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After College: Navigating Transitions, Relationships and Faith

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"The first year out was one of the hardest years of my life." --Curt The years after college can be some of the most uncertain, unstable times of life. Recent graduates grieve the loss of community, question their place in the world and struggle to find meaningful work. It can be shocking to discover that college did not fully prepare you for the challenges you now face. " "The first year out was one of the hardest years of my life." --Curt The years after college can be some of the most uncertain, unstable times of life. Recent graduates grieve the loss of community, question their place in the world and struggle to find meaningful work. It can be shocking to discover that college did not fully prepare you for the challenges you now face. "It's much rougher than I thought. I thought things would just play out, and they didn't. I don't have friends, I don't have a job and I hang out with my parents every night." --Kate But you are not alone. For more than a decade, Erica Young Reitz has specialized in helping college seniors and recent graduates navigate the transition to postcollege life. Drawing on best practices and research on senior preparedness, she offers practical tools for a life of faithfulness and flourishing during a critical, transitional time. This practical guide addresses the top issues graduates face: making decisions, finding friends, managing money, discerning your calling and much more. Discover how you can thrive beyond your undergraduate years. If you feel lost in transition, here are resources to help you flourish as a Christ-follower in a complex world.


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"The first year out was one of the hardest years of my life." --Curt The years after college can be some of the most uncertain, unstable times of life. Recent graduates grieve the loss of community, question their place in the world and struggle to find meaningful work. It can be shocking to discover that college did not fully prepare you for the challenges you now face. " "The first year out was one of the hardest years of my life." --Curt The years after college can be some of the most uncertain, unstable times of life. Recent graduates grieve the loss of community, question their place in the world and struggle to find meaningful work. It can be shocking to discover that college did not fully prepare you for the challenges you now face. "It's much rougher than I thought. I thought things would just play out, and they didn't. I don't have friends, I don't have a job and I hang out with my parents every night." --Kate But you are not alone. For more than a decade, Erica Young Reitz has specialized in helping college seniors and recent graduates navigate the transition to postcollege life. Drawing on best practices and research on senior preparedness, she offers practical tools for a life of faithfulness and flourishing during a critical, transitional time. This practical guide addresses the top issues graduates face: making decisions, finding friends, managing money, discerning your calling and much more. Discover how you can thrive beyond your undergraduate years. If you feel lost in transition, here are resources to help you flourish as a Christ-follower in a complex world.

30 review for After College: Navigating Transitions, Relationships and Faith

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh Westbrook

    This book was fantastic! So well written, and very applicable to any student who is approaching graduation or even already graduated. There were so many good tips, and pieces of guidance within the pages of this book. Also provided good additional resources!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Gruenewald

