I was in church yesterday morning. While I was chilling in my pew I overheard two ladies talking to themselves about one of their sons graduating from college this week. The excitement of that event was tempered with their exclamations that “there are no jobs out there! Nothing!”
As I sat there listening (eavesdropping?) all I could think was why not do something different? I thought about my experience in the two years since I graduated college and thought, wow things have turned out pretty awesome for me. Thanks God.
Here is how I see it. The Mormon’s, proud purveyors of an angel named “moron”i, actually got something right. All their young adults go on a 1-2 year trips overseas to serve. Now I’m not about making things that aren’t doctrine mandatory, but I would recommend doing a one year stint abroad to any budding high school or college graduate. This terrible economy just makes you have less of an excuse not to do it.
I think too often we are pigeonholed into doing what we think we should do and not what we want to do. For example a lot of my friends are slaving away in grad school, thinking that’s what they need to get the good job to bring in the big bucks. Now that’s great and works for some, but for me, totally unappealing. I like to learn and I know I’m going to enjoy teaching but academia as a whole, I’m not a huge fan.
Now a lot of people (I think) act like myself going to South Africa was this big huge thing. Christians think I’m really dedicated to God or something and my secular friends wish they had an excuse to travel like that, but mostly think I’m crazy. This is how twisted society has made our perceptions of what is acceptable for young adults to do.
Let me put it this way which I think will make sense to both Christians and non-Christians alike. I did an unpaid internship for a year in another country. I served God and people. I took academic style classes, learning about my religion and how it relates to the world. I learned about multiple cultures and how to interact within them. I found out more about myself as a person. I ran with zebras. I parlayed my year abroad into another more job-like experience in the Czech Republic (which starts in August).
Now seriously. Why is the option I describe above seem to be so strange/extraordinary to so many? It should be Plan A for just about everyone. So that’s my piece. If your worried about getting a job find an opportunity for a year or two overseas. Work with a ministry, join the Peace Corps. Just don’t let society prevent you from doing what you know you want to try.