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Six Tips for Thriving in Transition
Transitions are hard.
InterVarsity staff are pros at shepherding students through the transitions that take place during the college years. Whether it’s navigating freshman year, acclimating to American culture as an international student, learning to get along with new roommates, or stepping into a leadership role, we love to walk alongside students in their transitions and help them grow in faith and perseverance in the midst of the challenges.
The start of a new school year is, of course, a prime transition time for students and parents alike. So we’re offering a few tips below that can set anyone facing a transition on their way with courage and faith.
Tips for Transition
1. Connect to the Church. Don’t let yourself believe you can go it alone. Find a solidly biblical church, and then put yourself in positions (e.g., through serving or volunteering or leading or attending) to get to know people. This will be a lifeline for you.
2. Talk to others who’ve navigated a similar transition. Your friends and family are great resources; let those who’ve walked through change before be a voice of encouragement, grace, and perspective when you’re struggling to adjust.
3. Look to Jesus for your worth. Wherever you are for the next few months or the next few years, the temptation to compare yourself with others—their jobs, income, dating or marital status, grades, athletic ability, ministry effectiveness—will be present. And comparison inevitably leads us to despair or to a false sense of security. Choose to listen to Jesus’ voice about who you are.
4. Pay attention to your soul. Transitions are a great time to learn more about yourself. Where are you fearful? Joyful? Anxious? Angry? Carve out time to notice what’s going on inside you.
5. Do what you love to do. Make time for your hobbies—for the activities and places and practices that are life-giving to you. Having fun can counteract and lessen the stress you might be feeling.
6. Practice gratitude. Be intentional about thanking God every day for at least one thing. It will remind you, in the midst of your transition, what hasn’t changed: his presence with you, his goodness, his love for you.
Our longing is for all of us—students and grads, twenty-somethings and eighty-somethings—to “grow up mature and whole in God” as we face transitions (1 Peter 2:3). That’s why we do the ministry we do.
• If you’re a high school senior, find an InterVarsity chapter at your school.
• If you’re a college senior, explore our resources for alumni.
• Receive ongoing encouragement, wisdom, and help for the college and post-college years at our blog.