My Season: Sarah Munford

Today we get to hear from one of my neighbors and fellow Norfolk Academy and UVA alums, Sarah Munford.  Sarah is an incredibly talented, fun, and amazing girl who just graduated from UVA in May.  (Which means that she, along with both of our parents, are now on our FABULOUS reunion schedule!  Sarah, get excited for UVA reunions 2016!)  She heads to Boston at the end of the month, but right now she’s soaking up her last few days of summer in Virginia Beach.  Here’s Sarah…

Name: Sarah Munford
Age: 21
City: I’m currently home in Virginia Beach, but move to Boston in a month!
Current Season: College Graduate

1.  What is one thing things you can’t live without?

My very first thought was cheese, but honestly, I can’t live without being near the ocean or some body of water.
2.  The current book(s) by your bedside table are…

I’ve got quite a stack due to all my free time this summer. Im currently reading The Social Animal by David Brooks, Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger, The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoesvsky, and Kingdom, Grace, Judgement by Robert Capon. 

3.  Your number one song played on iTunes is…
Truthfully (and embarrassingly), it’s Cry by Hans Zimmer from the Holiday Soundtrack because that soundtrack is my go-to study album.  This summer though, I’ve been on a major The Decemberists kick.

4.  Fill in the blanks:  If I didn’t have __________, I would be _____________.
If I didn’t have so many great blogs to read, I would be more social with all this free time!

5.  What do you like best about your current season?
Ahh the excitement of a new place and new people! I know practically no one in Boston, but I LOVE meeting new people. I am so pumped to explore a new city -particularly one with pro sports teams, finally!  And I’m really looking forward to what I think will be a great taste of a non-profit career.  But literally right now, I’m loving taking a break and reflecting on the awesome 4 years I had and the amazing people I met in college, knowing they’ll continue to be a part of whatever happens in the next stage too!
6.  What is one difficulty or burden you’ve experienced/are facing in your current season?
I’m totally taking the cop-out and using the flip-side of question 5: the most difficult thing  has been facing a lot of unknowns. I’m afraid I won’t find a new church I like as much as Christ Church, worried I’ll experience what my friends refer to as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) while most of my UVA friends live together in DC, scared about Boston’s freezing weather, anxious my boss won’t like me… so many fears.  I suppose I can sum up my main burden as focusing too much on worries about tomorrow.  Trusting God’s plan for me and enjoying the present was especially difficult during the craze of figuring out my job and post-grad plan coupled with wanting to live-it-up with my friends at UVA during the last months of college. 

7.  Tell us one way you’ve seen or experienced God during the past year.
Throughout this year, God has known and given me what I needed when I had no idea what that was.  My heart was pulled towards jobs I didn’t get, I was pumped to live with a roommate in Boston that fell through, and time and time again through closing certain doors, He nudged me towards things that were far better.  And most fantastically, He really gave me a sense of peace about certain decisions in the times when I was actually able to let go of control and trust His direction.  Senior year of college is a fun, but also stressful, time for everyone and to know there is a God with more control than us is actually so freeing in a lot ways. 
8.  What is one name of God you have come to appreciate lately?
Potter and Revealer: First, I’ve thought a lot about God being the shape of my life, and I, the clay, needing to surrender to His molding. Secondly, I’ve realized how little I always know of God’s plan for me as He works in ways I don’t always understand, so I’m constantly surprised and pleased as he reveals to me both Himself and parts of His plan for my life. 

9.  What’s one Bible verse that has been a lifeline for you recently? 
Psalm 23:6 (The Message): “Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.” I’m just obsessed with the verb “chase,” like there’s no escaping it.

10.  Where do you go to be encouraged or inspired? 
I usually put on some good music and find a place to be alone, whether it’s the beach or a hot shower. And of course, I often turn to my best friends.  This summer, I’ve also really missed Christ Church in Charlottesville, so when I need a good pick-me-up, I listen to the sermons on their website.
11.  Do you have any advice for other girls who are in, or may be entering, your season soon? 

In this stage in my life, I find myself asking for advice far more than giving it… job tips, Boston restaurant suggestions, insurance and taxes questions, (basically anything about the “real world”), but here are a few reminders that always helped me:

1. There’s no set post-grad course. Most people think of only one thing post-college: jobs. But there are so many other aspects of post-grad life that you have to sort out, and no matter how much advice you get from people, no one can tell you the best choices for you. I visited a friend yesterday who owns her own house and lives two blocks away from her parents. I’ve been to other friends’ weddings this summer.  My two best guy friends are moving to London and Dubai.   There are absolutely pros to all of these new life choices that my friends have made, and all of them are extremely happy, but none of those decisions are right for me now.  There’s clearly no one path you have to take, so sort out what your priorities and interests are – not those of your friends, your older siblings, your parents, etc.  This sounds so simple and obvious, but when swarmed by a million people always offering their opinions on what’s best, it’s difficult to figure out what you want.  And when all else fails, there was nothing better for me than just pleading in prayer, “God, I have no idea what I want or how to align my will with Yours. Please help me.”

2. This is such a big transition stage so don’t forget to take time to reflect and breathe. I am SO happy that I decided to give myself 2 months of relaxation before I started work.  I’ve been able to sleep 8+ hours every night, read a ton, catch up with friends, hang with family, travel, and journal.  As my last summer possibly ever, I’m so glad I was able to pause and reflect on my college years and get excited about the years to come without jumping tiredly, directly from one stage to the next. I mean, come on, who doesn’t like being a beach bum?!