You did it!
You graduated college, and now you’re ready to run out and take over the world.
I mean, you’re certain you can make a difference!
There’s no doubt in your mind that you’re going to have an impact!
But once the glitz and glamor of what you remembered college to be fades away, you find yourself holding nothing but a framed piece of paper, some photos you hope your future employer will never see, and smelling like stale beer.
So what do you do?
Well, you start by pounding the job boards, searching through LinkedIn, and calling everyone you know for recommendations, all while trying to figure the basics out – WHO will hire me? WHAT am I going to do with my life? WHEN will I figure this out? WHERE do I want to end up? HOW can I create a future for myself that I’m proud of?
As the days, weeks, and months start to roll by, you begin lowering your expectations and let the fantasies of your dream job fade away. You find yourself willing to accept any offer that will get you out of our parent’s house and into some decent health insurance. Your vision and goals slowly get blurred as reality sinks in.
Let’s face it: transitions are hard. Regardless of your stage in life, they require us to make sacrifices and do things we never thought we would have to do.
Transitions are discouraging. When our goals aren’t being met on our ideal timeline, we begin to wonder what we’re doing wrong. Transitions are frustrating. As we watch the other people around us get ahead and receive what WE want, it takes us through stages of grief and envy that we never imagined experiencing. Finally, transitions are exhausting. They physically and mentally drain us, as we do our best to put our head down and work through them.
But my favorite thing about transitions?
They groom us to grow.
They teach us patience, perseverance, and hard work. Their pressure and uncomfortable nature helps mold us into stronger, more agile versions of ourselves. They shine a light on new perspectives, and develop our outlooks and attitudes. They are prime opportunities to prove our value, worth, and that we CAN do it – that we can succeed amidst adversity.
My second favorite thing about transitions?
They don’t last forever.
What do last forever are the lessons we learn during that period of time. Without ever being forced to stretch ourselves, try new things, and adapt to our situation, we would never be able to fully appreciate the true value of the things we have spent our time working towards. Our respect and care for our end goal will be so much greater – even after we finally achieve it – knowing how hard we had to work to get there.
The next time you’re faced with a transition in life, I challenge you to embrace it knowing that the lessons you’re about to learn are far greater than what any textbook has to teach you or any Google search will yield. Transitions may be inevitable and unpredictable, but YOU are in control of how you react to them.
The only constant that transitions offer is that no matter how slow you feel they’re moving – they ARE moving – and by definition, guarantee that you WILL make it through to the other side.