The Highs and Lows of Growing Up

During my time as an undergraduate student, I was a part of a lot of groups. They were all focused on personal growth in one way or another, which involved a lot of reflecting. Most meetings began with a “highs and lows” exercise, during which we would state the best and worst parts of our week.


I loved highs and lows because they gave me a space to reflect on what went well and what could have gone better. They were always surprising because, even during the weeks when a dark and rainy cloud has settled above your head, you can still (even begrudgingly) think of something or someone who lifted your spirits. And even during those weeks when you feel like you’re on top of the world, there is still a little room for improvement.


Once, when I was doing a round of highs and lows with my resident assistant staff, I said, verbatim, “my high is....everything.” I knew that my happiness might be considered annoying, obnoxious, or even rude and ignorant to those with struggles, but I wanted to relish an amazing week for just a second.


That week, I felt God’s divine providence at work. I had a week where He was wholly good to me...and I’m still amazed at that fact.


Yet, are there ever weeks where God is not good to me? God is always active in our lives, even when we may not be able to feel it as fully as we’d like.


Although I wish that I could live with this optimism all the time, constantly feeling His presence, I know there are hard weeks. But that’s part of the reason that I really wanted to take advantage of the good week; what if another good one did not come for awhile?


The same is true of low points: they pass. And even they should be relished: they’re God-given experiences.


I’m not saying that I don’t will bad times away; I’m just as guilty of that as anyone. I simply try to look towards the future; towards the time when I will see the bad weeks as a lesson that I learned, as a time through which I remained steadfast and faithful.


Since I’ve graduated, I’ve had my fair share of highs and lows, but no controlled environment in which to reflect on them. I don’t necessarily think about the ups and downs of the week, the month, or the year, and I certainly don’t present those things to a group of close confidants.


So I recently took some time to reflect on the highs and lows of the past year-or-so since I’ve graduated from college.


Basically, what it comes down to is this:


Low (you always start with lows because this way you can only go up): I’m becoming an adult.


High: I’m becoming an adult.


I feel like this sums up the experience of just about every young adult out there.


I don’t think that I’m the only one who thought that post-grad life would be different than it is. Actually, I know that I’m not, because I’ve had extensive conversations with many people about this fact. No one wants to be the first to say it out loud, but it seems like when someone admits that life isn’t going as expected, there is a collective sigh of relief that washes over the conversation: “Thank God I’m not alone.”


So I’ll be the first to admit it: post-grad life isn’t what I expected it to be. Cue that collective sigh of relief.


As best I can tell, there are two major challenges to becoming an adult.

The first is wanting to be simultaneously older and younger, yet present in the time that I’m in. If you think that doesn’t make sense, you’re right.

The second is acknowledging God’s continuous presence in the time I’m in: remembering that the best part of my week is that it happened, even when it seems like nothing has gone right, because God is present.


Personally, I struggle with this every single day.


I didn’t think that I would simultaneously love and abhor getting older like I do. Whatever your personal feelings about young adulthood are, it’s important to at least acknowledge that there are mixed feelings about it.


Yes, you are allowed to have the same high and low.


(Are you? I just made this up. My blog, my rules).


But what’s most important to remember is that there are highs and lows; let them pass over you, experience them fully.


And do your best to experience God through them all.


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Maria is the Administrative Coordinator of Y2AM. She is a New York native who isn't completely sold on the city's charm, yet has never left. A proud graduate of Fordham University and occasional runner, she is happiest whenever chocolate, a sale, or a good Gilmore Girls reference is involved.