One Teen’s Journey To Finding Herself


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Sarah Grace McCollough sings at her choir concert at Cincinnati Christian University.

The transition from high school to college is a time of endless questioning. Is college actually affordable? Which job is right for me? Should I move out? These are all questions that Sarah Grace McCollough, a 24-year-old youth group leader, dealt with herself during her senior year. Especially the most critical of them all, “Where do I go from here?” 

During her senior year of high school, McCollough thought she had everything worked out for life after high school. 

“I really wanted to be a performer. I thought ‘let’s go to broadway’,” said McCollough. 

McCollough worked really hard to pursue her dreams not realizing that as much she wanted to plan out her life, things might not always work out that way.

“I went and auditioned at a couple of places and, I think it was three auditions I went and did and I got rejected for all of them,” McCollough stated. 

Doubt started to override the hope that McCollough had for her future. 

McCollough said, “I was just really confused. I thought this was exactly what I was supposed to do.” 

To make matters worse, all of McCollough’s peers were doing the typical senior spirit days but McCollough couldn’t participate. She still hadn’t received an offer from any colleges. 

“Everybody did their things as a senior and I’m still like waiting on this experience,” said McCollough.

Eventually, the end of the school year rolled around and McCollough was still undecided. 

McCollough stated, “I ended up graduating, still didn’t know where I was going.” 

But the story doesn’t end there. Over the summer, McCollough went to a summer camp and she met some people who were attending Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) at the time. They helped to inspire her to look into some avenues that she had originally said no to. 

 “I ended up talking to them a little bit and they’re like you should be a teacher. And I was like ‘woah, I’ve never thought about that before’,” said McCollough 

Following the camp, McCollough decided to consider going to CCU and studying education. 

McCollough stated, “I quickly did a lot of praying and soul searching and I was like ‘you know what– I guess I’m going to be a teacher.’ And I ended up going to that school and started that fall. A couple of weeks after camp, it was like this crazy quick turnaround. And all of my fears and worries were taken care of. It was so cool.”

Despite the uncertainty about her future, McCollough continued to trust in one thing. McCollough said, “Ultimately, it was faith that gave me strength and allowed me to move forward in life.” 

Even though it took a lot of trust to change everything about her future path, it was a good thing that McCollough took that leap of faith.  

“I thought I had this plan for my life but God was like ‘just kidding I want you to do this,’ and I even met my husband in that school. I wouldn’t be where I am now without going to that school,” McCollough stated. 

When looking back McCollough not only realized that her life would’ve been very different if she had chosen another college, but she also saw how her rejection was really a redirection.

When talking about her dream of going to college for acting McCollough stated, “I realize now like that would’ve been terrible for me. But at that time I thought it was the best thing ever.”

Now, McCollough continues to motivate and inspire many young people.“Do what makes you happy, and be who you’re supposed to be,” said McCollough. 

Take McCollough’s advice and follow your own path, it’s okay to not know right now, but eventually, the right thing will come.