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Graduation balloons fill living rooms and college dorms echo with the sounds of packing tape. It’s the start of summer, and for many young people, this time signifies the start of big life transitions. Amidst the bittersweet goodbyes and nostalgic reflections, a sense of anticipation fills the air.

Change is hard but it also opens doors to new opportunities and experiences. These moments can serve as critical milestones in your life. Whether you are moving to a new city, starting a job, or graduating, you probably have mixed emotions.

 One way to navigate these life changes is to remind yourself that you’ve been through them before, according to Psychology Today. Reflecting on your past experiences and the fear of starting something new can help reframe your thoughts. For example, if you’re starting a new job, you can remind yourself of all the new things you have started before. Whether it was moving from middle school to high school or joining a new club, you can remember all the positive experiences change brought.

Life transitions can also be a moment of reflection where you think about your past, present, and goals moving forward. According to Dr. Kathleen Smith, life transitions allow you to check in with yourself and see where your priorities lie. You can ask yourself questions like, “where do I want to live?”, “what brings me joy?”, and “who do I want to surround myself with?”. After thinking about what you want, you can align your values with your path forward.

As I prepare for my own big life transition, I’m trying to remember that I don’t need to have it all figured out. In just a few weeks, I will finish getting my master’s degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Right now, I have no job lined up or plans after graduation. And while that can be a scary thought, it’s also freeing.

It’s important for me to reflect on how much growth I’ve had in this program. In just one year, I moved to a new city, made amazing friends, and completed a master’s program. As someone who loves spending quality time with others, the thought of moving apart from my friends after only a year is hard for me. However, it’s also making me happy to see everyone accomplish their goals and prepare for the next phase of life.

When I get anxious about what’s to come, I remind myself how scared I was to start my master’s degree in the first place. If I overcame so much fear and anxiety before, I know I can do it again. And in the end, I remind myself that my grad school experience turned out better than I could have ever imagined.

For others who feel like they are lost or stepping into the unknown during a transitional period, know that you aren’t alone. During uncertain times, Smith suggests that you evaluate what areas of your life you can control. Instead of questioning what you will do next, you can prepare yourself mentally for this transition. You can recognize that this time will likely cause challenges and discomfort as you enter a new phase of life. Thinking about what you can control such as your schedule and mindset can help you feel more empowered in difficult situations.

During this time, it’s also helpful to reach out to your support network. For me, that means talking to family, friends, and professors about all the changes to come. Having people around to give you advice or understand your concerns can help ease your stress as you tackle big changes.

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help and connect with others for support. Changes are scary and you don’t have to do it alone. While you can’t stop changes from happening, you can control your response to them. You can practice resilience and view every life transition as a challenge to overcome. Allow yourself to accept the unknowns and embrace all of the new opportunities that come with change.

Works Cited 

Krauss Whitbourne, Susan. “10 Ways to Make It Through Your Life’s Transitions.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 14 Mar. 2017,

Smith, Kathleen. “The Psychology of Dealing with Change: How to Become Resilient.” Psycom, 21 Feb. 2021,


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