The day I graduated from college, I found myself circled by hundreds of people—so many friends and family who loved and supported me.
On that beautiful and warm spring day, I remember feeling distinctly alone. Even though I had my plans for work laid out, leaving my school years behind felt terrifying and scary.
Major life changes and transitions—like graduation or empty nests—can trigger fear and anxiety in both graduates and parents alike. It can be a time of personal crisis but also spiritual growth.
“The transitioning process never ends,” said Amy Fries, author of How to Survive Life’s Transitions. “The challenge is how to be at peace with those ‘middle of the road’ transition times, stay open to the gifts change can offer, and emerge with a bit more wisdom on the other side.”
Here are 10 practical tools and spiritual advice for graduates and their parents to navigate this emotional time.
- Be happy to be me.
So many people wonder and ask how they can get others to like them more or better. The answer always starts and ends with self-love.
Going out into the world means venturing from the comfort of friends and family love. No better time to start practicing self-acceptance through meditation. Meditation as a practice works wonders to flip the script.
- Let your courage be the shield that protects you.
French philosopher Jacques Maritain said, "A man of courage flees forward, in the midst of new things."
When we face our fears head-on, they begin to evaporate. When we embrace what scares us, we find we are endowed with a level of courage that we never knew existed.
- Calm the worry monsters.
Not all worrying is bad. But every day is full of situations not fully in our control. It’s all about mastery; letting worries work for you, not being run by worry. With awareness of what’s playing out in your mind, you can steer worry in helpful directions.
- Graduation is a process, not just a day.
In Daily Word® Prosperity, a passage reminds us that graduation is not only an event but means “to change gradually or by degrees.” To graduate is an ongoing experience in life, guided by Spirit.
“In a life of ongoing change, I may have obtained diplomas and degrees, moved up from one position to the next or launched out on an entirely new career path. With each step I take I graduate into a fresh new way of life.”
“As I listen to the voice of God within me, I become more confident in what I have to offer and feel a greater sense of peace and accomplishment.”
- Remember: You do not have to walk alone.
Creating and nurturing relationships is what makes our species evolutionarily unique. When you feel disconnected or alone, remind yourself first: We are all in this together.
“Our ability to grow and evolve is directly proportionate to the quality of our connections to our inner world, our outer environment, and to other people,” said Rev. Jesse Herriott, M.A. “In other words, our connections speed up our personal evolutionary process.”
- Look for signs that “Life Starts Here.”
If you are wondering when you will get the “sign” that your life is going to start, that’s easy. Just look for the signs, like Andrew Rafalski did, in a shopping mall in Philadelphia.
- Consider letting that “stuff” go.
Throughout time, we all get conditioned to react to life and stuff in a certain way—usually not a positive one. We get really good at it. Those reactions can become our biggest roadblocks.
In Unity Magazine®, The Untethered Soul author Michael Singer talks about releasing personal reactions in order to unfold one’s true identity.
“Just relax and lean away from it, and the situation will become easier to deal with,” Singer said in the article. “Every moment of every day relax and release behind the noise the personal self is making. When you can stay above that energy, you’ll no longer be feeding it with the power of your reaction.”
- Learn to ask: “How can I see this differently?”
When we discover the power of seeing a different viewpoint, or thinking differently, we become the true cocreators of our thoughts and our lives.
“When you find yourself disappointed or discouraged, it might seem natural to simply look around for someone or something to blame,” said Rev. Patricia T. Bass. “But when you do that, you start to feel like a victim. You are giving your power away to someone or something outside of yourself.”
- Feel Spirit guide your path.
When you feel alone or struggle with decisions, it helps to remember you have the support of divine light to guide you on your path.
- Invest in affirmative prayer.
Affirmative prayer reflects a certainty that we are each being led to our highest good, despite any temporary appearances.
Your thoughts transmit magnetic energy. This energy attracts other energy of the same frequency. Whether you are conscious of it or not, your thoughts are transmitting energy that is attracting more of the same.
Affirmative prayer helps you remain focused on your intentions so you can draw those things into your life.
Elizabeth G. Howard is a journalist, digital content specialist, and Demand Poet. She calls Kansas City, London, and Iowa home. elizabethhoward.net