Regardless of what role you play in the CUNE campus community or how long you have been a part of it, we all feel a variety of emotions as we see a host of changes and opportunities as we kick off a new year together.
Despite your perception of what other people appear to be feeling, everyone is reacting to this new year differently. Whatever thoughts or emotions you find yourself going through while in this new opportunity are completely valid. And let me assure you, some of these emotions may only be temporary.
When I was a freshman at Concordia my first-year adviser, sociology professor Kathy Miller, encouraged me to look for mentors, people throughout the Concordia Community I knew I could trust to help get me through my most challenging times in college. As a fifth-year senior I can attest this is some of the best advice I have been given throughout my college career
Associate Professor of Education Vicki Anderson told me that change is a constant but there are things that stay the same throughout time. “An important thing to remember in the face of change is what your personal mission is, and how this shift relates to that mission that you have for yourself and your life,” Anderson said.
She said to find your personal goals and set out with intentionality to achieve them.
Linguistically, “intention” and “intentionality” are two separate ideas. Intention is of- ten seen as a more passive approach. For instance, someone can have good intentions but struggle to follow through on the hard work required for the goal. Intentionality is more of an active role. It means scheduling time to make your goals happen or doing the hard work to see the results you are looking for.
“If you have the expectation that change will happen, the change might be smoother for you,” said Anderson.
It is impossible for everything to stay exactly the same, and expecting it to will only add to the stress that you feel. Instead, embrace the adventure and allow yourself to love a new opportunity that may have not been exactly what you thought it would be.
A good call with one of your best friends can go a long way when looking for solid advice, so if you have not called your friends, I suggest you get on the phone now. Vulnerability with others is an important part of finding people you can truly connect with.
“If change was a person knocking on your door you would have two choices. You can invite them in for coffee or tea, taking the time to learn about their story, or you can slam the door and lose out on opportunities to grow your- self,” said sophomore Sara Erickson.
Erickson described adapting well to change as not being so quick to shut that door and being okay with the mistakes made along the way. She also described it as learning your own personal limits and boundaries – truly figuring out what you believe and why you believe that.
“Change means trial and error. It means discovering better ways to be a better version of you; it’s about finding yourself as a whole,” she said.
It’s okay if you are feeling uneasy or nervous about the next steps of your life right now. You are not alone in that. Contact people who love you and know who you are at your core. Make time for those people always. Remember that whether the change is good or bad, God has a hand on your shoulder regardless of what you are going through.
It’s okay for things to be difficult for you, and it is okay to not love every single aspect of the new reality you are experiencing. Don’t let the negatives keep you from finding the beauty and adventure in this new opportunity. I want to extend my personal welcome to you regardless of how long you have been here. Our Concordia family is lucky to have you.