There is a saying; "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." What that means is when life throws you a curveball, hit it out of the park! Life will always give us lemons or throw us curveballs - hand us the unexpected. What we do with the unexpected shows our maturity as a person and as a student. Many people face the unexpected with fear, anger or other negative emotions. Those reactions are normal, but one cannot be overwhelmed with them.
An example: I did not expect to be taking my foreign language my senior year. That is neither the lemon nor the curveball. That is the lesson learned - don't put off your foreign language requirement.
What if you do face something unexpected or you realize you left an important requirement until the last minute?
1. Stop. Step back and take a deep breath. Take a look at the situation for what it is - unexpected, a poor decision. Acknowledge that something has happened.
2. Ask yourself, "What do I do now?" Explore all your options. Do not make any pressure decisions, but take the time to analyze the situation. When my dad died a year and half ago, I was in the middle of my spring semester. I missed a week of school. Projects were due, exams were coming up. What was I supposed to do? I sat down with a friend and looked at my options.
3. Make a plan and start working toward fulfilling that plan. Make your lemonade or lemon merangue pie, or prepare to hit that curveball over the back wall and out of the park! Take control of the situation, don't let it take control of you.
4. Let people in so they can walk with you through this time of uncertainty. Seek wise counsel, not just about your options and your plans, but for your own mental health as well.
5. Stay focused. Don't let the false urgencies distract you from your goal - getting your degree. The unexpected is only a side track, a detour. It is not a new road. Stick with your goals. They may need to be redefined and reworked a bit, but you can still achieve them.
6. Keep track of the lessons learned. They will prove valuable in the future.
Each day is a new day to experience life. And life is an adventure! My challenge this semester is Spanish. I will give it my all. ¡Hablaré español bien! Estancia afinó . . .
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