The video below includes ideas you can try right away. Just get started! Or, if you’re trucking along, make a commitment to take things to next level. Leave a comment below about what you’re up to or what you’re planning to try. Let’s encourage each other!
Rooting for you,
P.S. Have you registered yet for the LIVE webinar later this week? I hope you can join me as I talk about The 3 Most Important Topics to Address with Seniors Before They Graduate.
I’m rolling out some FREE, fun things this week, and this video below is the first!
When it comes to equipping students for life after college, it’s easy to doubt our own efforts. We may wonder: Are we even making a difference?
In this video, I talk about how we started small. Very small. We didn’t quite know what we were doing, and we certainly doubted if we were making a difference.
But things didn’t stay that way forever.
I hope this video encourages you to get started or keep going, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant your attempts may feel right now.
Growth and transformation in your own work — and in the lives of students — is possible!
Don’t forget to leave a comment below, and subscribe on the right if you don’t want to miss out on the next video.
I’d love to hear from you!
PS: Oh, one more thing you won’t want to miss: I’m hosting a FREE, live webinar later this week on The 3 Most Important Topics to Address with College Seniors Before They Graduate. Check it out, and hope to see you there!
Many years ago, when my team and I started equipping students to thrive after college, we felt like we were creating in the dark. There were not many resources out there – for students or for those who work with them. We did a lot of building from the ground up, spun our wheels many times, and learned from the burn.
I want to save you time and the frustration of spinning your wheels. Or, if you’re trucking along, I want to help you maximize your efforts and bring them to the next level.
If you want to learn some of the pitfalls leaders should watch out for as well as how to turn the opposite actions into best practices, check out the attached PDF: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Equipping Students for Life after College. Click here, so you can discover what they are.
Oh, one more thing. There’s more good stuff on the way! Keep your eyes on your inbox so you don’t miss out. 🙂
Now is the time to prepare students to thrive after college!
Let me guess: Often, you feel like you’re in an uphill battle. You’re trying to convince students to take advantage of resources you have to offer, but they don’t know what they don’t know, so they opt out.
I get it. I’ve been just as frustrated, but I’ve also learned that there’s something we can do about it.
Instead of blaming students, we can work to alter their perceptions and normalize the help-seeking process for them.
Do your students perceive the need for help as something for the weak, remedial, or those who can’t figure things out on their own?
Let’s work to change this perceived weakness into a strength!
Successful Students Seek Help
In Thriving in Transitions, one of the contributors, Jillian Kinzie, talks about the importance of normalizing the help-seeking process for students. She writes,
“Students in transition need to not know only the campus resources that are available and how to access them, but also that successful students seek out those resources” (p. 15).
Let’s show our students that strong and successful people seek out help.
Normalizing the Help-Seeking Process
Alumni panels are great place to feature individuals who have sought help along the way to their success.
I’ll never forget the time one of our alumnae panelists shared how she started seeing a personal counselor during her first year out of college. Her parents recent divorce coupled with the many stressors of the transition brought her to a place need. Sasha’s* vulnerability on the panel led to a student approaching me later on, confessing that she too had been struggling with a similar situation of her own parent’s divorce, among other issues. She asked, “Where can I get some professional help?”
When we normalize the help-seeking process, struggling students feel empowered to get what they need to thrive.
Putting This into Practice
If you are not in these roles already, show your students that successful students…
…seek out professors during office hours. These visits can foster academic success and build relational capital, which is crucial for life after college.
…seek out career and calling services/centers on campus. Help students avoid the April panic (Oh no! I’m graduating, and I don’t have a job!), and preemptively invite students into a career preparation process.
…seek out multi-generational relationships at church or elsewhere. Life after college is filled with generational diversity. Let’s prepare our students by encouraging cross-generational connections now.
Can you invite some former students to share how the help-seeking process has shaped them into the thriving alumni they are today?
I’m taking my own advice, and I invited two former ENGL 15 students to share their experiences with my current writing students this week. These two students made the most of the resources available to them; I want to show my current students that strong students seek help!
What’s one way you plan to normalize the help-seeking process for your students? Leave a comment below!
P.S. Speaking of help-seeking, where are you stuck when it comes to equipping students to thrive after college? I’m here to help! I’d love to chat for 15-20 minutes. Click here, and we’ll find a time!
I’m so excited to have this guest post from author and young adults pastor, Austin Gohn. His book, A Restless Age, releases today! Austin does a fabulous job of bringing this ancient saint into our present cultural moment, and his book is one every person who works with twenty-somethings should pick up! See my endorsement below, grab your copy today, and enjoy Austin’s post!
