When I was a child, I went to the same school from kindergarten all the way through eighth grade. That meant that I had many of the same classmates for 9 years. We grew up together. We spent the good times together and the bad times. They became my family, my home away from home, and I loved them. Needless to say, when it was time to pick out what school I was going to go to for high school I decided that I wanted to go to the school that the majority of my classmates were going to. There was a high school not too far from where my K-8 school was located and about 70 percent of my classmates were going there. Although I desperately wanted to go to this school, my mother had other plans. She made me only apply to all-girl high schools. Not only were none of my classmates going to these schools, but that also meant that I would have to spend the next four years going to school without boys! Fourteen year old me was devastated. I didn’t want to change schools and have to make new friends. I didn’t want to change my school environment by switching to a school that only had one gender. I became angry at mom for taking me away from those kids that I had become so comfortable with, and I was even angrier at her for making go to an all-girl school.
At the end of the eighth grade I wasn’t looking forward to the change that I was getting ready to experience, but those next four years ended up being really great for me. Once I started school at my new high school, it only took me a few days to get used to the idea of not having classes with boys. I even began to enjoy the fact that I was only having class with other girls. And that initial apprehension that I felt about having to make new friends went away the moment that I started to make new ones. I may not have had those kids that I spent nine years of my life with by my side anymore, but these new girls were now like sisters to me. And I soon realized that I could end up cultivating the same types of relationship in this new environment as I had in my old environment. Just because I hadn’t known these girls for nine years didn’t mean that I couldn’t have meaningful relationships with them. My transition to high school was initially scary for me, but this change ultimately ended up working for good. Because of it, I ended up having some of the best experiences of my life in high school, and to this day I even still have some of those same friends from high school.
People rarely are thrilled about change. We like what we are familiar with. We enjoy what is comfortable. And initially change is anything but familiar and comfortable. We have this unknown thing facing us, and facing the unknown is often times very intimidating. If we don’t go for that change then we’ll always know what we’re going to get. We don’t have to feel uncomfortable or afraid because we know what’s going to come because it’s the same thing that happened the day before and the day before that and the day before that. Staying where we are means that our life is going to be less difficult, and that’s comforting.
Change is difficult, and hardly anybody out there goes into something because they like things to be difficult. Most of us like the easy road because it causes us less stress and heartache. Even though it may be difficult, change is a natural part of life so we have to take it on whether we like it or not. We cannot avoid it, but we can choose how we are going to handle it when it does come. We can try and fight it, which will ultimately make the difficulties of change that much more difficult, or we can choose to embrace it. We can acknowledge the fact that the change is going to be difficult at first, but we can also use the vision of a better future to push through those difficulties when they arise.
Positive thinker, I challenge you to not fight change when it comes. I want you to embrace it. I want you to hold on to that vision of a better future so that you can push through the uneasiness that comes with change. Better days are ahead of you. You just have to get through the rough roads to reach them!