Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What don't we know?

A few years ago I co-lead a week-long seminar for UCLA InterVarsity seniors, aptly called "Senior Seminar". It was great helping students think about their transition from college to "real life". 

The first night my co-leader and I shared our expectations for the week. Afterwards, we routinely asked if there were any questions. One question struck me as both funny and compelling, "What don't we know?" The senior clarified, "What would you tell yourself at 20 if you could?"

I just found the list I shared with them after chewing on that question for a few days. I was barely out of my 20's at the time. It's interesting looking at this list now. 

1. Faith- You will need to fight to stay connected to Jesus and community after college. Statistics say only 1 out of 5 of you will be following Jesus at 30. Consider why. Be intentional. 
2. Risk- Try as many things in your 20's as you can. Take risks- because when you fail (not if) you'll bounce back more quickly. Figure out what you're good at (and maybe what you aren't), so you can spend your 30's doing them.
3. Generosity- give to your church, support your IV staff, invest in something you are passionate about. Give more than expected... you will end up loving and being concerned about the things you financially invest in. Resist finding your value, success or worth in material things. Use things, love people- not the other way around.
4. Love- Don't waste your precious 20's anxious about finding the right one- spend it discovering who you are, what you are passionate about, and becoming that person. God is good and faithful in matters of LOVE. Spend your 20's learning how to love well...your family and roommates and friends are a good place to start.
5. Floss- It can keep you from getting cavities, in case you don't have dental insurance in your 20's.
6. Friendship- Meet new people. Make lots of friends, but also spend your 20's finding and investing in a few lifelong friends. Don't just watch movies and do things without also going deep. Get to know each other, make fun of each other (as to not take things too seriously), cry with each other, build each other up, pray with and for each other. Most of all- don't compare yourselves to each other- this will rob you from the ability to celebrate each other and your friendship.
7. Learn- Just because you are out of school now doesn't mean you're done learning. Study the word, mentors, role models. Read books. Ask good questions. Listen. Respond.
8. Laugh-Remember your identity is in Jesus. Lighten up. God loves you and holds all things together. It will be ok. Your 20's will likely be filled with long hours, hard work, conflict, tears, joys, and adventure. Take time to enjoy God, enjoy people, enjoy creation. As you do, remember to take the time to laugh. I can't think of any other creature that can do it. Between the frown lines and tear stains, don't forget to laugh.

Now, as I continue along on this adventure called the 30's, I'm now compelled to ask... what don't I know?


Tina Irene said...

They are not kidding about wearing sunscreen! Your skin is not invincible!

Great list :)

Anonymous said...

I also find flossing very important. Especially now that I have three kids. :) I loved readinng this list.

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