Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation
Powered By The Reconstructionist Movement

“The Odds Are, Don't Look Far,” by Ariel Warmflash

I’m not good at transitions, but there is comfort in knowing that even when things are “new-ish,” I never really have to go through them alone. 

I am not good at transitions. I never have been. I cried my first week at Ramah overnight camp, moped around after returning from my high school semester abroad and remained awake the entire night before leaving for university. I guess I don’t like change. So, imagine the aftermath of a transition as big as college graduation.

I have been officially out of the bubble of academia for two and a half weeks and I’m not sure what it means. I don’t feel like an adult, but I’m no longer a student. (And they don’t offer discount movie tickets to confused 20-somethings.)

My fellow classmates and I have officially hit limbo. There is no longer a clear matriculation pattern or a guidance counselor telling us where to go next. Perhaps the scariest part is that it feels as if we are on our own.

So where can I find comfort in a world that is no longer defined by research paper deadlines and summer vacations? Thankfully, I’ve always had a little help from a song:

Wherever you go, there’s always someone Jewish
You’re never alone when you say you’re a Jew.
So when you’re not home
And you’re somewhere kind of new-ish,
The odds are, don’t look far –
‘Cause they’re Jewish too

I’m not going to Amsterdam, Disneyland, or Tel Aviv. In fact, I am staying in Washington, DC, the city I have called home since 2004. But things are changing: I don’t have the guarantee of friends, classes, or an advisor that will tell me how to do my job, but I do have the guarantee of Jewish community and the home that is built for me within it.

For the next year of my life there will always be a Shabbat service to attend on Friday nights, a kosher chicken breast to buy at Trader Joe’s and a Sunday school class to teach. Judaism has my back.

That’s the thing about belonging to a community—you’re never truly on your own. Scarier than being on our own, perhaps, is the uncertainty that accompanies college graduation. I anticipate sleepless nights, butterflies in my stomach and maybe even a few tears, but my relationship to my religion, culture and community will remain a constant support as I forge a new path for myself as an “adult” … whatever that means.

I’m not good at transitions, but there is comfort in knowing that even when things are “new-ish,” I never really have to go through them alone.

Ariel is a graduate of the George Washington University, where she studied theatre and dramatic literature. She currently works with Arena Stage as a teaching artist and theatre educator. Ariel is the creator of the "Voices of Bokamoso,"an audio program based on her work at a youth center in Winterveldt, South Africa, during the summer of 2011.

Found in: Becoming a Jewish Adult, Graduation

Last Chance to Make a Difference

One week left to join our Omer campaign! Support our ongoing work with a donation today!