52 Tips in 52 Weeks: Week Sixteen – The New Normal

Bryan University - 52 Tips in 52 Weeks

Safety and Security

The second foundational level in the Revised Maslow Hierarchy continues to examine things we need to survive. In this level, we seek to fulfill another layer of basic needs:

  • Safety from harm and the elements
  • Protection and security
  • Order
  • Law
  • Limits
  • Stability

Much like the base, this second level recognizes key needs programmed into each of us for survival. However, notice that some of these elements begin to transition into the psychological. Security, order, law, limits, and stability are all intangible, abstract ideas and, therefore, are subjunctive to language and subjective to our own experiences. Some people are more lackadaisical to these needs, opting for a laissez-faire approach to order, boundaries, and the status quo. Others need to protect order at all times; any disruption to natural stability can cause a disturbance in these underlying needs and, consequently, elicit some degree of chaos.

This is the level of normalcy.

Any change to normalcy is a potential disruption and can stress your basic need foundations. Education can be one of these disruptions, so if you want to succeed, you must be able to adapt to potential changes to your sense of normal.

But this is not a disruption exclusive to education. Any change that forces you to question what should come next or how you should react can result in temporary confusion or chaos.

In many cases, you cannot control what might upset your stability. Accordingly, you have to develop coping skills that make you capable of adapting to these changes without overreaction.

During my years helping students, I have found that hypercorrection to changes in normalcy is the primary reason students give up on education. This is an unfortunate reaction, as most changes can be managed. The process requires introspection—some time to think, cope, and adjust to change. You can make a new normal that includes education. It’s all a state of mind.

View the rest of the 52 Tips in 52 Weeks series here!

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