Okay maybe I lied there isn’t 99 thoughts I am not that smart and you wouldn’t want to read that much. With summer literally right around the corner, it has got me thinking a lot about transitions. Students moving from being stuck in prison aka school to being bored during summer and wanting to go back to school. Middle schoolers make the big jump from being big man on the totem pole to being the low man on the totem pole in high school, and seniors graduating and moving off to college. Right now is a good time to start talking to your student who is a senior about transitions.
If you don’t have a student that is a senior don’t worry one day you will this still applies for you…and you can use it to think about how to have conversations with your students about transitions in life. In my opinion one of the hardest transitions is from middle school to high school where their friends may start making wrong choices, they may lose some friends that they have been friends with along time, and then making the jump to actually having to do homework ect. But that is a whole another blog. Here are a few thoughts of things to discuss with your seniors:
It’s OK To Not Know What You Are Going To “DO”
In our culture we put a lot of emphasis on what you are going to do with your life. The first question everyone asks graduating seniors is what is your plans after high school? What are you majoring in? What do you want to do with your life? Let them know rather than focusing so much on what you want to “do” put more emphasis on who you want to “be”. The process of discovering what you want to do should be taken slowly. Discover what you are passionate about and what you are not passionate about! This all steams from discovering who you are before what you are going to do. Don’t settle for a career/job you hate. You will regret settling for less than what you wanted. Let you student know it’s ok to take a temporary job that isn’t a career job. Ask your senior questions to help them discover more about who they are? What are they really passionate about? Could they see themselves sitting behind a desk 40+ hours a week or in a suit and tie?
At Some Point In College You Will Be Lonely
It is inevitable that at some point your student will feel alone. Soon as you graduate you no longer see the people that you have gone to school with since elementary school. Think about that…that is a lot of time spent around and with those people. How many people have you kept in touch with after high school? Probably not many. Everyone goes through a season after high school of depression and isolation. You lose contact with most of your friends and acquaintances, you lose contact with your parents when you spread your wings and fly looking for your own “independence” I remember when I transitioned into college and I sat there feeling like does anybody care? One of my best friends went off to college his mom handed me the phone to talk with him because he was having a hard time adjusting and feeling lonely and I have had a number of students who’ve gone off to college call me just to “talk” because they feel alone, like no one cares, and just want to come home. The more you can prep your student the easier the transition will be. Let them know it is OK to contact you when they feel alone. Have a conversations with them about dealing with loneliness.
Get Connected To A Local Church
Up until this point your church was probably your students church. At some point in life a student must take ownership of his or her faith. They will need to have the motivation and desire to go to church because they want to. Finding a new church can be intimidating. It is almost like a blind date. Totally awkward you don’t know the people and you don’t know what to expect. Sit down with them an discuss the importance of finding a church community to be plugged into when they go off to college. Look at churches with them online and maybe even drive to the town where the college is and check out the churches with them. Discuss with them at this point it is their choice on a Sunday morning where they will have to motivate themselves to get out of bed after staying up all Saturday night playing video games and doing late night runs to taco bell to get their butt out of bed and go to church.
Your Science Class Will Challenge Your Belief System.
Every science class that I took in college said the exact same thing. God doesn’t exist. I specially remember in my philosophy class “I will disprove there is a God by the way we think.” In my sociology class “I will disprove that events in the Bible happened by the way groups interact and form” My anthropology class “If you are a christian you will have a hard time in this class.” My geology class “I will prove that God didn’t form the earth by the way we study and look at the dirt and the rocks and how things are formed.” Talk with your students that will be exposed to many different belief systems and that their teachers will sound pretty convincing after all they have a P.H.D. and teach it as fact. It is OK to study and wrestle with things. Just because someone says something that causes you to question your faith doesn’t mean your faith is wrong. Discuss with your students some of the different world views including evolution and what they will face.
Here are a bunch of short thoughts as well:
- Everyone buying food together doesn’t work out. Have everyone buy their own food.
- Just because you used cologne doesn’t mean you smell good.
- Wear flip flops into the shower if you are living in a dorm.
- Make sure to get a good hamper if you are living in a dorm.
- Don’t stay up all night just because you can.
- Stay in contact with friends and family back home.
- Making good friends takes time.
- Get people together to send care packages once a month to them (whether its relatives, you, church family)
Hope these thoughts help as your students transition off to college! I would love to hear what do you do to help prepare your student for transitions.