I am bad at transitions. Always have been.

Literal transitions.
Physical transitions.
Conversational transitions.
Written transitions.

Absolutely horrific, horrendous, deplorable.

I am bad at transitions in life. High school was ok because I was still living at home, and that's where all the things happen anyway.  School was just school with fun thinking and learning, but then at the end of it, you got to go home always. (And really, anything was better than middle school. People talked to me it high school!)

Because of this, college was tough. Totally new. Different places 100% of the time, different part of the country, different weather patterns, different culture, different people. I didn't study abroad because of this problem with transitions. I knew that by the time I had managed to get comfortable and maybe make a friend, we would be headed home for the end of the semester. I would be miserable and lonely and it would not be worth it.

I am bad at new haircuts, new clothes, new places, new foods.

I am bad when other people get new haircuts, new clothes, or new shoes. (How do you recognize them anymore? This can cause some trouble.)

I know the rules of conversations. You lead people to talk about themselves because they like talking about themselves (and really, I like listening to their lives. They usually have done something interesting, or at least informative, and if they are talking, I don't have to). But I can't transition smoothly from "Hi" to questions, if they don't do it for you.

(I've got the basic questions. Hi my name is ___. they reply....


actually, now I'm even more lost. I can't ask them what dorm they live in or what their major is. I suppose for grad school I can ask what lab do you work in. From interviews, I've found I'm ok with this, because all my other grad students are fellow bio geeks so they love talking about their research.)

My scripts are failing now that I am a real person. I have to make some new ones.


Writing my grad school personal statement, I went through over 20 drafts because every single paragraph wasn't connected, apparently. I thought they were all in a logical order and couldn't see how anyone could have any difficulty understanding why I switched paragraphs. (It was something that I needed people to understand the transitions on because it needed to be extremely well written.)

Writing essays for English class, I would spend hours and hours crying about transitions. I would think everything was in a logical order, then I would have my mother proofread and she would say I had to add transitions. I always knew the transitions and the connections. I didn't understand why other people couldn't pick them out.

(Maybe this is theory of mind stuff in grown-up form? Maybe it is just because my brain works differently.)

I've gotten better, now that I have an idea of how I work.

If I plan the transitions out, with lots of possibilities it goes better (but I can run the risk of meltdowns if it doesn't go as planned). (But then, there's the meltdowns of the uncertainty if I don't, so really it's a lose-lose situation.) I know there will be a couple of meltdowns as I move over to grad school. It's unavoidable, inevitable.

But I'll look up tips, and plan, and minimize them.

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