Since I’ve transferred to my university, I have had a timeline in my head for the remainder of my education: Finish my undergraduate work by December 2012 and enter the teaching credential program in Spring 2013.  I’ve formulated my classes around this, met with counselors countless times, and completed all the prerequisites.  But when I went to fill out the applications on Sunday, I was shocked to discover that, at the time being at least, the university has closed the teaching credential program for new applicants.  In other words, I’m faced with a major roadblock to my wonderful education plan.

So what do you do when life throws a wrench in your perfect plan?  Here are my 5 ways of coping.

1.) Call Time-Out: When things don’t go as planned, it can be an incredibly upsetting, frustrating, and disappointing time, so calling a time-out will give you a chance to calm down and recollect yourself.  Remember, this likely isn’t the end of the world.  Think about why things didn’t go as plan and look for the lesson in the situation.  Take a moment to come to terms with the new situation and then get ready to

2.) Go with Plan B (Or Create Plan B): If you created a Plan B, this is the time to put it into action.  If you didn’t have a Plan B, now is the time to sit down and create one.  This is the time to analyze why things didn’t work out the first time and brainstorm things you can change to get the desired result.

3.) Ask for Guidance: Whether you ask for advice from an academic counselor, life coach, or a good friend, what matter is that you get some outside perspective.  Asking someone you trust for advice can help you see things in a whole new way and give you directions you may have never considered before.  Just be wary to avoid getting too many opinions that you become overwhelmed.

4.) Learn to Adapt: When things don’t go as planned, you have to learn to roll with the punches.  Take your lemons and make some lemonade (or if things are really bad, take those lemons, add some tequila, and make some margaritas).  Try to view things as an opportunity to try something you’ve always wanted to do, but always been too scared of.  Or view it as a chance to learn and grow as a person.

Have you ever faced a situation where things didn’t go to plan?  How did you cope with the disappointment and/or frustration?  Have any words of advice for those going through a major change of plan?

[Photo Courtesy of Flickr User MichaelDorokhov]