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There are certain events that will change a person forever. In fact, according to an article published in the scientific journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, “Intense life experiences are not only memorable in and of themselves, but they also can change the way we experience events in the future.”

Women change physically and emotionally starting with puberty, but there are many other events throughout their lives that will affect them intrinsically. Here are a few momentous occasions women may face in their lifetimes along with ideas of how to make the most of those events.

Attending college

Whether she’s leaving home for a college far away or staying in her hometown to attend classes, going to college is a major milestone in any woman’s life. Mental Health America lists common challenges a college freshman faces including learning to live with roommates, dealing with homesickness, handling finances, and coping with a heavy course load. The Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience points out that depression is almost twice as common among female students as male.

However, knowing about these possible challenges ahead of time can help students prepare to face and overcome the obstacles to their success. Students who get involved in their communities and join college clubs also do better in school. According to the College of St. Scholastica, student involvement in extracurricular activities helps students build their skillset, practice time management, learn collaboration, open new networking opportunities and build their marketability.

In addition, students who treat college like a job and dedicate the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. tend to be more successful and keep up better with coursework.

Serving a mission

For women who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, going on a proselyting or service mission becomes an option at age 19. This represents an opportunity for women to leave their homes and dedicate their lives to serving others and preaching the gospel for 18 months.

Mission service can serve as a powerful learning experience for the women who serve them. “Serving a mission was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Emily Georgeson, a former missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared in an interview with a BYU-Hawaii publication. “But it was also one of the sweetest experiences I will ever have. I never realized how much I could ever love a people and how much they could love me.”

Georgeson served in the Argentina, Neuguen Mission, which meant she needed to become fluent in Spanish to speak with the Argentine people. She said learning the language was one of the hardest parts of being a missionary but through hard work and dedication, she came to love the language.

Prior to serving a mission, all men and women must attend the temple. Temples require patrons to wear special all-white clothing to show reverence for the sacredness of this special building. Today, women have many options when it comes to the type of dress they may choose to wear in the temple with styles including maternity, knit, lace and more.

First career job

That first job after college that actually uses your degree is often a big eye-opener as you become acquainted with what working in your job field is really like. Different from small side jobs in high school or college, a first career job often represents the most money you’ve yet made, in addition to having more responsibilities and expectations from your employer.

Women are often seen to be at a disadvantage because of traditional hiring practices in the United States with more men receiving offers for management positions than women who are equally qualified. However, CEO Susan Lucas-Conwell told The Balance Careers that women can give themselves their best chances of success by relying on their emotional intelligence and staying true to innate strengths rather than conforming to a male leadership model.

“Women bring a different perspective based on a different set of life experiences,” Lucas-Conwell went on. “This perspective can broaden and deepen the executive board’s insight and pre-sight, if you will.” She says this is what makes women so valuable and crucial to management positions.

Family milestones

Marriage and the birth of each child are always major milestones in a woman’s life. With marriage comes the transition into an inter-dependent stage of life very different from being single or living at home with parents. It requires the ability to work together, compromise and develop clear channels of communication. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may choose to be sealed in a temple, making special covenants with each other and God with the promise that husband and wife can be together for “time and all eternity.”

Marriage experts shared secrets for marital success with WebMD, including tips for learning to be an active listener, setting aside regular couple time, how to disagree without being disagreeable and the role a healthy sexual relationship plays in a successful marriage.

Children change the marriage dynamic and often present significant challenges. First, a woman copes with pregnancy, childbirth, and the responsibilities of parenthood. Having children can cause women to struggle with maintaining their identity as both an autonomous person and a mother. However, women can reach new heights of joy in motherhood they’ve never experienced before. It’s truly a unique experience unparalleled by any other.

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