I graduated from college, moved, got married,
and started my first full-time job all in the same summer.
I had a degree in intercultural studies, but I
moved right back to my hometown. It looked the same as when I left but
everything felt different. I was a
young adults pastor, but I felt like I was the one who needed a young adults
pastor. (I was barely 23-years-old!) I was trying to navigate multiple
transitions without much guidance on how to make sense of so much change at
once. And, on top of it all, I couldn’t even figure out how to get WiFi in our
I needed someone to guide me, someone to let
me know what I was feeling was normal, someone who had been where I was—and
survived. And, from seven years of experience working with young adults, I have
met many young adult who feel exactly the same way.
The Patron Saint of Young Adulthood
A few years into young adults ministry I read
Augustine’s Confessions for the
second time. It’s one-part memoir, one-part devotional, and one-part
theological treatise. And most of the book covers the span of time from his
late teens through his early thirties.
This time, as I read, I saw the book in a
different light. It was no longer just required reading for one of my freshman
courses. It felt like the most relevant book on the young adult years I had
In Augustine’s story, as told in his Confessions, we see what it’s like to be
a twenty-something—but from the inside. We see what it’s like to wrestle with
doubt, to try to break the habits we hate, to try to find where we belong, to
ride the rollercoaster of romance, and to nearly burnout only a few years into
the career we’ve prepared our whole lives to do. While much of the young adult
experience has changed since the fourth century, even more has remained the
Reading this book not only helped me
understand the young adults God had entrusted to my care, it helped me
understand myself. Augustine might be the patron saint of brewers, theologians,
vermin, sore eyes and printers, but he ought to be the patron saint of young
A Restless Age
That’s why I wrote A Restless Age: How Saint Augustine Helps You Make Sense of Your
Twenties. I wanted young adults to see how an ancient saint is more
relevant to their lives than many of the books out there geared toward young
adults. I believe that many of the young adults who take the time to wade
through Augustine’s Confessions will
come out saying, That’s exactly what I’m
experiencing. If this book leads more young adults to engage with
Augustine, it’s done its job.
Restless Age, I look for parallels between Augustine’s twenties—what psychologist
Meg Jay calls “the defining decade”—and the experience of twenty-somethings
today. In particular, I organize the book around what I call the five
open-ended searches of young adulthood:
The Search for Answers
The Search for Habits
The Search for Belonging
The Search for Love
The Search for Work
Augustine experienced the same five searches
in his twenties, even if they looked a bit different. He tried out cults,
churches, and total unbelief. He tried to quit habitual lust before it wrecked
his life. He lost friends and made new friends. He was in a long-term
relationship that ended with a devastating breakup. And, he moved multiple
times because of multiple career changes—all before his thirty-second birthday.
If you didn’t know I was describing a fourth-century theologian, you might
think I was talking about any number of young adults today.
I read Augustine’s Confessions for the first time when I was 19-years-old, but I
skimmed it and didn’t see what it had to do with my life. I needed a book that
could help me see Augustine the broken young adult, not just Augustine the
saint. I wrote A Restless Age to do
just that. Augustine might not provide much wisdom for how to get WiFi in your
tiny apartment, but he can help you make sense of your twenties—and possibly
even the rest of your life.
I’m curious, how have you seen “restlessness” manifest itself in the lives of the college students and recent graduates you work with? In what practical ways are you helping twenty-somethings in the “searches” Austin mentions above? Leave a comment below!
If you viewed the last video, then you know I have something super exciting I want to share with you!
It’s a special, limited-time opportunity that I can’t wait to tell you about: a live training course for practitioners (student affairs professionals, college ministers and church leaders) who want to equip students to thrive after college.
Are you ready to take your efforts to the next level? Check out this page and act quickly. The course begins next week! There are only a limited number of seats and this offer is only good until this Friday at 11:59pm ET.
In this video I share a little bit about how the Life After College program got started at Hope College. One of the key things we talked about as it was getting off the ground was the importance of space and place.
At the end of the video I mention a special, limited-time opportunity I have for you. It’s rolling out super soon, so keep your eyes on your inbox! If you don’t already receive updates, you can subscribe here to be sure you don’t miss it.
PS Don’t forget to leave a comment below the video about one thing that stood out to you or one question you have – I want to hear from you!
This is the first of series of videos for those who are serious about equipping students for life after college. In this video I get personal – see if you notice it before the reveal. 🙂 I also share why this matters – how intervening in the lives of students during the college years makes a difference in their transition…and beyond. Last, you’ll see one tip and one activity that you can use right away with students.