; I told myself that I have all the time in the world!

In those three years I was able to become a peer-minister and lead my own ministry, become a co-director of our university’s retreat, become the secretary and then president of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, write for the Logos (school newspaper), be a campus correspondent for the online magazine Student Health 101 and be a DJ for the school’s radio station (DJ DJ here :P). I have definitely learned A LOT in all those opportunities.

During those three years I have learned so much about myself and about life. I have realized that college isn’t just about learning from our professors in our daily classes or getting perfect scores on our exams, it is about the challenges we face during college. Everything we do in college academically and extracurricular is practice for our future. I wish I could stay in college forever and continue to learn and experience. But now it is near the end and I can hardly imagine it. Where did the time go?

Currently, I am still in that situation of the unknown. I still have no idea what I am going to do when I graduate. I have all these dreams, ambitions, and goals but will I be able to accomplish them in this world? Will I be able to make a living? I don’t know, and that scares the bijibbies out of me.

You may be thinking, you still have one more year! You can figure it out, don’t worry. But I know that year will fly by, and it will be over before it even begins– just like all my past sixteen years in school. Time does fly. It flies by faster than we know! I can hardly believe I’m at this point in my life.

As I enter into my final year at the university, I will continue to keep Christ at the center of my life. He is the reason for all my blessings and He deserves all the glory in this world. Only two more semesters and my life really starts. During the graduation Mass at my church a couple of weeks ago, Father Tony told all the graduating seniors that this journey was just the beginning and that they had their entire lives ahead of them—I felt as if God was speaking directly to me through him. College was just the beginning, your whole life is ahead of you. I will always be there by your side Darlene.

In this graduation season, I feel as if I am graduating as well. The reason being is because I will be studying abroad in the fall in Rome, Italy. Next semester I won’t be doing Catholic Daughters or campus ministry, interviewing for Student Health 101, working at the radio station, living with my amazing roommate Iréne, seeing my favorite professors, working in the ministry office with Brenda or seeing all my friends in San Antonio and from all around the world, I won’t be going to the same school as my wonderful boyfriend, I won’t see my family here and there, and I won’t be going to the same chapel on Sunday’s as I had been for the past three years, and I won’t be doing what I’ve become so comfortably with these past three years. I will be in a totally different country when the semester starts with new friends, professors and experiences. When school starts I would have just left from Guatemala—seeing Edwin for only one week after being away from him for three months (YAY for LDR’s)!!! All this nostalgia is hitting me and I don’t know how I will handle it when the time comes. I am feeling this nostalgia because I have realized how fast time goes by, that this year will not be any different, so why not feel this way already?

God places these situations, times of change, challenges and struggles in our lives to help us become the people we are meant to be. And that correlates with our purpose in life. These experiences show us our directions in life. They help us to steer in the correct path, but the only way we will be able to rightfully correspond with these choices is if we keep Christ close to us—if we keep our hearts and minds on Him and keep Him the central point in our everyday decisions.

I don’t think that we are meant to know what our purpose in life is at our first attempt. For some cases that could be true and they could be really blessed with knowing early on. For me, that isn’t the case. I know that my purpose is meant to make others smile as much as I like smiling. I know that I am meant to help others as others have helped me in my life journey. I know those answers but I don’t know what I am going to do with those gifts just yet. For now I will continue to take chances, have faith, go out of my comfort zone, and pray. Because I don’t know what my future holds, but I sure do know who holds my future! (Thank you Tim Tebow)

 

Keep the faith †

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