Handling the Stress of Graduation
by Maiya Drennen
The months leading up to graduation will quite possibly be some of the most stressful and pressure-filled months of your life. Trying to finish up the last bit of schoolwork, figuring out where to go to college, figuring out if God is leading you to college, and so on, are some of the most confusing questions that riddle the end of such a huge chapter in your life. Learning to cope with this stressful period can help equip us for the future times of stress that will surely come. Now, I am by no means an expert on a completely stress-free road to graduation, but I do want to share some things that have helped me cope.
1) Seek God’s will in what path He has laid out for you.
You need to be genuinely seeking God’s guidance throughout this time. Pray and search the Scripture for His will for you. He may reveal His plan for you years, months, or even weeks before you graduate. But you will never understand what that plan truly is unless you have open ears and an open heart. About six months before I received my high school diploma, the Lord showed me that His plan for the next chapter of my life did not include college. I was already in the process of applying for a university, but when it became clear to me this wasn’t His plan, though disappointed, I knew I had to change course.
Jeremiah 1:5a, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, Before you were born I set you apart” (KJV).
2) Hold your plans loosely, because if they don’t line up with God’s, He will take them away from you.
Of course, you might be disappointed, but you need to be able to accept the redirection and ask God for the next step of His plan. He is sovereign. His plan is always best, even though it may bring disappointment to you right now.
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end”(KJV).
3) Look for godly guidance from those who have been there.
These guides could be your parents, older siblings, or an older friend. Talking to those who have been where you are and have experienced what you are going through can be a huge comfort to you. Ask for advice and prayer. They know what you’re going through and usually will be more than willing to pray with you and for you throughout this period.
Ephesians 5:21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (KJV).
4) Pray for God to surround you with peace and comfort.
Pray this every day. Most of the stress comes from thinking about life after your graduation is over—at least I know that’s how it was for me. But if you can give that over to God, He will make such a peace come over you. My mom often reminded me in the months leading up to graduation, “When you are tempted to worry, pray.”
Isaiah 30:21, “And thine ear shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (KJV).
Maiya is a homeschool graduate currently pursuing a life as a stay-at-home daughter. She enjoys her days teaching piano, volunteering at her local crisis pregnancy center, taking hold of opportunities to encourage and minister to younger girls, doing projects with her seven—soon to be eight—siblings, and writing her blog at Blessings, Bliss, and Bedlam!