Ending the School Year “Well”: How Being Intentional Can Support Your Transition

You made it. Somehow, through a year filled with uncertainty, a pandemic, racial unrest, and political polarization, you made it. The semester, in fact, the entire 2020-2021 school year is ending. With all of the difficulty we’ve encountered, I suspect there will be more than a few students, faculty, and staff who will be tempted to run off campus as soon as possible. I get it. The allure of transition is especially attractive right now. But, before you do, I want to encourage you to do one thing.


I want you to pause because “ending well” is an important life skill. We are a busy, hurried people, even in a pandemic that tried to slow us down. We are prone to rushing off from one season of life to the next without catching our breath, honoring what was, or even looking back. This year, especially, we don’t want to do that.

We need to honor the journey we took this year. Against many obstacles, we took classes or taught classes, supported students, supported our friends, found ways to stay connected, overcame physical, mental, and emotional limitations, and made it. We need to honor what we’ve accomplished. This year has shaped us in important ways, just as it has shaped the rest of the world. But we’ll miss those lessons if we simply rush on to the next.

So, dear student, staff, or faculty member, you don’t need to take long. It doesn’t have to be a ceremony or party. Ending well is simply the space you create to offer homage to the thing that was and give permission to the thing that will be. On a slow morning. In the car. In the parking lot before the tasks of the day begin. Before you leave your dorm room. Before you walk out of your office. When you honor the season of life you are in, it allows you to take with you all the gifts you may need for the next one. Make sure you get them all.

Possible Reflection Questions for the 2020-2021 Academic Year:

  1. What did I overcome this year to successfully get to this point?
  2. What unnecessary or unhealthy things did I let go of that helped me this year?
  3. What can I celebrate as “good enough” rather than “perfect” to give myself a break?
  4. What lessons did I learn this year that I want to take into the summer/next stage of life?
  5. How can I say goodbye intentionally to this time?

April 26, 2021. By Anne Rulo, Author, Speaker, Therapist. FB/IG/Twitter @annemrulo

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