Just because you graduate, doesn’t mean your role as a responsible bystander is over. Post-grad life is new and challenging, but you can still help spread the Green Dot message in your new environment. Post-grad life introduces new situations and new challenges in spotting red dots and making green dots. With a new environment comes new barriers that may stop you from feeling fully comfortable intervening in potential instances of power-based personal violence. Here are some examples of challenges you may face making green dots after graduation and some tips on how to work with these new barriers.
In the workplace…
Challenges: Being a newcomer to your job or program can be a challenge. The culture, the people, and the environment are all brand new and adjusting to all these changes can be difficult. The politics of the workplace can also sometimes complicate being a responsible bystander as it can be difficult to navigate when and where it is your responsibility to intervene.
Solution: Remember that adjusting to a new setting takes time, but soon it will feel like home. Seek out a mentor or friend who can help show you the ropes and offer support in this new environment. Learn about the culture in your new office and familiarize yourself with the resources available for reporting signs of potential PBPV, whether that be HR, a supervisor, or any other resource officers.
The social scene…
Challenges: While Middlebury’s campus is small and filled with familiar faces, the towns and cities you will be moving to are larger communities with a lot more anonymity. It can be scary going out in a new city or town and visiting bars and clubs that are unfamiliar to you.
Solution: Just like at Middlebury, look out for your friends and acquaintances. Check up on each other and make sure everyone is feeling safe and making smart decisions. Make sure you have access to Uber, taxi, or a designated driver so you and your friends never feel trapped or unable to leave an unsafe situation. Remember that there is strength in numbers, so always try to go out with a group of people who you trust and are looking out for each other.
Challenges: Living in such close proximity to people can be difficult, especially when you don’t know them very well, or at all, in some cases. It can be difficult to judge whether or not you are crossing boundaries or helping a friend in a tough situation.
Solution: Work towards open communication with those you live with. Having clear boundaries on personal space and cleanliness can foster a relationship in which you can look out for each other. Your experiences living with others at Middlebury are helpful in giving you the tools to have good relationships with roommates and neighbors.
The world outside of Middlebury can seem intimidating, but keep in mind that adjusting to a new environment may take time, but soon you will feel at home in your new location just like you did at Midd. Keep in mind these tips when adjusting to your new life:
- Accept and embrace the changes you’re undergoing. Big life changes are scary, but this is the start of a new and exciting journey for you in your life. Enjoy it!
- Find a new routine. While Middlebury routines consist of classes, club meetings, sporting events, and so much else, your new routine may include work, spending time with new friends, or exploring everything your new location has to offer.
- Explore new hobbies. Find a new passion! Get into pottery, running, or any other passion project that piques your interest. A new hobby is a great way to find fulfilment during this adjustment period and can open the door to new friendships.
- Establish a close network of friends. Whether it be fellow Midd grads, co-workers, or members of your new book club, having a group of close friends who you stay in touch with will help you feel more comfortable in your new setting.
- Maintain old friendships. Keep in touch with friends from college! They are all going through the same challenges you are, so sharing stories and advice will help you stay relaxed and remind you that you’re not alone in this process.
- Have fun! The opportunity to explore new cities and places and have experiences vastly different from those you had in college fosters personal growth and will make you feel more at home.
Enjoy everything post-grad life has to offer! Good luck!