Transition: the secret is…


I’m supposed to talk to you about transition. You know, I actually chose this topic. I am living it as I type, but as I sit here I still feel woefully unqualified. And I’ve discovered a problem: there really is no secret. What I know, you probably already know.

Perhaps I can simply provide us all with a little reminder.

Transition is something we talk about specifically with graduating, but in reality, it comes all the time. Transition is simply moving to a new state of normal. I’m sure there’s a scientific term that describes it perfectly, but Google was not helpful.

You have and will continue to experience transition – to university, to a new school year, new friends, new commitments, new professors, new work. As you do, here’s a list of things that have worked for me.

1. Plan ahead.
If you know change is coming, take care of as many variables as you can. For instance, save some money (who knew uni lunch was so expensive?), and map transit options. Planning for uncertainty reduces stress and will smooth the bumps that come.

2. Refuse to worry.
If I am being honest, there is a part of me that likes to worry. It gives my constantly moving brain something to obsess about and complaining to friends can be fun. And yes, a little bit of worry can help us be prepared for the future. But excessive worry is not healthy. If you can’t influence what worries you, let it go.

3. Go with the flow.
It sounds easy. It was easy to write. But for me this is actually really hard to do. I love control and knowing what to expect. To relax and adjust as life comes is not natural for me. It takes thoughtful effort. But when I do it, especially during transition, my stress levels drop exponentially.

Not many of us like change, but transition is inevitable. Usually it will be uncomfortable. Fortunately, like all things in life, this too shall pass. Just enjoy the ride. I know I am.

Andrea Koop
B.Com., Class of 2018

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