Transitional seasons in our lives can sometimes be the most terrifying things we've ever experienced. New people, new places, new struggles and all the scary unknowns that come along side of it. However, I fully believe they can also be the BEST times in our lives. God uses the moments of transitioning to shape us into someone new, someone better than we were in the previous season. And as soon as we decide to transition and get out of our comfort zone that small step of faith can be used to build up your stamina to prepare you for what comes next in your life.
The reason this topic is so important to me at the moment is because I am about to graduate college. WHAT. It's crazy for me to even type that out. Although I'm graduating in three years, these three years have passed by so quickly. Just a little run down: I'll be graduating from a small South Arkansas college (The University of Arkansas at Monticello). Honestly it has become my home and the people have become my family. So leaving this place will feel like leaving home all over again *cue sad music. The people at this college have lifted me up, supported me, encouraged me and have equipped me to be prepared for whatever life throws my way. To be able to be apart of a community like this has changed my life. As I prepare to move to Jonesboro, Arkansas and start Graduate School, it's going to be hard to leave UAM.
In this blog I want to give some advice to others who might be in a transitioning season.
Guys, I'm going to have to "adult" and I'm scared.
Enjoy every single season you're in because it's bringing something so unique. Quite honestly, the chapter of your life you are in right now, you will not ever be in again. Being able to appreciate where you are right now and how far you've come is what growing is all about.
Getting to the advice, I'm going to share some things that have helped me get along in transitioning into college the first time. Also what lessons I'm taking with me as I plan to go to graduate school.
Find a Community of People who are AWESOME
Wherever you go, find a community there. Find people who will lift you up, support you, challenge you and all the more. These are the people who will make it hard to leave but will cheer you on as you go. How do you build/find this community? By simply plugging in to different spaces, whether that be a college ministry or club or greek life. My experience during my undergrad has been so joyful, mainly because of the best friends I have found through college ministry. Y'all they are awesome people and I want that for you. These people have encouraged me to chase my dreams. Giving this advice is easy to write, but I know it may be hard to read. Do not be afraid of the next season because you are afraid you won't make friends. GO FIND THEM. As soon as you get to this new place, a new college, new town, whatever it may be, go and get involved. You will not regret finding people who love you for who you are.
Pursue your Dreams
What I mean by this is so many people have so many dreams but they refuse to pursue them because they don't know if that dream will make money. Or you're afraid someone won't approve that you are doing something outside of the box. The plans that God has designed for your life cannot be put into a box, or limited by a career choice. He has purpose that is greater than what you can come up with. All of the dreams you have in your heart, do the world a favor a keep pursuing them. Afraid? Everyone is when they start on something they are so passionate about, mainly because we are afraid of failure. For those of you transitioning into something new please do not forget about where you've been and where you are going. Your dreams aren't going to come true by themselves unless of course you have a voice like Beyonce. This process takes time. You are equipped with unique talents and gifts to use every single one of them. Go and do what you fill called to do, because someone is out there waiting for you show up. You are a life changer, my friend, we were all created to be life changers. The first thing you have to do in order to change the lives of others is to first change your life. Without being willing to grow, you will not transition well. So to all the dreamers out there whether you want to be a doctor, a teacher, a farmer, or if you want to just inspire people - GO FOR IT. Write it down & do it.
Things are going to be different
Prepare yourself for change and enviable you will be able to be some much more joyous in this season. So many people go into transitions expecting everything to stay the same in their lives, their relationships and their friendships and that's just not true. Nothing really stays the same in a time of transitioning. To be really honest its usually chaotic. Everything is new and you feel like you don't even know where to begin. You're trying to build this new community of people. Going into my undergrad my boyfriend and I have done long distance for over three years. We've been dating for about 5 years and he is also a D1 football player. If any of you know the schedule of a collegiate athlete.... it's crazy. I've spent hours on end driving to his games. Now I finally get to be at the same University he plays at. As a football player so much preparation goes into working towards the next season. He is constantly lifting weights, practicing in preparation for the next football season. As a player if you do not prepare your body & mind for the intensity it's about to take you will get completely destroyed. This is so relevant to transitioning. Football players are constantly getting bigger and trying to be better not just for themselves either but also for their teammates. Friend if you are not preparing yourself for the changes that are coming then you will be disappointed when everything is chaotic. Preparation and planning will help you have more peace as you move into this new place in your life.
Be open to change, you already in the midst of change. You need to know these things are coming. Take a moment to look back at what you've learned in the present chapter of your life, then look forward to all of the people you will meet and the new experiences you will have. God has something to show you, you just have to open your eyes and see what that is. Be brave during this time of transitioning, trust the process and become a better version of YOU.