LifePlanning : The College Years and New Grads

The year was 2002. If I remember correctly, it was a typical 90 degree August day in Colorado. I may have glanced at the forecast, but it didn’t change my wardrobe decision in the least. Nothing was going to stop me from wearing a new pair of American Eagle jeans and button down dress shirt to my first day of classes. Dressed in my new threads, I made the trek from my Z-lot parking space to my first class. Standing before an audience of wide-eyed freshmen, our professor was acutely aware that we were all anxious to make a good first impression. It would only be a matter of time before our enthusiasm waned and we became disillusioned by the philosophy readings that were assigned for a class intended for the discussion of genetically modified foods.

Parallel to the marked decline in our class’ excitement, my hope of attending Medical School at Creighton University to become a Pediatrician would take a nose dive with each Chemistry exam. My reaction was to move away from the pursuit of a degree in Biology and enroll in courses to complete a degree in Sports Medicine. Even with the change, I would still be on track to graduate in four years and I was convinced that I would be more engaged in my course work. The switch proved to be a wise decision, as I thoroughly enjoyed my Nutrition and EKG classes, but I still lacked authentic focus.

In high school, there are a number of things that are vying for our attention, but required attendance at school, rehearsals, and practice direct our every move. Donning our cap and gown at graduation, we are blissfully unaware of what it will mean to steward our time, energy, and resources when we get to call all the shots. At that point in time, we are simply armed with a new copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, confident that we are ready to be world changers.

When I worked with my LifePlan Facilitator to focus on my Life Domains of Career, Personal, Family, Ministry and Community, the pieces from my past came together to paint a picture that helped me to better understand how to thrive in the future. Throughout the process, I often thought to myself, “If only I had the opportunity to work through this in my college years!” I was brought up by parents with exemplary character, who always encouraged me to do my best. My mentors at church were faithful in their prayers and always available when I needed a listening ear. From my childhood, teachers and coaches applauded my achievements. Even so, I’m not convinced I was fully prepared to set foot on the CSU campus. If I could travel back in time, I would have coffee with my 18, 19, or 20 year-old self to talk through what it means to stay focused and committed to specific action items.  Taking time to develop a plan would have set me on a more specific trajectory, armed with an understanding of who I was created to be. Not only would I have had my sights set on the future, I would have been experiencing intentional growth in all areas of life.

A decade later, I recognize that I have an opportunity to mentor young women who are walking the sidewalks of our local college campuses and those who have recently graduated, ready to make their mark on the world. My prayer is that the Lord would open doors for years to come, where He can expose the truth about who they are created to be, that their lives would count for more than they ever dreamed possible, and that they would chase after the calling on their lives with reckless abandon!



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