    I bought this book after a recommendation in a small group in college about leaving college. I enjoyed the group, so the book seemed like a no-brainer. The author's strongest lens in this book is definitely connecting everything back to Christianity and using the obstacles after college to strengthen a believer's relationship with God. If you are looking to do this, this wasn't a bad read. For my first read through it, I felt a fair portion (especially of the relationship section) was a lecture. T I bought this book after a recommendation in a small group in college about leaving college. I enjoyed the group, so the book seemed like a no-brainer. The author's strongest lens in this book is definitely connecting everything back to Christianity and using the obstacles after college to strengthen a believer's relationship with God. If you are looking to do this, this wasn't a bad read. For my first read through it, I felt a fair portion (especially of the relationship section) was a lecture. The author claims in the introduction that the book is welcoming to non-believers, but honestly, if you don't want to read about a biblical example, figure, or verse in every single paragraph, this is not the book for you. I'll keep it around and may refer to it again because I did take a few notes, but it definitely was not as life-changing as I had expected it to be.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    I read this because "after college" is a season that is quickly approaching in my life. I found this book to be very direct and straightforward, with some helpful information and a lot of common sense information. There were a couple chapters that I found particularly helpful and applicable to me, but overall what I got out of this book was a timely reminder that I can trust a constant, unchanging God through any dynamic, uncertain times. I read this because "after college" is a season that is quickly approaching in my life. I found this book to be very direct and straightforward, with some helpful information and a lot of common sense information. There were a couple chapters that I found particularly helpful and applicable to me, but overall what I got out of this book was a timely reminder that I can trust a constant, unchanging God through any dynamic, uncertain times.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Summary: A faith-oriented guide to navigating the transition from college to early adulthood, exploring issues of faith, relationships, community, work, calling and finances. Much has been made about the loss of faith that sometimes occurs among youth who go to college. Less attention is given to the deepening of faith of others or the spiritual awakening of some that occurs during college. Even less have there been good discussions of how believing students navigate the transition to post-colleg Summary: A faith-oriented guide to navigating the transition from college to early adulthood, exploring issues of faith, relationships, community, work, calling and finances. Much has been made about the loss of faith that sometimes occurs among youth who go to college. Less attention is given to the deepening of faith of others or the spiritual awakening of some that occurs during college. Even less have there been good discussions of how believing students navigate the transition to post-collegiate early adulthood. Until now. Erica Young Reitz, who has led the Senior EXIT program, a senior year college transition program at Penn State, has given us a kind of roadmap describing the transitions post-collegians face, and what it means to live faithfully to Christ in a new situation. In her introduction, she writes: “Leaving the gates of university life often comes with the expectation that we’re ready for what’s on the other side. But what does readiness even mean? Some students feel ready in September of their senior year (get me out of here!) while others—who may actually be more equipped for the “real world” than they realize—dread college coming to a close. In the scurry of résumé preparations and job applications, it’s easy to reduce readiness to our emotions about entering adulthood or to a list of key items necessary for life on our own.” The first part of the book explores what faithfulness to Christ looks like in this new situation. She explores what it is like to go, like Abraham, with God into the unknown. She considers our expectations of “normal” and whether these have room for adversity, in which we might experience taking up the cross in new ways. She explores the big question of discerning God’s will, especially when faced with a myriad of choices. Part two then explores what faithfulness looks like in community. She honestly discusses finding new friends post-college and the challenge to become hospitable people. She talks about finding a church, with some helpful material for those who have experienced different forms of abuse in their church experience. She talks about the diversity of people we will encounter and going out of our comfort zones. She gives very practical counsel on the matter of parents and moving from dependence through independence to a healthy form of interdependence. She candidly discusses dating, sex, and marriage, post-college. I especially appreciated her practical counsel about not living together while saving up for the storybook wedding, which seems to be the narrative of many young couples. The final part of the book concerns living out our calling faithfully in the world. She includes chapters on stewarding every area of life for the kingdom, dealing with the realities of the workplace, and our handling of finances. She offers a very practical discussion of workplace realities and what it might practically mean to “bless” our co-workers. In the area of finance, she offers helpful resources including a budget planning sheet and challenges the assumption that it is necessary to take on large car loans and consumer debt, freeing one to use more resources for kingdom aspirations. The book is informative without being preachy, using a number of stories while also giving very practical tips. Reitz helps people understand how this period is a kind of liminal space that may feel disorienting or painful, and how to live as a person of faith in this time. Each chapter concludes with “Going Deeper” questions that could be used individually or in a group discussing the book. There are passages for scripture study as well as a few additional relevant books suggested. This is a great gift for graduating students. Even better, it would make a great discussion resource for a semester discussion with a group of seniors. The issues Reitz raises also raise important questions for those of us working in collegiate ministry. Are we waiting until senior years to talk about things like the will of God, community, work and calling, money and sexuality? We probably talk about sexuality before then, but what about the others? Are we simply mentoring students for our mission on campus or also for their mission in life? After College is a great resource to help students navigate this crucial transition from the former to the latter.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Whether you're a Christian or not, if you're a recent Post-Grad I 100% recommend this book for navigating such a hefty transition. After I graduated college I felt like I entered this weird phase of life that no one really talked about. I was prepared, but at the same time I wasn't? New jobs, new friends, and new cities aside--the first year out of college presents unique challenges to any young adult. This book was wonderful for addressing those challenges head-on. I found it to be incredibly p Whether you're a Christian or not, if you're a recent Post-Grad I 100% recommend this book for navigating such a hefty transition. After I graduated college I felt like I entered this weird phase of life that no one really talked about. I was prepared, but at the same time I wasn't? New jobs, new friends, and new cities aside--the first year out of college presents unique challenges to any young adult. This book was wonderful for addressing those challenges head-on. I found it to be incredibly practical and encouraging, yet also realistic. After College was given to me as a gift when I graduated, and I'm sure I'll be buying it for my younger friends as they prepare to graduate as well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becca Silvashy

    As a campus missionary, I'm passionate about helping college students transition into "real life" after college. This book asks all the same questions every grad is asking, offers brutally honest perspective and truth, and is packed with God's Word and application questions for further study. There are many other books out there that could be helpful in this transition to adulthood, but After College is uniquely catered to this season of life and addresses everything I hoped it would, and more. As a campus missionary, I'm passionate about helping college students transition into "real life" after college. This book asks all the same questions every grad is asking, offers brutally honest perspective and truth, and is packed with God's Word and application questions for further study. There are many other books out there that could be helpful in this transition to adulthood, but After College is uniquely catered to this season of life and addresses everything I hoped it would, and more. I am so glad I found this gem, and I will be recommending it to every college grad I know.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bekah

    I liked this book because Erica wrote some practical and wise things. She wrote from a position of understanding common post-grad struggles without being cliche. I thought a lot of the things she wrote were fresh and ideas or ways of putting it that I’ve never heard before. I’m really glad I discovered this book. Also, I read it about four months after moving to a new place and starting my first job, so reading it later is totally okay and still useful. :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christine Bratton

