I have recently been giving some thought to the idea of transition. What is it? How does it impact on us as individuals or a group?
My prompting for this thinking was our recent Graduation celebration where we proudly witnessed eight of our Intake 1 trainees graduate from the STREAT program. What an amazing occasion it was, but more about that later.According to the Free Dictionary.com, transition is a ‘passage from one state, style or place to another’. This makes perfect sense to me. Transition does not have to be a major change, it can be subtle. Transition can be a change in mood or thought. Transition can be a change on the way we go about things or it can be more literal, like transitioning from dependence to independence. It can be transitioning from homelessness to secure accommodation. It can be transitioning from school to work or unemployment to employment. My three year old niece recently transitioned from the little kids room to the big kids room at her crèche.
Most of us have undergone many transitions in our lifetimes. From living at home, to living independently; from school to employment; some of us from being single to being in a partnership. No matter what transitions we have made, there’s one thing for certain: transitions are a part of life.
Erik Erikson, to my understanding is best known for his work on the Eight Stages of Development. This basically talks about transitioning through life stages to successfully grow and experience a fulfilling life. He sees life as a series of lessons and challenges that help us grow. What are these eight stages of development if not transitions?
So, on a Thursday night in October, my colleagues and I had the great honour of witnessing some of the wonderful transitions of our young graduates. They transitioned from study to work, they transitioned from young people with little practical work experience to young people with a willingness to further their knowledge and skills but most importantly, these eight young people transitioned into qualified, confident and capable young people who all have incredibly bright futures.
So, embrace transition I say. Welcome it, befriend it and nurture it. I think Willie Stargell said it best when he said ‘Life is one big transition’.
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