May 10, 2016 - 3:21pm -- foxx.2@osu.edu

By Melinda Hill

It’s approaching the season of high school and college graduations, and many new life beginnings.  Many of us can reflect on a time in our lives when we were faced with these transitions.  Times when the future was uncertain or not turning out the way we had planned.  Times when we were changing from what we knew to something we had to learn.  These are times of opportunity, but how do I proceed? Here are some steps to follow shared with us by Huffington Post.

1.     Accept the change- whether it’s getting into the “real world” or changing our position in the world learning to accept it is far better than fighting it or waiting until things are perfect before proceeding.  Come to the understanding to savor what was, but from here forth, life will not be the same.  You may no longer have “free” afternoons on Tuesday and Thursdays, but commitments that engage your newly learned skills. You are now a young professional, who must choose the traits to be successful in the field of your choice.

2.     Take time to really reflect.  Process the information and the opportunities that you have in front of you by writing in a journal, talking with a trusted friend or meditating.  Self-reflection can help us all react mindfully and with intention as we proceed. College has not prepared you for everything life will throw at you.  Reflection may help sort out the challenges and how to proceed.

3.     Take it one day at a time.  Start with small attainable goals that address the moment.  You can make the best decision with the information you have at the moment.  Try not to be anxious about the future, enjoy the here and now.  Write down the small, short term goals and the long term ones as they give us something to work towards.  You may not find a position in your field, but realize that you can gain important skills in many jobs that may help in future transitions.

4.     Find a mentor, someone in the field of work or someone who emulates the focus in life you want to strive for.  What can they share or help by listening, to make your transition more successful?  Going from college to the working world brings many life lessons that recent graduates may also be willing to share.

5.     Practice an “Attitude of Gratitude” by looking for the blessings in life.  There are opportunities to grow personally, everywhere, every day.  Do we make the choice to accept or reject them in our life’s journey?  What is it that I can learn or gain from this position or this opportunity?  How can I give back?

An article by Michael Josephson reinforces the point of getting started.  He states that life doesn’t always just fall into place the way we expect and we get the perfect job that meets all of our expectations.  The important thing is to begin, “things happen and opportunities appear most often when we’re moving, not standing still.”  In the end, “it’s not really about finding yourself, it’s about making yourself.”

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.