    As a recent college grad, and even as I approached my final weeks of college, this book proved itself to be invaluable to my transition into the next phase of life. Through sharing honest stories and grounded, biblical truths, After College brings a fresh sense of hope, peace, and excitement for what is to come. Its practical wisdom is something I know I will refer back to again and again. I cannot recommend this book enough!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amalie Huggins

    Loved some, had problems with some. This is a timely book full of practical advice and encouragement that id recommend to those stepping out of college or recent graduates a few years into the real world. Problem statement: recommended a mentor or counselor but said you “didn’t have to see a therapist” for feeling lots of things. Go see a therapist. That’s holy work too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    For anyone finishing college through their late 20s this book is a huge encouragement and challenge of how we should live our lives and validating all the emotions that come with starting life on our own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin Sarago

    This was a simple book that explained the truth and transition from college to full-time employee in a Christian manner. Since I've recently graduated, this book has helped me set my expectations for what joining the workforce will be like. This was a simple book that explained the truth and transition from college to full-time employee in a Christian manner. Since I've recently graduated, this book has helped me set my expectations for what joining the workforce will be like.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Danielle DeMorett

    Great practical anecdotes and stories for navigating the rocky transition post college! Great read for someone really prepared who is entering their senior year but still relevant to a few years post-college to get insight into how to course correct if you've had a rough season! Great practical anecdotes and stories for navigating the rocky transition post college! Great read for someone really prepared who is entering their senior year but still relevant to a few years post-college to get insight into how to course correct if you've had a rough season!

  13. 4 out of 5

    lovleebooks

    For me, this book helped so much with my after college transition. It let me know that I’m not alone in the weirdness of between college and before work. Especially since no one really discusses how difficult this transition is this book face light to those topics which was such a blessing to me!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Good quick read. Nothing super profound.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

    Very good reminder for us old folks!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I wish someone had given me this book when I graduated. But I don't think it was out yet! I wish someone had given me this book when I graduated. But I don't think it was out yet!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Schallick

    An excellent guide for figuring out the confusing and stressful time immediately after college. If there's a topic that can easily be overlooked and underprepared for, it's the transition out of college. Between starting out on your own and wondering if you've made the right choices, the excitement and stress of this time is something that not many people talk about. But Erica's book breaks that mold and offers up the truth that is so easy to miss sometimes: there are a ton of people going throu An excellent guide for figuring out the confusing and stressful time immediately after college. If there's a topic that can easily be overlooked and underprepared for, it's the transition out of college. Between starting out on your own and wondering if you've made the right choices, the excitement and stress of this time is something that not many people talk about. But Erica's book breaks that mold and offers up the truth that is so easy to miss sometimes: there are a ton of people going through the same emotional transition. Through personal stories and truth rooted in the gospel, Erica offers up a reassuring perspective on how to make peace and stay strong in this otherwise chaotic time. Though different people's situations can vary wildly, Erica does a good job of finding common ground and addressing a wide range of scenarios a recent graduate may find themselves in. From relationships, to moving out, to finding communities, or moving back in with your parents, this book does a good job of finding a way to help with whatever you're dealing with in your life after college.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anna Malone

    As a recent graduate, this book offered me a helpful, Christ-centered perspective on all of the transitions I have been experiencing. Definitely helpful in pointing me back to God in the midst of the emotional roller coaster of leaving behind a place I loved. However, the book is written more for seniors as they approach graduation, and I think I would have appreciated it more if I had read it a little sooner!

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Batten

    If you aren't within a year or two of college graduation... why are you reading this review? But if you are, read this book! It is clear that the author has talked to many people transitioning from college, and so her advice is not only wise, wide randing, and godly, but it is relevant and relatable. She says everything is want to say to college graduates, and what I needed to know myself. So really, read this book. If you aren't within a year or two of college graduation... why are you reading this review? But if you are, read this book! It is clear that the author has talked to many people transitioning from college, and so her advice is not only wise, wide randing, and godly, but it is relevant and relatable. She says everything is want to say to college graduates, and what I needed to know myself. So really, read this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cristina Adams

    This book was a great help as I struggled transitioning out of college and into graduate school. I like to describe this book as a warm hug, reminding me that I'm not alone, telling me it will be alright, and giving me good things to think about as I transition. This book was a great help as I struggled transitioning out of college and into graduate school. I like to describe this book as a warm hug, reminding me that I'm not alone, telling me it will be alright, and giving me good things to think about as I transition.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alan Ninan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Insight for book for seniors or recent grads. It gives practical information to handle our ever changing post grad experience. However, it’s still provide solid trades to live on.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Libby

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marlaine Mcarthur

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eva

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  26. 5 out of 5

    Abby Keppel

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason Leonard

  28. 4 out of 5

    Willie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  30. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Shah

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