Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Change: Heads or Tails?

It's already August, which means all of the stores are set up with supplies to get students ready for school, but students are trying to squeeze every available moment out of the remaining summer days. However, August means a few different things for me now than it did last year. Last year August meant putting off school shopping until the week before classes and seeing what schedules my friends had. This year, August means packing up my things and moving 146.5 miles away, hoping I'll be making new friends in the classes at college.

Emily and I went to the zoo with our new friend
Matt after orientation. 
I attended college orientation last month to get to know a little more about what my life would be looking like for the next four years. Emily and I both attended the same orientation session, and we learned a lot about the classes we would need to take and the different requirements we needed to meet for graduation. They covered all of the logistical things like dorm rooms, meal plans, and student IDs. I knew about campus security, transportation, and sporting events by the end of the first day, along with a variety of other things. Our orientation leaders even covered making new friends, which Emily and I managed to do while we were bowling during the social time that evening.


I left orientation the next day with a schedule, a new T-shirt, and a whole lot of pride for the Golden Gophers. However, as excited as I was for all of the opportunities at the University of Minnesota, I kept thinking about some of the words I had heard throughout my time on campus.


New. Different. Exciting. Unique. Transition.


I found these words were used to cover up a word I haven't always liked: change.


Everything is changing and quickly. Since orientation, I've spent a lot of time talking with my high school friends discussing what we'll be doing this coming school year. Friends that used to be ten minutes down the road will be living hours away. I won't be able to visit the ag. classroom (my second home) very often at school. My family will also be downsizing my beloved flock of chickens since I won't be home anymore. For awhile I wasn't really sure I was ready for this change. But there are different ways to handle change: two different sides. Optimism and pessimism. Heads and tails.


On the flip side, I am excited for all of the things I will be able to try in college. I have the chance to make more friends and build those relationships. I have the chance to study the things I'm interested in and create my future. I have a chance to live somewhere different and be a part of a wonderful new community.


That's the thing about change. Just because life is changing doesn't mean it isn't awesome. Our reaction to change has two sides, and we can pick which side we choose to look at. Often we forget about all of the chances that come along with change.  Once we choose to flip the coin and see the new opportunities we have instead of how worried we are, we can find greater value in change.

Change in life is the only constant. We all face it.  Maybe you’re moving to a new town and school, maybe a friendship has changed over the summer, or maybe you broke your arm and are out for the volleyball season. How we react to situations like this can make all the difference. We can emerge from changes as leaders or coaches, find new friendships and opportunities, or even grow closer to those around us in spite of - and sometimes because of - change. We have choices when we face change.  Next time you are faced with a change, I hope that you choose to look to the bright side to find growth and new opportunities. It all comes down to how you choose to look at it. Optimistically or pessimistically. Heads or tails. Except it really isn’t a coin toss at all. It’s all up to you.


Stationed by the rising sun,




Katie Benson

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