Ways to cope with change as a post-secondary student

Published on March 21, 2024

A post-secondary student holding a mug while thinking about ways to cope with change

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Change… Some people embrace it, some people dread it, some people just tolerate it — and that’s OK! Change is a typical part of many areas of your life, and everyone has their own way of managing it. On this page, Good2Talk collaborates with The Knowledge Institute to share strategies students can try to help themselves cope with change while attending post-secondary school. You can find a link to The Knowledge Institute’s website to read their full resource about coping with change at the end of this page.

Depending on what’s happening in your life and your specific circumstances, changes you might experience while attending post-secondary school can include:

  • adjusting to different academic expectations
  • balancing your own time / schedule
  • becoming familiar with a new culture
  • getting a first or new job
  • growing more independent from parent(s) / caregiver(s)
  • learning more about who you are (e.g. your identity, values, beliefs, habits, etc.)
  • living in a new place (e.g. new housing accommodations, new city / town, etc.)
  • managing your own finances
  • shifting how you think / learn
  • starting new relationships (and potentially moving on from others)

The examples in the list above are just some of the changes you might experience — everyone’s journey is different. Similarly, how you react to the changes in your life — and how you navigate your feelings about them — will be unique. You can try different ways to cope with change to find what works best for you, including:

  • connecting with other people for support (e.g. friends, classmates, Elders, professors, family / community members, campus groups, etc.)
  • exploring school resources (e.g. workshops, clubs, etc.)
  • identifying your values, beliefs, goals, etc.
  • maintaining a planner / calendar to keep track of your social activities, school schedule, etc.
  • organizing your living space
  • practising a stress buster
  • reflecting on your feelings
  • researching community supports
  • trying new things / taking on new opportunities (to help boost your confidence)

No matter how you feel about change and transitions in life, you’re not alone. To discover more ways to cope with change and prioritize your mental health, you can explore The Knowledge Institute’s website.

You might notice The Knowledge Institute uses different language, style, processes, etc. than Good2Talk. You can always use the words, resources and supports that work best for you.

Are you coping with change and / or trying to prioritize your mental health as a post-secondary student? You can contact a professional counsellor or volunteer crisis responder 24/7. We’re Good2Talk whenever you need us!

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