Returning student Chris Backes writes a blog for us this week about transitions. He attended Loyola for two years, spent two years as a Jesuit novice, and now returns to Loyola to complete his degree.
“I have made a lot of transitions in my life: going to high school, going to college, leaving college and going into the seminary, and then leaving seminary and going back to college. Transitions aren’t easy. And I know I am not the only one. My class, the class that I was in before joining the Jesuits, I just graduated and my friends all have similar transitions coming up: moving to a new place, living a different lifestyle. Throughout my times of transition, I have noticed that transitions tend to resemble the seasons.
Fall begins by the life slowly appearing bleaker. The prospect of moving way and beginning something new can be frightening, especially when we can’t know what’s coming. Going to college where you know no one or moving to a new city without having a decent job; both make the transition hard.
Winter creeps along and things can seem desolate. Old friends are hard to keep in contact with, or maybe you are struggling to get by. New friends are not always easy. At this time we tend to have moments of desolation: when the comforts of love offered by those around us are all to absent.
But then, spring catches us almost by surprise: Life begins to get easier. New friends are made, classes might not seem so daunting anymore, and work is finally paying the bills. Consolation, the love and support we need from those around us, begins to take hold of our lives.
The length of these seasons varies in every transition we make. Sometimes, it looks like there no end in sight for winter, and other times we are fortunate to land a job right out of college. Here are few tips I have for myself every time I make a transition:
1. Have hope. It makes the winter shorter, even non-existent. Hope is what allows us to continue on through the difficult times.
2. Don’t make any life-changing decisions in winter. This piece of advice is ripped right from lines of a book I had to read. St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits and man of short stature located outside the Danna Center, advises never to make decisions to change while in desolation, or while the love from God appears to not be there or decreasing. Transitions have those times.”