The great thing about looking at old photo albums is reliving the good times. The bad thing is seeing how much things have changed. Oh sure, you're glad you aren't wearing shoulder pads and puffed-up hair anymore, but when you compare that person in the photo album to the one in the mirror now…well, let's just say we still feel like that younger version of ourselves on the inside.
Those of us in the financial aid industry know about change. And while there have been changes in the industry throughout the past nearly 50 years, we do know that the speed of change has been rapid in the last few years. We've all been through so much change recently that you think we'd be used to it by now. Maybe you are – some people thrive on change – but just in case, here are a few tips to deal with the stress of constant change:
- Accept the change and incorporate it in the new way you work or live. Many of the changes we face are ones we didn’t choose and can't stop. Realize that you don't have control over the change but you can control how you manage it. When a change is new, it can seem shocking but before we know it, we can't remember what life was like before the change.
- Give yourself a break. Don't expect that you'll handle everything perfectly with a change. Allow yourself time to learn the new and to accept what has been lost with the change. That’s not to say you should dwell on the past but don't be too hard on yourself and others if there are moments of nostalgia for the way things used to be.
- Focus on the opportunity. With change comes opportunity for learning new skills and new information. Rather than stagnating, change allows you to grow in what you know and what you can do.
No question about it – the future holds more change for everyone – whether it's at work or in our personal lives. I may be going out on a limb here, but I predict that in some futuristic version of Throwback Thursday, our future selves will be marveling at what we thought was fashionable in the 2010s.