Have you noticed you can customize just about everything these days?
Think about it: Cars have custom designs from the front bumper to the muffler. (And that’s just the exterior!) If you have a cell phone (and if you don’t, you’ll need one before you leave for college), you know you can choose your own cover, ring tone, and display, morphing it into personalized eye candy. Your computer’s desktop is arranged just the way you like it. You can even customize your Facebook page until it stands out from those of your friends.
And how about coffee? I love coffee. I remember when the only choice you had to make when ordering was regular or decaf, but that’s not how it goes today. Now it’s nothing to say, “I’ll take a grande, low-fat, iced caramel macchiato with extra caramel drizzle.”
But what about your life? Can that be customized as well?
As you make the transition from high school to what’s next – which might mean college, work, or both – you have a great opportunity to customize your life, to make it your own. This might be incredibly exciting as you’ve been waiting, even longing, for years to enter the “real world”.
Or you may find it mostly terrifying – all the responsibilities that come with the adult world might have you hiding in your closest while reading this book.
Most likely it’s a combination of feelings, and your excitement level changes depending on the day. But before you decide to make like a baby bird and fly the coop, you’ll want to be sure your feathers are developed and you have the skills to take that jump. Otherwise, gravity will take over, and down you’ll go – which only brings stressful times and deep wounds.
When Does Your Real World Begin?
In the United States you’re legally considered an adult on the day you turn eighteen. Once you’re eighteen, a variety of privileges and responsibilities are yours: You can vote, own property, buy tobacco, marry without parental consent, be tried as an adult if you commit a crime, and even buy things from infomercials on late-night TV. But is this really what adulthood is all about?
My hunch? You already know there’s more to being an adult than simply reaching a particular birthday. There are more questions to answer, more things to figure out – especially if you want to become a mature adult who follows Jesus.
There are three critical themes of what it means for you to enter the world after high school and grow into a mature, Jesus-following adult.
In each of these areas (or legs), important questions must be tackled that focus on what awaits you in life and in your faith. These fall under three main categories:
3 Questions Awaiting a Christian Before College
Leg One — Identity: Who am I? Who am I supposed to be, and what do I know to be true? Can I doubt sometimes?
Leg Two — Choices: Do my decisions matter? How much control over my life do I have? How do I handle the new responsibilities coming my way as an adult? How will I handle college (or my new job)? Is it okay if I’m stressed out?
Leg Three — Belonging: Where do I fit? What does this world have for me? What does God have for me? Where do family, friends, and dating fit? How important is it for me to connect to the local church?
My guess is you’re already thinking about these questions and searching for your own answers.
God cares a great deal about healthy growth. He wants you to grow in maturity, faith, obedience, health, wisdom, strength, and all other good things; your responsibility is to partner with God in the process.
Plant yourself in the right environment to be watered, fertilized, sunned, nurtured, and loved so you have the best shot at growing into a mature follower of Jesus. You can’t always determine your environment, but as much as it depends on you, situate yourself so you can grow closer to Jesus as you make this transition.
Walking with Jesus isn’t always easy, but you’ll find the path brings growth, maturity, and life at its best. Whether your next step is college, a job, or something else, it’s up to you to ask the right questions and really think about what it means to follow Jesus as you make the all-important transition from high school to life after graduation.
Which of the three questions do you struggle with most as you consider the transition from high school to college? Join the conversation on our blog!