A College Conundrum: Advice for Grads
A longer version of today's article by Sister Zarella Scolaro was originally published in the Student Support Newsletter in September 2014.
It's summer! And if you're one of the graduating seniors of the class of 2019, then you're answering the inevitable questions, "So, where are you going to college?" or, "What are your post-graduation plans?" time and time again. It can be very hard when you, yourself, have yet to figure out "Where does God want me to be?"
When I was a high school senior, my struggle began when I got acceptance letters from the University of California, Irvine, which is about 15 minutes from the Irvine Branch of The Church and the University of California, Berkeley, which is roughly two hours from the nearest branch.
I contemplated my decision for weeks, then months, but during the time I was waiting for the Lord to respond I recalled Psalms 27:14, "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord."
So I continued to wait. There is no doubt that the end of my senior year was fun, but to most of my classmates — and even several teachers — I became known as the girl who said no to Berkeley, a prestigious public university!
What they failed to understand was that it doesn't matter what school you decide to attend to obtain your higher education degree; what matters is that you know you are exactly where God wants you to be because His plan is much greater than anything we can ever imagine.
My favorite verse from Matthew 6:33 reads "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
The floor did not have to shake. I did not have a dream that showed me the right school. The Lord simply gave me the feeling of certainty that UC Irvine was where I needed to be.
So, how do we really know? How do we determine whether the Lord is speaking to us or we're leaning on our own judgment? In times like these, we need to focus our attention away from ourselves to the One who is truly in control. We need to muster up the courage to put our plans and our will second to that of our Heavenly Father.
Sometimes listening to our heavenly Father can be harder than listening to our earthly father who speaks in a loud voice because God sometimes speaks to us in a quiet, tender voice. What is the solution? To constantly listen to what God has to say. At times, we have a tendency to only listen when we have a big decision to make, but if we make an effort to continually listen to what the Lord has to say, then we will be much more attuned to His voice, whether He speaks through prayer, reading, or even music.
It can be very hard to not get caught up in the moment when making big life decisions, but we must remember to take a step back and allow God to execute His perfectly laid blueprints, whether it's what college to attend, what job to take, what career field to follow, or whatever the next big step may be in our life. God wants to be included, and He wants the best for us, guaranteed!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.