5 Videos & 5 Books for Navigating Life After College

FNArticle1“And what will you be doing after graduation?” asked the president of my alma mater the night before commencement. My parents and I were at a special “invitation only” party at the president’s house. When the president asked me this question, the room went silent. Other students and their parents, holding paper plates and plastic cups, stopped talking, stared at me with inquisitive expressions, and leaned in to hear what I was going to say.

My dad said loud enough for everyone to hear, “We’d like to know too, actually.” Big gulp. Deep breath. This was my response: “A degree in political science from a state university has really only prepared me for one thing: seminary.” Some people snickered, most people slightly tilted their heads and raised their eyebrows (like a confused puppy) and I think one guy coughed up a potato chip. My parents did one of those half smiles. They were proud that I said something amusing in front of all those people, but were both wishing I hadn’t said something so amusing in front of all of those people.

I remember dreading the “what are you going to do?” question during my last three months of college. Like most seasons of deep anxiety, however, when I look back I realize that most of it was unwarranted. It makes sense to be apprehensive about the future, to be sure, but as Kierkegaard famously quipped, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” What I needed more than anything was perspective and a few ideas for ordering my daily life.

For those in a similar situation, what follows are five videos to watch and five books to read to help guide you as you transition out of college and into work. It’s not an exhaustive list, of course, but I’ve found them to be helpful. Feel free to add your suggestions to improve my list… Read the rest at Fieldnotes Magazine here.

Fieldnotes Magazine is a publication of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary.