Tricky Transitions

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By Alexis Rodriguez > Junior > English > Cornell University
It’s rumored that Adam once told Eve, “My dear, we live in an age of transition.” Spot on first man. We are constantly reaching points in our lives where we are required to transition from one stage to the next. Life is always changing and we are required to play catch-up. Like cocoon to butterfly, we take the leap from senior in high school to brand-spanking new college freshman.

Similarly we come full circle once again our senior year in college when we are venturing off to either the demanding and difficult life of grad school or the “real world.”

For a lot of 18-year-olds, leaving home for the first time can be just as scary as it is exciting. College is definitely way bigger than any high school and you no longer have anyone telling you to wake up in the morning or making sure you go to every class (unless you have one of those really “involved” professors). It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities and possibilities.
The most important thing you should do when your life and environment change is stay grounded. Freshmen have big targets on their backs for every frat house on campus and the temptation to party hard is irresistible. I mean, it’s only logical; it’s your first time on your own without any parents or curfews. The (party) world is your oyster. To succeed throughout your college career, something to learn quickly is time management. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen freshmen get eaten alive by their first year in school because they were too caught up in their newly discovered awesome college lives that they neglected their studies. We are, after all, students first and foremost.
College is truly the time to “find yourself.” We all experience wonders and qualms of maturing and growing throughout our four years. As we grow as people it is important to realize that we will also grow away from others. High school friends that we’d swore would be our bbfls become more of acquaintances and we start to form bonds in our new home away from home. Our first break we can’t wait to get home, but you’ll soon realize the more time goes on the more you yearn for your return to school every time you go back home. It’s not necessarily a matter of defriending people or nixing relationships that once meant a lot to you. It is more so a matter of remembering that it’s okay to say goodbye to certain things or people because at the end of the day, it’s all a part of growing up.
 Being “set free” by your diploma finally after you’ve adjusted nicely and created special friendships is a terrifying liberty. We are welcomed into the world as a full-fledged adult fending for ourselves outside the confines of dorm rooms and dining halls. Many of  the techniques that helped you as a first year come in handy when you’re trying not to get buried alive by the outside world. Self-growth never ends and neither does the cycle of people coming in and out of your life. It can be difficult to shift gears from waking up for classes at nine and being done by one to a solid nine to five (not counting over-time). This is where those good old time management skills and prioritizing come into play. Lessons learned always come full circle. Even if you can’t find a full-time job and are still stuck in internships, you should still be working your butt off. The responsibilities you face as a college grad are far beyond what you had managed as a student. Remaining grounded is the only way you will survive.
Transitioning is always terrifying because change is so hard to readily embrace some times, though it can be extremely exhilarating. My last piece of advice to successfully making a smooth transition is always making a good first impression on people. You never know if that kid on your floor freshman year will become some billionaire genius or if that random person on the subway you were rude to on your first day to work turns out to be your boss. Be ready for anything.

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