Faith Life After College with Julia Callahan

I always figured that the transition from college to the so-called “real world” would be a big one. Never did I imagine that I would have closed out my four years at DePaul the way that I did. I think we all can agree that no matter where we were at the start of 2020, this year has been a wild ride full of surprises. Now that my life post-graduation has started to fall into place and I’ve got a better grip on life’s reins, I’m able to reflect on my time with the CCM community how I plan to move forward.

When I was an undergrad I was always busy beyond belief. I leaned into my busy routine of working multiple jobs, keeping my grades up and finding time to enjoy Chicago with friends. Among the chaos of my “go-go-go” lifestyle I also tried my hardest to make some time for God, too. What started out as periodically going to Sunday Night Mass turned into singing in the Liturgical Choir as a first-year, traveling to Spain to walk El Camino de Santiago my sophomore year and landing a job as the CCM Communications Coordinator my junior and senior years. As those four years flew by, CCM grew to be a space where I found comfort.

The CCM community was comforting to me because it became a space where I could grow and learn about my faith without judgement. Those around me helped my convictions grow stronger, taught me how to be a good Vincentian and how to be more empathetic and intentionally justice-oriented. Most importantly I learned that God never fails me. A part of him is in the people closest to me, and I know they won’t fail me either.

My hope for myself going forward is that I never lose sight of those little lessons I learned in my experience with the CCM community. Finding a comparable “adult” faith community is challenging, especially now. My days remain busy but instead of running around campus I’m working 9-5 on my computer, eyes glued to my screen. Admittedly, it’s sometimes hard to find God with limited human interaction right now, but I try to remind myself that he’s always there. He’s there every time I FaceTime my best friend and she makes me laugh, every time my colleagues compliments my work and every time my extended family hops on a Zoom call to catch up.

God will be with me in the future, too, no matter where life takes me. Graduating and dealing with post-grad life in 2020 may have been a wild ride, but when I try to see him in the little things, it’s nothing I can’t handle. Cheers to making it through 2020!

I’d like to take a moment to say I recognize that I’ve been fortunate enough to be very blessed during this pandemic, but there are many folks across Chicago and our global community who are struggling. Please remember to count your blessings, but more importantly, remember to take action for those in need — it’s what God calls us to do as Vincentians.

No matter your situation this past year, let me affirm that you are strong, resilient, and truly amazing! I’m so proud of my fellow Blue Demons!

DePaul University Class of 2020

Graduated from the College of Communication with degrees in Public Relations and Advertising and Communication and Media

Currently working remotely full-time as a Communications Associate in-house at Magnetar Capital, an alternative asset manager while living at home in the Chicago suburbs.