There is no doubt that this is the saddest senior class of all time, and rightfully so. They have missed out on opportunities they have waited for for 13 years. When I talk to high school seniors they talk about how they feel robbed of experiences and opportunities. Many of them are sad and depressed. Many are anxious about college because they do not feel ready for this transition.
Finding joy in times like this can be a challenge, so here are 3 Tips to Finding Joy in the NOW.
- Realize that all your feelings right now are valid.
You have had a very unexpected kink thrown in your plans. You have had experiences you have dreamed about stripped from you. You are sad, mad and maybe even depressed and it is okay to feel that emotion. In fact, you need to feel that emotion and understand that it is okay for you to feel this way. When you feel the negative emotion do not push it away, but rather embrace it.
- Focus daily on what you are grateful for.
Regardless of your personal situation, there is so much to be thankful for. Are you healthy? Do you have someone that supports you? Is there food in your refrigerator? Will you get a high school diploma? Are you still alive? Are you still able to get a college education? No matter how small, make the choice to focus on the good. Look for the good in nature. Notice that nature has continued to thrive despite our lives being put on halt.
- Take the time you have now to create.
You have months of downtime right now. What can you create? Think about the skills you have and how you can use them to create something epic! Do you want to start a podcast or a blog? Maybe create a non-profit? Learn another language? Take this time to create something incredible. Is there something that you have always wanted to do, but have never had the time? Find the joy in creating new things.
If you have lived to be 18 years old, then you have done hard things. This is just one more hard thing to add to your resume. I believe that no matter what you are going through in your life right now that you are going to come out stronger on the other side. I want to encourage each and every student and parent to embrace this time we have together. Take the time to love and understand each other on a deeper level and find joy even in the hard times.
JoBeth Evans has five years of experience teaching high school, and has been teaching public speaking at the University of Arkansas for five years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree from Arkansas Tech University. She is a nationally certified life coach with a total of three different coaching-related certificates. In her work as a life coach, she helps teen girls make the transition from high school to college. In addition, JoBeth is a speaker and writer who works to equip young women for the major life transition of entering college. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.