Change is a phenomenon that follows us through our lives, constantly disrupting our patterns and pushing us towards new experiences whether we like it or not. To state the obvious, change can be good or bad. The key is to not let it break us, and to instead learn and grow with it, accepting it into our lives as a necessary and important experience. The term ‘coping with change’ seems to carry all sorts of negative connotations with it, but change, to me, is not something to cope with, it’s something to welcome.
As students, we experience a lot of change very quickly – we move out, we live on our own and with new people in a new city or a new environment. We turn 20. It’s a lot in one go. But that’s why they say your twenties are some of the best years; all this change is what teaches you your life lessons, your mantras, how you choose to live. Out with the old and in with the new is the war song of your twenties. We must value the old and welcome the new to truly cope with change.
in your twenties, you may feel like a revolving door for all kinds of people to pass through, some stay in your orbit, others drift off into new places
Personally, changing environments is something I’m used to – going from my mum’s house in the week to my dad’s flat at the weekends was something I was accustomed to at a very young age. So, moving to university for me was more exciting than anything else. A new place to hang up my coat and explore. This is where change is exciting for me.
As I’ve grown, I’ve learned that other types of change usually hit you unexpectedly, but are also typically for the best. At the end of relationships, you feel the loss of a person in your life – bad change – but this makes more space for you to take care of yourself as you grow into someone that finds new, perhaps even better, relationships. Whether they be friendships or romantic relationships, in your twenties, you may feel like a revolving door for all kinds of people to pass through, some stay in your orbit, others drift off into new places. This is okay. In fact, I would argue this is healthy.
Change is what being young is all about, and it is hard, but it’s worth it
We have all experienced the collective change of isolation in response to Covid-19. Being pushed back out into society after two years of fear is a difficult change to welcome. This is where the term coping seems adequate. But this taught us to cherish our lives and the relationships we have, as we experienced the loss of so many to the virus. We all learnt a lot about ourselves in our isolation, and what a unique experience it was to have all that time to get to know ourselves. I’m not saying we were lucky to have experienced coronavirus, but we are lucky to have survived and been given that time to put our own health first – something that isn’t muscle memory for a lot of us.
Change is what being young is all about, and it is hard, but it’s worth it. The best advice I can give you in the face of change is to confront it head on, see what you can benefit from when your pattern is disrupted, and welcome the new challenges it brings. Appreciate things for what they were, but accept that this is no longer the case and romanticise the hell out of it. This is truly how to cope with change, or how I do anyway. After all, change is a beautiful thing.
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