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Learning to Adapt

If there is one thing that we can always count on in life, it is change. Seasons change, people change, and sometimes, our entire world as we know it changes. 2020 has been one of those times. Graduating from college in December 2019 brought me feelings of excitement and preparedness for the future. Knowing that I was closing a chapter of my life right as the decade was ending was very pleasing for my Type A brain. Anticipating a new chapter of my life in which I would begin my professional career and step into my personal power at the start of a new decade felt like the stars aligned perfectly to give me a fresh start. I was so excited for this new era of my life which would come in with the roaring 20’s. Then the 20’s came in really roaring.  

This year has truly been the most unpredictable and trying time of my life thus far. From experiencing a global pandemic, being unemployed for the first part of said pandemic, transitioning from college life to “real adult” life, and experiencing extreme political unrest and turmoil, this year has been nothing short of impactful for me; but not in the way I imagined it would be. Suddenly, all the plans I made for this new year vanished and I was left feeling like there was not one thing that I could keep control over. My Type A, detail-oriented, planning-obsessed self was having a crisis trying to come to terms with the fact that I could no longer make concrete plans for the future. I had to make peace with the fact that I was being forced to focus on the present moment, take things day by day, and release my need to control and plan everything. If there is one thing 2020 has taught me, and continues to teach me, it’s how to be adaptable to any situation I’m faced with. Although learning to be more flexible is a challenge and a forever work-in-progress, it’s very satisfying to see all the growth that this has brought me within the last 6 months. 

In the midst of the chaos and uncertainty that has been 2020, I was fortunate enough to find the perfect job to kick-start my career: Student Success Coach for City Year San Antonio. Coming across this opportunity was a Godsend. It came at the perfect time and the position entailed working toward things I feel passionate about (fighting for social justice and equity, and making a first-hand impact in my community). I knew that entering my year of service in the education field during a pandemic was going to bring many obstacles and challenges, but I was ready to dive in and face these challenges head-on. I knew that by immersing myself in this position, regardless of the fear and uncertainty surrounding the education system, I would be setting myself up to grow in ways that I could not even imagine. So far, that’s exactly what has happened.  

Every day, there is a new curveball, unexpected news, change of plans, and most of all- technical difficulties. Allowing myself to release fear and dive into this position has been the ultimate test of my commitment towards becoming a more adaptable person. Getting ready to enter the virtual classroom to provide support was full of unknowns. I thought, “When will we be assigned a partner teacher? Will school be virtual forever? How can I translate interpersonal skills to be just as effective when I can’t physically connect with other people? What is going to be expected of me in the virtual space? Oh wait, there no expectations yet because this has never been done before.” Coming to terms with this has been very grounding for me. It reminds me that I simply have to take things day by day, and adapt to new criteria and expectations as inevitable changes take place. Truthfully, every single day brings a new challenge that can only be overcome by being adaptable. As educators and role models in our community, it is important that we keep this mentality, not only during times of COVID-19, but forever. Adaptability is a key to growth, and probably the only way to ensure security, considering the fact that the only constant in life, is change. By having the ability to easily adapt to any and every new circumstance that we face in life, we can ensure security within ourselves by knowing that no matter what challenges come our way, we will be able to rise to the occasion and thrive. So, thank you 2020 for teaching me one of the biggest lessons of my life – how to be adaptable.  

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