The world we live in is constantly changing. It is even more so for university students, who are rapidly required to deal with change in their everyday life. New information is continually increasing, new products are continually available; when the normal everyday change hasn’t finished, the huge unexpected change has come. Here are some tips to deal with change for the optimal result.
1. Take actions
Human is wired to appreciate the “sameness” – we feel at ease when something goes as expected. Then, of course, it is human instinct to feel irritated as a change occur, even more so if the change may bring inconvenience to your life.
If the change is within your control, then it is helpful to counterpart with methods like coping with change worksheet, change management activities or other coping strategies. They all work by addressing your problems, specify the items that need changing, setting a goal and evaluate the problems.
2. Prepare for the worst
As a college student, you would hear people tell you to be positive, “Come on, it’s not that bad”. Of course, a negative mindset will make you anxious, unhappy and more likely to cause a negative outcome; but a positive mindset is not the best thing either. What you need is a realistic mindset.
Calm down and take an insight into the problem. What is the worst thing that can happen? Is it as bad as you feel it would be? Is it within your tolerance? By preparing for the worst and taking part in activity adapting to change, you can process the information much more efficiently.
People are prone to feel resistant to change, and only by acknowledging the resistance that you may be able to accept the change, as bad as it may seem. After that, you can better create a plan to approach the situation.
3. Accept reality
Just like all other things in life, there are changes within your control, and there are situations when you can’t do anything at all. It might have happened too quickly, too far away from where you are, in a context that you can’t access. You know what they say: “The worst feeling is when you try your best but you don’t succeed”.
We understand that the change may make you suffer, but usually, what’s gone is truly gone. You can’t do anything about the fact that it had happened, but you are in charge of how to deal with the situation and the ultimate outcome. If you choose to dwell on the situation, it may drag on more than necessary.
4. Seek support
Change is not easily accepted by the mind: it will bring a lot of insecurities, negative thoughts and cripple your normal sense. In such situation, accepting a helping hand can elevate the weight on your shoulder. By doing so, you can perceive the situation as it is, and feel more empowered.
Support for dealing with change as a college student comes in many forms. It can be comforting to talk about the worries you have in your mind. Even more so if you think that you might have adjustment disorder; then a therapist who offers professional diagnosis is the best option you can get. You can also ask for Anxiety Coping Skills Worksheets from student councils.
5. Prepare yourself
Even far prior to any change, you can strengthen your ability to handle mental fluctuations and resilience by practising proper physical and mental activities. Changes are never too far from your door, the loss of something important, the appearance of someone not pleasing, the relocating of resources. Even good changes (having a baby or getting a new job) can also put pressure on you. By preparing yourself, anxiety and/or depression will not have such a big impact on you.
Physical exercise is a good way to help your mind and body cope with stress. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise each day for at least 5 days/week. As a student, you might fit it into your busy schedule by walking from home to school, pedaling to groceries, or taking part in a dancing team.
If you know that some changes are going to take place, then you can make out what the new situation would be like, then make yourself familiar with it somehow. For example, if you are taking on a new job, find out about the tasks you would be doing. Then, create a plan for how you will approach the situation. Does the work require any dressing code? Then prepare the clothes beforehand. Will you need to do fixed shifts? Better plan the school schedule ahead.
6. Remember: Time is the magic potion when dealing with changes
It’s not rare that people’s world is turned upside down just in a blink of the eye. Even when there’s nothing you can do about it, or you’ve done the best that you can, things can still be worse. However, you can choose how to respond to the situation.
It’s normal to feel shocked, empty, confused, anxious, not knowing what to do at first. These feelings will most likely fade with time. When a door closes, another will open, how about taking the opportunity and approach it will excitement (or at least, less grudge for life). For example, for a university student, a breakup sounds like the end of the world. You might feel like you’ll never fall in love again. That’s not true, and even if it’s true, then it’s time to invest in yourself and getting to know yourself better instead of focusing on another.
If you are reading this article, we assume that you are going through some change that is quite unpleasant. Tell yourself that change is a normal thing in life for everyone, and people often respond to change with negative feelings. Only by truly accepting it, you can deal with change effectively. Practising adapting methods, like addressing the situation and making a plan, and asking for help are good techniques to deal with change. As a college student, you can lessen the hardships by preparing your mind and body beforehand.
What do you often do when things change? Tell us in the comment!