Transitioning between grade levels is easy for some students, but for many others, like recent high school graduates, the change can be difficult. Graduates might feel a rush of excitement, as well as anxiety, before the start of a new school year at college or university. Being aware of these emotions involves understanding one’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Be rest assured, we have been there, and, as a result, I have collected prompts that can help you navigate and understand yourself better before you embark on the next chapter of your life.
Let’s first do some self-reflection that will not only strengthen the relationship you have with yourself, but those around you:
- Describe yourself using the first 10 words that come to mind. Now, list 10 words that you’d like to use to describe yourself, and write down actionable steps you can take now to transform these descriptions into reality.
- What do you appreciate most about your personality? What aspects do you find harder to accept?
- What values do you consider the most important in life (honesty, justice, loyalty, etc.)? How do your actions align with these values?
- What three changes can you make today to live according to your personal values?
- What are your strengths and, more importantly, what are your weaknesses? (Acknowledging both your strengths and your weaknesses will allow you to take the next step to realizing your dream.)
- How do you make time for yourself each day? (Your answer to this question is important to remember when you feel overwhelmed with school assignments, essays, or exams.)
- Do your goals truly reflect your desires? Or are they goals set by someone else like a parent or a teacher?
Dreams and Ambitions
The following questions are related to exploring your dreams and growth:
- What makes you genuinely happy in life? (Identify what brings you joy, and spend more time doing these.)
- What beliefs do you carry that might be holding you back?
- What are your passions? How can you turn your passions into a career?
- What do you think your purpose is? (You might not know the answer yet, and that’s okay. It’ll come to you when you’re ready.)
- What inspires you? Where do you find inspiration to drive you forward? Is it family, friends, books, websites? (Whatever it is, harness those sources of inspiration when you get the chance.)
- Make a list of the things you would like to learn and accomplish in college.
- Think about why you want to go to college or university. What do you hope to get out of it?
Lastly, make your college and university experience a positive one. Ensure you’re prepared with the materials you need and even choose a first-day-of-school outfit that you feel confident in. Don’t forget to also get a good night’s rest beforehand. Though it’s a new chapter in your life, it will no doubt be a fun and rewarding one, so make it count!