Embracing Change

Post written by guest blogger Charlesice Hawkins, Detailee within OITE. 

Whether starting the first semester at university or finishing up the last, looking at a new job, or applying to a professional program, the fall is often filled with excitement and prospect. It is a time when we may be asked questions about our plans. What is your dream school? What do you want to do after you graduate? If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Under normal circumstances even the most well-intentioned inquiries about the future can stir up feelings of unease. Now, career landscapes at every level, particularly in the realm of education, have drastically changed over the past six months. There are new questions about virtual work, rotating schedules, and changed timelines on top of the now even more ambiguous questions that are already difficult to tackle.

Whatever strategy you choose – journaling, meditating, writing, talking with friends – here are some questions to think about to help you begin to embrace, rather than resist, change:

  1. Reflect on changes. What has changed? What steps did you take to maintain wellness and productivity? How did you modify your approach as the period of change lengthened? What was the most challenging aspect? What would you do differently?
  2. Compare your circles of control. What is completely out of your control? Is there something you wish you could have control over? What is immediately in your control? Is there anything that might not be tangible now, but might shift into your control later?
  3. Give yourself time. Do you have to make that decision right now? Can you set a date to decide? Do you need to have all the answers now? Can you decide now with the information you have and still have the option to do something different later?

It might seem counter-intuitive and somewhat cliché to answer questions with more questions, but as it is true in the sciences, growth and discovery depend on asking the right questions even if they evolve as we gather more data. Talking to others and hearing their stories can help us build community and can also help us make our own decisions. OITE offers weekly discussions for building resilience in different areas as well as affinity groups. Details about these groups as well as other events and resources are available at the OITE website and the OITE YouTube channel. You can also check out previous blog posts to learn more about the impacts of change and how to make the most of those transitions.

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