From the beginning moments of my initiation into service with AmeriCorps, I was required to adapt myself to the changing world around me. On the scheduled day of my on site pre-orientation, COVID-19 had just reached the United States. Before then, I had a set schedule of days with certain duties. But after COVID-19, nobody knew how to move forward, which included my position. I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to work due to the closure of schools. It seemed all my fears were correct. Shortly after my pre-orientation, my official orientation was cancelled.
About a week later, I received an email from my AmeriCorps Representative. She told me that Changemaker High School was closed and that they would update me regarding my service when they knew more. I had been prepared for my service to
start and hearing that it was now an unknown variable I felt a bit lost. I spent the next month wondering and waiting to hear from my supervisor.
About a month later I received news regarding my position. Instead of my previous service being instated, I was asked to take a new, online position. I felt very well equipped to adapt to this new situation. I am highly proficient in technology. The job that I was being asked to do was perfect for me and I readily accepted. However, I did have to do some work mentally in order to adapt to the change. While I felt confident that I could do the job being asked of me, it was much different from my original position. I was no longer going to be tutoring kids on campus, but rather, working from home, formatting documents. It was a bit of a disappointment not being able to work with kids but I knew there was still a job that I was needed for. I needed to process the change mentally in order to accept and move forward with my new job.
An important part of being adaptable is being ready for how we may feel during changes, which can elicit feelings of worry, stress, or overwhelm. There is no way to prevent ourselves from feeling certain feelings, nor should we strive to repress feelings. Instead, we should learn how to deal with feelings in ways that are healthy to us. Several ways we can do this is through utilizing online resources, talking to peers or mentors for support, and developing hobbies that can serve as an emotional outlet. Additionally, being able to stabilize ourselves during overwhelming situations can help serve our skills of adaptability. I view the transition from life after service similar to other parts of our lives that end. We are likely to feel a lot of strong emotions due to a large change in our routine. Being adaptable can help us through this transition because we will feel confident that we can handle whatever challenges we might face. Handling our emotions will allow us to appreciate what we have been through and prepare for the unknown we are facing. If we are able to properly feel and release our emotions, we will strengthen our mind.