During my first year of teaching, I learned the hazards of asking college seniors their postgraduation plans. I had mistakenly thought that a good way of getting to know the senior students in my spring seminar would be to ask them about their future. Instead of hearing about plans, I received anxious and concerned looks combined with tentatively spoken hopes and uncertainties. Only a couple of the students were clear about what they would be doing.

As I witness more and more high school, college and seminary graduation exercises, I find that the theme of jobs and vocation keeps recurring. Many students are still uncertain about their vocations. While this is understandably true of high school graduates, it is also true of many college graduates and even of some graduating from professional school. The clearest exceptions are those "second-career" students who have returned to school in order to pursue another vocation.


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