Moving leads to maturity, positive change

Sweet Carolina: Posing for the camera, Carolina, 5 years old, sits in New York, outside her fifth home. She moved two times after this, residing in a total of seven homes. Photo courtesy of Carolina Rodriguez

Sweet Carolina: Posing for the camera, Carolina, 5 years old, sits in New York, outside her fifth home. She moved two times after this, residing in a total of seven homes. Photo courtesy of Carolina Rodriguez

Carolina Rodriguez, columnist

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Stacks of boxes litter the living room and the loud steps of the movers can be heard banging through the halls. Final goodbyes have been said, the furniture shipped, and the house stays silent and empty. The final thought that remains is: “What now?” The process is all too familiar to me. I’ve moved seven times in sixteen years, so I’m pretty much a pro. With each move, I have learned that change is for the better.

When I was younger, I didn’t understand how big of a deal moving was–I saw it as normal. As I got older, I realized that moving was more serious than I thought. I learned something from everywhere I lived. I met tons of new people, mostly good, but some bad ones, too.

Meeting all these new personalities made me aware of what types of people there are and how to deal with them. I have dealt with my fair share of “fake friends” over the years. Because of this, whenever I get into a conflict with someone, I know exactly what to do from experience.

Also, being the “new kid” so many times has taught me a thing or two about social skills. Specifically, I remember my first day of third grade in Michigan. I did have one friend, Katie, who was my neighbor at the time, but she was in a grade lower than I was. The different grades would go out to recess at separate times, so we could only talk on the bus. I was completely alone in my classroom and I was dreading recess because I wouldn’t have anyone to go hang out with.

Little did I know I was wrong. I started talking to a girl at recess who was alone too, and it turned out she was new and was in the same boat as me. We became friends right away. This is a prominent example of how I’ve learned how to approach new people and work cooperatively.

Moving has also taught me to have empathy for others. I’m not saying I wasn’t empathetic before, but it made me aware of how new kids feel out of place. Whenever I see the opportunity to help a new kid, I take it. I know exactly how it feels to be lost in a new place. I had people help me out when I needed it, and I want to return the favor and help people in the same circumstances I’ve been in.

Change is often disguised as something negative when in reality it’s positive. Change is inevitable and embracing it is a big sign of maturity. By doing so, one learns how to react in new situations and learn how to better ourselves. By putting the best version of ourselves forward, we can start our journey to success on a good foot.

Overall, change is something that makes room for personal growth. It braces us for what’s to come. We will all face great shifts in our lives and we have to be ready. Something I’ve taken away from my seven moves is that to make change beneficial you have to embrace it. Letting this feeling of defeat overtake you is just going to waste an opportunity to grow. Change is essential for growth; it makes us stronger every day.