It’s a word that excites some, but terrifies most of us. As human beings, we become comfortable with a routine; it indicates stability and we feel an illusion of safety. We say things like “Change is good,” and “I needed a change.”
But why then is it so easily forged into a hateful accusation; the dreaded: “You changed?” Nearly everyone has experienced this at one time or another. For me, it was my transition from high school to college. During my freshman year of college, the dynamic between my home friends and I began to change. Many of them insisted I was a different person with the insinuation that who I became was not a person they could be close with anymore. I insisted that I was the same person I had always been, but that wasn’t true at all.
I had changed. I matured. I worked really hard in school. I joined a sorority and made a ton of new friends. I figured out what I liked and didn’t like, and I got to know so much more about who I was. But even still, I had a lot more changing to do. That person was much different from who I was in high school, and who I am today as a junior nursing student is a lot different from who I was as a freshman.
Not only is change good, it’s imperative to figuring out who you are and becoming the version of yourself that you want to be, and it’s nothing to feel guilty about. Expecting someone to stay the same from their teens into their 20s is like expecting an infant to never learn how to walk or talk. Changes are a normal part of life.
Let’s face it though, change doesn’t always feel good. It didn’t feel good as a little kid during my parents' divorce. It didn’t feel good at 14 when we lost my childhood home. It didn't feel good when I had to move six times within four years, never knowing if rent would finally be too high and we would have to move out of state before graduation.
When you’re going through a tough time, it’s easy to look at someone else whose life appears to be stable and perfect and wish you could have that too... but remember that everyone has their own story and things aren’t always as they seem.
Who would I be if those changes hadn’t happened in my life? I can assure you I wouldn’t be who I am today: an ambitious leader with a passion for taking care of others in their toughest times.
Whether you’re moving around often, dealing with a major change in your home life, switching schools, changing majors (a lot), or even something as simple just learning to put yourself out there and try new things, change can always seem scary but like all things in life it’s what you make of it. You can choose to let something defeat you or you can instead choose to make it shape the amazing person you will become.