Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Change is coming...and that's ok


Oofta, that can be a scary word!  In fact, it can be one of the scariest things we will encounter.  Change means leaving the familiar for the unknown.

We are approaching fall, and already change is upon us.  School is starting up, and some people are beginning their first year at the high school.  Meanwhile, some people are moving to college, while others are participating in fall sports.  We all have change happening in our lives constantly, and as scary as that can be, it is also incredibly good.
Me leaving Plainview on move-in day

I can think back to the big changes in my life, and every one of them was terrifying at the time.  Probably one of the biggest changes that has occurred in my life happened this very time last year.  That was when I made the big leap from living at home and going to high school to living in the cities and going to college.  Everything about this transition was new and scary for me.  I went from living outside a small town to living in the largest city in Minnesota.  I went from sharing a room with my brothers to sharing a room with some random stranger.  And to top things off, instead of being put in the dorm I applied to live in, the one filled with people I already knew, I got put in Middlebrook, a dorm in a completely different part of campus away from all but one of my friends who lived in the other wing.

When I first got there, I didn’t give it a chance.  I felt alone and assumed I would continue to feel that way all year.  I remember how sad and stressed out I was; I felt heavy as the usual bounce in my step wasn’t there.  Things were just not how I wanted them.

But then a funny thing happened.

Things got better.  I started to get to know everyone on my floor.  I started to build relationships with people even if I previously had no idea they existed.  My roommate and I became close friends.  My entire floor became one big family.

Pretty soon, we were having nights where we all ate tons of mac & cheese while watching the show New Girl for hours.  We went on to make a comical pump up video of each other studying to get excited for finals.  We even had a 40 person wide Secret Santa for our floor’s Christmas party.  I can’t even list all the adventures, heart-to-heart chats, and unforgettable memories I had last year.  And throughout the year, I saw myself growing.  I saw the impact these fantastic people had on me and the way I think.  Middlebrook was the scariest change I have ever encountered, but it turned out to be a tremendous blessing in my life, and I’m so thankful that I did not give up on the change when I was unsure.

Now, I can’t say every experience will be like this one.  There are always times that work out and times that don’t.  But time in and time out, I see the best experiences have been the ones I wasn’t so sure about.  Like joining Cross Country, which turned out to be one of the biggest highlights of my high school career, or going to Washington Leadership Conference (WLC), which is where my spark was truly lit for FFA and serving people.  Both times I did something I wasn’t sure about and went on to be thankful I gave them a try.

When change comes, it’s ok to be scared.  It’s ok to be nervous, but we cannot run from change. We need to embrace it with an open mind.  If change presents itself, whether as an FFA opportunity, school, or anything, we need to make sure we are looking for the positives in the situation in front of us.  We need to stop asking ourselves, “How will this be a bad thing?” And start asking ourselves, “How can this opportunity be a good thing?” And know that even when things are changing, there will always be people in our lives to add some stability.  Parents, siblings, friends, teachers.  All people who want to help and be there for us during the unknown times in our lives.  We can go to these people when we feel we need someone.

This year, a lot of change is happening in my life once again.  I am now living in St. Paul.  I am now taking less math and science classes which I’m familiar with, and more economics, American history, and world development classes.  I’m now trying to juggle FFA State Office with a busy course load.  And yet there is something different about this year.  This year, I am confident that no matter what this upcoming year looks like, it will all turn out for the best.  I know there is not reason to worry about all this change, because I have seen how good change can be.

Things are constantly changing, and a lot of that we can not control.  But the one thing we can change is the way we look at it.

Stationed by the Rising Sun,

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