What Does Resilience Mean?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from a negative experience or difficult challenge. Did you notice the way we described resilience above as the ability to “bounce back”? A rubber ball can be bounced and squeezed but still usually goes right back to the way it was – that’s “resilience”. Resilience allows you to face a problem or challenge, overcome it, and get back to life a little bit stronger and a little bit wiser. It’s coping with adversity in ways that boost your own well-being and protects you from getting overwhelmed.

Do you have the ability to accept that things change and that plans don’t always turn out as they were supposed to? That’s being resilient (also see: Characteristics of Resilient People). Resilience is built by having confidence that you’ll be able to get through or work around your problems, and by learning effective ways to cope with negative thoughts and emotions. When things are turned upside down and when things can’t be changed, resilience gives you flexibility, creativity and humor to get through it all.  These are tools for coping that can be learned by anyone, and can help most people bounce back from problems in life. You can learn to be more resilient, it is something you can work on!

Keep in mind that being resilient doesn’t mean that you’re free from having to face the same problems, setbacks, disappointments and adversity as everyone else; it doesn’t mean that you’ll never have negative thoughts or emotions. Resilience can mean you’re full of “grit,” but you’ll still experience emotional pain at times.

Take this quiz to learn how resilient you are: SCoRE My Resilience Factors Assessment

SCoRE® (Student Curriculum on Resilience Education®) helps students identify and adjust to the personal, social, and academic challenges of college life, including time management, staying healthy, making new friends, and goal setting. By building and supporting resilience, SCoRE teaches college students how to keep going in the face of adversity, a critical skill in school and life.

A key self-assessment in the SCoRE curriculum, My Resilience Factors, provides a quick, easy method to learn how resilient you are. In 10 minutes or less, you can complete the assessment and receive a personalized report that identifies your overall level of resilience as well as the specific factors that strengthen and potentially weaken your resilience.

Was your resilience score lower than you’d like? The good news is that resilience is a skill that can be developed with practice. If you want to learn more about resilience, you can purchase SCoRE: Self-Paced or SCoRE: Propel, which offers additional content geared toward students seeking disability services in college. Use promotion code JEDSCORE when ordering.

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