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Back to school: what’s your situation?

Back to school? Whether we’re a first-time student, a student getting to the next stage of our education journey or a professional going back to school to change career or add skills, this can be a big topic, especially if our context is the one of a crisis such as Covid19.

We’re all going to experience things in a unique manner and this is key to grow.

We’re all unique human beings with a unique history, family and cultural background, interests, vision of ourselves and vision of our future, relationship to ourselves and a way to relate to others, a mix of experiences that have shaped our attitudes and behaviors, our own aspirations, dreams or ambitions, and expectations!

Going back to school can be a different experience for many of us. Here are some examples:

  • An entrepreneur going back to school with a clear goal to do a PhD to reinforce his existing skills and take his vision and knowledge to the next stage. This student may not be travelling, is used to working remotely and has everything set up for him or her to start school again; it may be easy to get started in this context;
  • A bachelor student going back to school to pursue their academic journey in a foreign school, who arrives in a new country, during a sanitary crisis and realizes, at the last minute, that her courses have moved completely online. The potential implications are that he/she may have to bear the costs of accommodation or change country again. Add to this arriving in a new flat with flat mates; this can be an overwhelming situation at first and require a whole different approach;
  • A bachelor student going back to school, in the same school, in the same city, without travel or logistical struggles, may have a very easy context to be going back to school;
  • A research student may be experiencing a delay in continuing his/her research due to Covid and having to create a new strategy to deal with it. The strategy may not be as hard as the above, but may suddenly create stress and new obstacles to address in order to be successful after long years of study and personal investment.

How are things going for you?

It is very important to pause and look at your situation. If everything seems pretty easy, great; move ahead, apply your focus and energy to your new program and project, and take time to give attention and support to others around you in order to contribute to your ecosystem! If things are a little, or a lot, harder, do the following:

  • Find an environment where you can connect to yourself, be at peace to think. If you don’t like your new home, go outside to think. This will create a more constructive environment for you and help you to make better decisions as your emotions and physiology will be in a better state.
  • Dissociate the different problems you may have: travel, accommodation, life in community, course organization, your needs and wants. Dissociating and looking at obstacles one by one is going to help you to step-back, identify and name things, detach yourself to see a bigger picture, and give you more ability to deal with each issue separately. Your thinking, your emotions and your decisions will work better and you will improve your outcomes by doing that!
  • Reach out to friends, or use coaching tools such as this one to help you to apply more objective and constructive thinking.
  • Accept that things can be messy or “not as you have wished” for a little while and focus on “how you can improve your situation” instead of thinking about everything that is wrong or difficult. By doing that you will create cognitive and emotional mechanisms that will favor the emergence of ideas, solutions and better feelings.

In the upcoming podcast we’re going to listen to a student speaking about how she’s addressing her “back to school situation”. If you want support, you can contact us here, or directly create your self-coaching issue here to start addressing any obstacles you are facing with constructive thinking.

To read about other challenges that students, graduates and young professional face and get some tips, visit the different topics here and check again regularly to follow the topics and stories we add from time to time.

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Olivier Malafronte

Founder @PocketConfidant AI, Certified Coach, Masters in Business, lived and worked in 5 countries. Passionate entrepreneur, focus on global issues with a will to contribute and improve our world. "Keep going".