Tertiary Transitions: Crafting a “RAFT” to Smooth Your Move to University
With the end of the school year nearing and exams taking place comes the never-ending cycle of students, their families, as well as teachers leaving school to journey onwards. For some, this means returning back home. Others may be moving to an entirely new country. Some are graduating and entering university for further studies.
As part of YCIS Beijing’s efforts to help our Year 13 students with their transition from YCIS Beijing to university life, University Guidance Counsellor Ryan Jordan and School Counselor Ron Drisner delivered a seminar offering tips for those students apprehensive about their move. During the seminar, the two introduced RAFT, an acronym that Dr. David Pollock explored in his book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. It outlines a clear and easily applicable approach for mentally adapting to a new environment.
To help other students faced with similar transitions and challenges, we’ve detailed each step of this handy acronym below to help anyone implement their own RAFT strategy for smooth sailing to wherever they end up!
Reconciliation: This is about making things right with people before you leave. If you find it too difficult to do in person, write a letter of forgiveness and then throw it away. Try not to bring any hard feelings with you to your new destination.
Affirmation: Let people know how much your appreciate them. This list can include friends, classmates, and teachers. Don’t forget about the ayi! Tell these people how much they meant to you. Share stories and take these memories with you.
Farewells: Say goodbyes to people and places. Visit and take photos of all of your favorite places in Beijing (including the jian bing store just down the street). If you are leaving your family, make sure to spend some quality time with them. This includes your siblings and pets!
Think destination: Prepare for the next place. What will it be like? What is the weather like? What about the local culture? Do some research online, looking for the best foods and activities of the city or country to which you’re moving. Don’t forget to talk to people who have lived there.
If you’re unsure where to start with “constructing” your RAFT, start by creating a list of people with whom you need to speak. The main idea behind RAFT is to create a smooth transition between places. Reach out to those you can as soon as you can; don’t wait until the last minute!
Wherever your journey takes you, your RAFT will help smooth the process and ensure that you’ll be settled in to your new home in no time!