This post has been re-published in the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association newsletter, The Latern. I was approached by my alma mater to write a post for new college freshmen and recent college graduates. I, myself, am going through a recent life transition so I thought this post was perfect timing. In addition, my baby sister started her freshman year of college this September, so this post is dedicated to her!
My first night as a college freshman, I cried myself to sleep.
Oh, the irony. I vividly remember back to when I was a recent high school graduate, counting down the days of summer for what seemed like an eternity in great anticipation to leave for college. However, the second I became independent, I didn’t know what to do with myself. It’s safe to say that I was scared to death of change.
I think something that we can all agree on is that change is terrifying. Whether we are just starting college or have recently gradated and are pondering your next step, making the first step forward can be tumultuous. Here are my 5 best tips from personal experience to help walk you though this major life transition.
1.) Have an Open Mind
I highly encourage you to have an open mind as you navigate through a new chapter of life. When I started college, I made it my personal mission to immerse myself in as many new experiences as I possibly could. I started a new job in a field I had no prior experience in before. I became an officer in a university club. I spent my spring break overseas volunteering. By putting myself out there, I ultimately learned more about myself than I ever could have otherwise.
2.) Go Out of Your Comfort Zone
Whether we admit or not, we all are initially nervous to meet new people, move away, and start over. Nonetheless, going out of our comfort zone is often where we find how strong and capable we truly are. Although fear may consume you, feel the fear and continue onward. Think of this transition as an adventure!
3.) Believe in Yourself
How can you accomplish your goals if you do not believe in yourself? When I started the fashion portion of Inspiration Indulgence, I had no idea that I would eventually be collaborating with huge fashion brands such as H&M and Daniel Wellington. Once my blog began to rapidly grow, I found myself becoming a business woman; making deals, negotiating, and attending meetings. At the time, I was thinking, “I have no idea what I’m doing!” I was deeply insecure and kept dwelling over the fact that I didn’t have a business degree or prior experience running a small business. In time, I realized that I came to this place of success because of my passion and my belief in self. So, friends, I encourage you to give yourself some credit. You made it this far, and that is something that you should be proud of!
4.) Give It Some Time
Your first reaction may be to run the other way the second things get hard. Whether you just started college, are starting a new job, or are moving to a brand new place, don’t give up. Stick it out. Give it some time to allow yourself to find your place. Be patient with yourself.
5.) Do Self-Care
Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself! With a major life transition comes stress; you may find yourself feeling increasingly frustrated, scared or anxious. Be sure to eat nutritiously, get plenty of exercise and sleep, and take care of your mental well-being. Take time to do things that you love doing. Netflix binge on Grey’s Anatomy. Call Mom up. Go for a hike with friends. You deserve it!
Friends, know that are capable of anything you put your mind to. Be fearless in pursuit of your dreams. Have an open mind, and think of change as an adventure. I’m here cheering you on!
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