One of the biggest environmental changes you will face in your life, is the one after school life. For 13 years or so you have had:
- Set rules and guidelines
- Consistant routines
- Compulsory attendance
- Fixed timetable
- Teachers organise your work and study time
- Consequences & accountability
- Leadership that keeps you on track
- Moral & ethical guides
- A level of support on tap
- Peers that make you both conform & straighten up
When you enter tertiary study and many workplaces you:
- Are accountable for most of the above points yourself.
Many people find themselves lost & unsure what to do without boundaries. Suddenly having to be self-accountable with feelings ranging from being withdrawn to an ecstasy of freedom without any boundaries where all things are ok. neither of these are healthy.
Repercussions of this life of complete freedom, are for some, isolation and fear and for others the shock of unexpected consequence when the lack boundaries are pushed to the extreme.
So how does one navigate this new environment? While there are few or no rules apart from legal ones, there are points of wisdom. Here are some from current and previous school leavers:
- Be aware that life is about to change – dramatically
- Accept your first job may be a stepping stone
- Settle into a routine as quick as you can
- Your placement or job is a privilege – take it seriously
- Set some short and mid term goals to give you something to aim for
- Get to know people and use resources where you can.
- Avoid isolation – join a group or club to build a friendship and support base
- If your self supporting – get help to set a budget, and stick to it
- Enjoy the new things on offer – avoid taking unknown risks
- Make healthy choices
- Stay active and involved
What are the things I can do help me adjust to my new environment? List them. Now write some notes on how you might do these.
- While it is good to strive for excellence, trying to be perfect before you start will cripple you. You become perfect by doing, practicing and getting better, Just start.
- Don’t just tick a box and say to yourself…… next task. Spend some time with this and make sure you really do get results
- This is about you, while I know you might want to involve others and make always make it fun and engaging, sometimes having some quiet or alone time to equip yourself is a great plan.
- This is about building relationships. It will help create stability I your life and is designed to actually reduce the risk of conflict. Step out, take a risk ( just a small one) and you will get the benefits and build wonderfull and lasting relationships that will help you on your journey.