Allison McWilliams, director of mentoring and alumni personal and career development in the Office of Personal and Career Development, writes occasional articles for Inside WFU. This is her fourth and final article for the spring semester. In each, she shares observations and suggestions with faculty and staff drawn from her professional experience with students.
We started this year talking about the important and sometimes challenging process of transitioning into the school year. Whether you are a senior, a first-year, or something in between, transitions can be hard, as William Bridges reminds us. Transitions require letting go of the familiar, spending a bit of time in free-fall, and then attaching to something new and unfamiliar. For some, this is an exciting time, full of new challenges and adventures. For others, it’s overwhelming, scary, even debilitating, for the same reasons. Everyone goes through transitions in his own way, at his own pace.
The end of the year, and the transition out, is no less important and yet easy to overlook. This is a great time to help your students take stock of their years, practice a bit of reflection, and think forward to what comes next. Some questions you might consider asking:
Transitions are hard in part because we all want someplace where we feel that we belong. As a mentor, you can help students with this process:
Every experience, no matter how big or small, has a beginning and an end. Mentors help us to discover whether these moments of transition will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones