Hey guys! I'm Abby from A Picture A Day and I'm so happy to be a guest blog on Ocean Dreams! I figured I would write about something we all can relate to: dealing with change. Right now I am about to experience a huge change. In less than 3 months I will be moving 8 hours away and starting law school. I'll be leaving behind my family, boyfriend, and friends. To say I'm scared would be an understatement. But as nervous as I am about the unknown, I'm excited to take this next step in my life. I've been thinking of ways to prepare for this big change and figured it would be nice to share my thoughts in hopes that others could benefit.
When contemplating my upcoming move, I thought about how I've dealt with change in the past. Some changes were welcomed, others were unexpected, and a few just happened organically.
How I look when contemplating change
The first huge unexpected change I experienced in my (somewhat) adult life occured about a week before my highschool graduation. My highschool sweetheart dumped me and all my expectations of us staying together through college and beyond went out the window. I was devestated for a few weeks and had no idea how I'd adjust to a life without my bf. This may seem like such a superficial thing, but trust me, to my 18 year old self, this was the end of the life I had known. The transition to college was not easy, but I ended up embracing the study abroad opportunities that were offered. I studied in Versailles, France my sophomore year for three months, and went to India my senior year for two months. If I had stayed with my highschool bf, I know I never would have wanted to be away for such long periods of time. From this experience I learned that sometimes unwanted change can actually be a good thing, even if it doesn't seem that way at the time. I grew so much as a person during my time abroad and today I can't imagine who I would be without those experiences.
My graduation pic taken a few days after the break up. I don't look too upset right?! ;)
A big change that was unexpected and happened organically was to take a gap year between college and law school. By the last week of college, I had accepted UVA Law and already had roommates picked with whom I was about to sign a lease on an apartment. Meanwhile I had also been trying to negotiate a scholarship to the law school. On the last day of exams I got a call saying they could only offer me a (fairly substantial) scholarship if I deferred my acceptance for a year because they had already doled out all the scholarship money for the upcoming year. Well, I had no idea what to do. I was on a very specific path and suddenly a whole new path appeared before my eyes. I didn't want to back out on my future roommates and I was scared of what a year without school would look like. After some reflection and a lot of conversations with family and friends, I decided to defer. After I made the decision, I felt really good about it. And honestly, this has been the best year of my life. It was a huge deviation from my original plan, and I've learned that sometimes plans can change in the best way possible.
Playing with my dog, Charlie, and enjoying my gap year!
And now the time of change is almost upon me. I'll soon be moving and then studying more than ever after a year away from academic life. After drawing on past experiences concerning change I've come up with a few "rules of change" that are helpful to me.
1. Change will come whether you want it or not in one form or another.
2. Because change is inevitable, embrace it (as much as possible).
3. Handling change is all about attitude. Look for the positives and recognize that although it may be hard at times, it will utlimately make you a better person in the end.
I hope these "rules" can help others! Thanks for reading my thoughts on change and stop by A Picture A Day anytime for pretty photos, random musings, and funny anecdotes about my many pets!