How to Navigate New Beginnings

Flowers on E N M U campus
Nkechi Obodozie, an ENMU graduate student, shares how to handle change.

How to Navigate New Beginnings

"It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting." – Paul Coelho

The start of anything new and unfamiliar always fills us with apprehensions. We get the butterflies in our stomach at the thought of wading into uncharted waters.  We cling tightly to the known and often become torn between advancing in our dreams and the uncertainty of the choice itself. It can be either the start of a college degree, moving to a whole new environment or the first time living on your own, a new relationship or a new career.

It is quite alright to be unsure and have those queasy feelings of uncertainties; it is what makes us human. But if we entertain these indecisive thoughts for long, we will be in a long state of inertia.

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." - Maya Angelou

"Inhale courage, exhale fear," says Anastasia Tanuputri. We have to know when to just snap out of it; muster the courage to face those fears that constantly arises at the prospect of a change. Change is a wave that will always hit us in the face, each day brings its version of a new thing in our lives, whether we ready to accept it or not.

Carpe Diem! Seize the day. Do not fret and ponder all the reasons why it will work or not. Brave the waters and go in. You will never know what swimming is unless you are in the waters

Avoid procrastination. Dale Carnegie said, "Remember today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday" and an unknown source added, "Many fine things can be done in a day if you don't always make that day tomorrow."

Another useful quote: "You will either step forward into growth, or you will step back into safety," - Maslow. We grow only by pressing forward and gaining new insights through the new realities we create. Our minds are broadened, and we learn about ourselves, and life from these new experiences.

Create new relationships. Increase your level of interaction with the people around you. Talk to new people. We discover the worlds of other people by talking and sharing with them. Through that simple one-to-five minute conversation, we may also gain more understanding of our own share of misgivings, or find new ideas for our visions.

Increase your adaptability. Do not be afraid to fall. "The secret of life is to fall seven times and get up eight times," said Paul Coelho. Learn just how elastic your mind, heart and body can be. Do not be closeted and self-centered. Apart from hurting us, it also limits our experiences. One of our human capabilities is that of flexibility and adaptability if we choose to use those innate traits.

Do not be afraid to unlearn to learn. We are malleable and can conform our minds and hearts to treasurable experiences; just embrace the magic of it. "Never underestimate your own strength. You were born for a purpose and are blessed with the power to achieve it"- Leon Brown.

Remember how far you have come in life and learning is a continuous part of life. We tend to forget just how many hurdles we have crossed since we were born. We have crawled, walked and ran; babies to toddlers to adults. We have passed through different levels of stages with achievements; this next adventure is nothing but the same process. Just trust yourself and savor the beautiful colors and the thrills of new beginnings.

"In 'Yes' is a world waiting to be uncovered," said David Arenson. This is the beginning of everything you want. Do not be afraid. Trust in yourself! "As I said yes to life, life says yes to me" - Louise Ray.


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