Transition is a Milestone

The word transition has so many meanings and each new transition I have met is a milestone.

Three aspects of my life have gone and continue to go through a transition, my department of Student Development, friends, and mentors. 

Student Development

My department of Student Development is going through a transition leadership wise. Our Director for 6 in half years has left to move to a higher position at a local university and now a new Director is in place ready to take on our department.

I am sure many of us have experienced this type of transition. It’s scary at first because you’re scared of the unknown and how to prepare yourself mentally for this transition. Until your questions are answered or the transition is over then you can finally settle into the change that is taking place. I am an optimistic person and even though I was use to one way of leadership in my department, this current transition will not deter me from accepting another leader. It’s important as professionals to accept different types of leadership and as well as learn from those who can’t lead at all.


Friend transition has been hard to adjust to has I made my way out of graduate school. You have your cohort of 25 plus people, you make friends, connections and network. You graduate and your cohort spreads out all across the country in different positions and you lose that connection. It’s natural, friendships move on, people grow and you ultimately choose whether you want to stay in touch with someone. I look back over the years since graduate school and I have lost a lot of friends due to transition. It makes me sad because I really valued those friendships at the time. I do keep in touch with key people who are at different stages in their lives and those are the ones who keep me grounded.  


The word transition has even come from mentors who are not as consistently in my life anymore. I still am grateful to them for their guidance and wisdom.  Mentors may come and go but it’s important for me to at least maintain connections that I know will help me grow and develop professionally.  I recently had lunch with one of my mentors and she gave me some great advice that really helped me be realistic, stay present, and reassured me that timing is everything. I am a goal -oriented person and sometimes I get frustrated when my goals I should of already met do not happen instantly.

Whether it’s  a transition of leadership, friendships or mentors I think we can all relate in some shape or form to lessons that we have learned to adjust to a new point in our lives.

How do you deal with transition in higher education?  Does it make you uneasy in your profession? Has it simply become the norm? 

Lauren Kaplan

Student Affairs - the First Years

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