Thursday, May 7, 2015

School's Out for Summer! Time of Transition and Change

Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks on it.
School's out for summer and for some of us school is out forever...
This time of year at every academic institution there is excited and a little bit of nervousness about the future. This is especially true for students however it can also be true for faculty and staff. This year at St. Scholastica we have seen our fair share of transition and change.  With a two new deans, two new Vice Presidents and a new President on the horizon we will be seeing more of it.
Change Ahead

So what is a person to do?

How do we handle the transition and change in a positive and productive way? 

 Below are a list of "keys to handle transition and change" from psychology today.

Here are some tips for surviving and thriving through these difficult and uncertain times: 
Expect to feel depressed and anxious. . Whenever we move forward we leave something behind, and this creates a psychological state of grief, however small. And if the change is unexpected and unwanted– the sudden job layoff or relationship breakup – the shock and depression are greater. And with such turmoil comes anxiety. We are out of our comfort zone; our imaginations run wild; we worry about an unknown future.
Realize that this is a new / old chapter in your life. While you need to acknowledge your loss, you don’t want to get stuck in the past. Acknowledging that a door is closed is psychologically healthy; spending your time staring at it is not. 
While it sounds like a cliché, the next step after an end is a new beginning, a new chapter, and keeping this in mind can give you a sense of a fresh start. And while the particular circumstances are new, the process itself is familiar. You have, after all, made transitions before – changing schools, neighborhoods, relationships, jobs. You know the terrain, you’ve acquired experience and skills along the way. You can do this again, and this time even better. 

Think positive, think opportunity.
In the movie Up In the Air George Clooney played a character whose job is to fire people for companies that were downsizing. He always began his termination speech with “ I’m here to talk to you about new opportunities.” Is it a bit of spin, a bit forced – sure – but it is also true. 
During times of transition, when everything seems to be in flux, when your old patterns have collapsed, you may feel unsteady but are also most malleable to change. Now is the time to explore, brainstorm, consider the make-over before your life begins to naturally solidify into new patterns. You may have a unique opportunity to begin a new life in a new way. Starting new relationships from scratch.  You will have the opportunity to experiment with being more bold, more assertive, more honest than you may have been before. This is the time to think outside the box. 
Hit the ground running. And don’t take too long to get started. We are creatures of habit and routine, and those routines can congeal quickly. If we wait too long the momentum is lost and it will feel harder to break out. Start by making an action plan with a timeline.
Get support. It’s tough to do this all on your own. You may need to rely on family for moral support, or counselors. When you are feeling a bit ungrounded, support from others can help you keep perspective and moving ahead.
Today is day one
Have a realistic timeframes and expectations. There are going to be difficult days.
Transitions are those unique times when we toss off the old but have not yet stepped into the new. While the circumstances are always different, the skills and attitudes needed to successfully move ahead are always the same, namely being positive, patient, and proactive. 
A new journey awaits.
If you would like more information about tranisition, change, and living a WellU lifestyle go to or contact Julie Zaruba Fountaine at