Transition from Spring to Summer
The Counseling Center would like to extend Congratulations to all graduating seniors, graduate students, and law students. During this time of year, students who are graduating often experience a number of changes. In addition, all other students are also experiencing or anticipating changes. Students may be returning to a family home for the summer, starting a new job, beginning an internship, or preparing to studyabroad next semester. While it can seem both exciting and daunting, change is a constant and challenging to manage at times.
All change, even in a positive form, can elicit stress responses. The most important thing to do is to engage in self-care when encountering significant changes. This means nourishing your body (sleep, eating, physical activity) and your mind. The following are some helpful tips for you to consider during this time of transition.
- When returning to your family home from campus life, a period of readjustment is natural and to be expected. After time away, you have changed in profound or subtle ways from the person your family and friends remember. Keep in mind that others need time to adjust to the person you now are. Consider that your friends and family may also have had their own life changes during the time you were away.
- Seeking employment, securing an internship, or beginning graduate school offer their own sets of challenges. Maintaining your confidence and perseverance after a number of job rejections, obstacles, or setbacks can be difficult but can help to build your flexibility and resiliency for the longer-term.
- Students may struggle with having a different structure at home than while on campus. Managing time is different when there are no classes or course assignments yet there re internship or work schedules to uphold. For some, emotional distress may increase as feelings emerge that were once pushed away by a hectic academic schedule.
- Leaving new friends or dating partners behind or discovering that they have moved on or changed significantly can make transitioning difficult. While this loss may be frustrating and painful, it also guides you to seek out new experiences, relationships, places, and adventures.
- Acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, and reactions to change (e.g.,“ I feel overwhelmed”).
- Reassure yourself that such responses are normal, predictable, and that you are not alone in having them.
- Seek out others informally (family, friends, neighbors) or formally (therapist, spiritual leader, physician) who you feel a connection with and can provide you with regular support or guidance.
- Recall how you faced change in the past and what worked well for you then maybe helpful once again.
- Consider spending time in the new environment or the one you are returning to. Some students find brief visits to the family home in April and May, or the location where they will attend graduate school, to be helpful in preparing themselves to acclimate or reacclimate. The Counseling Center is one destination that is available to you to offer support or referrals to other helpful resources on campus or with in your geographical area.