Coping with change – ‘the new normal’

“You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!” — Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The power of love. Love can make the impossible happen. Love can move mountains. It can heal the world. Love is a feeling, an emotion, a state of mind. Love comes in many shapes and forms. 

The ‘new normal’ requires us to adapt to changes. Being a student now can be challenging and difficult. The learning experience and the social aspects of being a student are new to us. Uncertainty and changes can come with negative emotions. We can experience moments of frustration, doubt, fear, anxiety.

Now it is the time to be strong, focused and self-motivated. How can we manage negative emotions? 

We need to practice self-love. Self-love is acceptance. It is to accept who we are, where we are and things around us. With acceptance comes peace, comfort, creativity, calmness. Self-love will give us strength.

Say hello to a dog on the street. Find beauty around you. Go for a walk. Be eager to learn new things. Wake up your creative mind. Each day, do something nice for yourself.

Ask yourself simple questions:

How am I feeling? What emotions am I experiencing? What thoughts run through my head? Why am I feeling this way? What is impacting my mood? How do I want to feel? 

Understanding our feelings will allow us to accept them. It is okay to be upset, anxious, or fearful. We are all constantly learning how we are reacting to new situations. Emotions are temporary reactions to events. 

Learning to manage our emotions will allow us to be in the right frame of mind to gain the most out of any situation. What are the advantages of being a student now? How can we turn this experience to our advantage? 

Be proactive. Make a plan. Develop a routine. Think about your goals, the bigger picture, your course. Find motivation. Self-motivation is crucial. Motivation makes us act. When things get difficult, imagine yourself in your dream job. 

Doing a degree is a fight. We are fighting for our future. We will experience difficult moments. They will make us stronger. With time we will be able to look back and be proud of what we achieved.

Don’t be scared. If in doubt, ask for help. Email your tutors at any time. If they will not be able to see you face-to-face they will do their best to help you. We all need help in our academic journey and this why our lecturers and personal tutors are available.

Empathise with others. Reach out to people. Talk about your feelings. Be brave and be kind.