Reality Check: Navigating New Independence

One of my favorite groups to work with is college students / young adults. This group happens to be in a sweet spot of exciting transitions. A time filled with new opportunities and a space to showcase and test their capabilities. A time for growth, change and progression. A space that they are responsible for testing that autonomy and making their own decisions. There are so many amazing things that are awaiting them during this time. But to be honest, the beginning is not as thrilling as it seems! 

Young People Face Difficulties During Transitional Periods

Though this adjustment can be an incredible time, the start of it can feel isolating. Friends and families spread farther than they used to. There are new challenges to face, and you’re responsible to not necessarily make the “right” decision, but the best decision for you in the moment. This time of growth can feel debilitating. This time of change can spark anxiety and depression. Progression feels like stagnation when the “comparison bug” is upon you. You begin to question yourself and your abilities. Am I capable? Will I be able to make them proud? Negative thoughts may begin to tell you that you will fail or that no one cares about what you do. 

Although this adjustment period is very common, no one talks about it. I can share that even I am not excluded from this space. I have felt this all before when I entered college and when I completed my Master’s program. Two different instances where I questioned my capabilities and allowed the pressure of comparison to chime in. The ‘real world’ can be much different than we expect it to be. You can plan everything down to a ‘T’, and life happens, things change and now what? 

Tips for Transitioning to College and Young Adulthood

Here are some ways to help you embrace this exciting, yet isolating, transitional period. The goal with having these tips is so that you will not feel out of control when things change, because most of the time, they will. 

Know Yourself

It is so important to take the time to get to know who YOU are (likes, values, desires, etc.). This will allow you to not be easily swayed or cause you to lose the most important thing – your peace of mind. Self-awareness is an incredible tool that not many possess. Among many things it can help you with, it can also empower you to be aware of potential things that may trigger negative thoughts and actions. 

Have Community

It truly takes a village to help you progress in the goals you have set for yourself. Don’t get in your head and get prideful. Lean on and learn from your people. Seek wise counsel – parents, mentors, or just anyone you trust has your best interest at heart. 

Celebrate Yourself

The adjustment period can be uncomfortable and challenging, so celebrate your wins, big or small. Watch how you speak to yourself. We are fearfully and wonderfully made – there’s no one else that possesses the things we have been gifted with. Listen to your body and rest, when you need to. You can’t pour from an empty cup. I know it’s such a cliche, but it’s so true. This can also help you from comparing yourself to those around you. 

Talk to a Counselor

Want some extra tips? Sign up with a counselor! We will help you operate in the here and now. Focusing on the present helps you manage what’s in front of you rather than worrying about the future or being hindered from the things of the past. You can explore thought patterns and examine your view of self, amongst many other things. 

Reach Out to Doxa

If you find yourself having difficulty adjusting to new circumstances or opportunities, reach out! If you’re feeling expectant but nervous, reach out! If you notice things feel lonely and ‘no one else gets what you’re going through,’ reach out! I would love to help you navigate this new independence and affirm the capabilities you possess. If you’re ready to take the risk, click that Contact link and sign up! 

Ready to Talk?

Schedule a Session with Tara

Tara Walls

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