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Learning to Love Change

Living though a pandemic is not something I would wish upon anyone. During difficult times, however, I have found myself to be more adaptable and resilient than expected. I believe by experiencing and welcoming in change from a young age, I am more equipped to take on the unexpected changes that life gives me. These experiences of change also led me to have some very special and unexpected moments in the midst of a pandemic.

The first big change I experienced was watching all three of my older brothers grow up and move away. The first goodbye I said was when I was six, and I became well-acquainted with goodbyes from that point. I learned to cherish time with my family and appreciate it immensely. My parents and two of my brothers live overseas now, so when I heard the news that I had to leave campus this past Spring I was feeling a little misplaced. Thankfully, I was able to stay with my oldest brother and his wife that that live in New Orleans during the thick of quarantine. This was so special to me because I haven’t lived with that brother since I was six years old and only a worldwide shutdown could create an environment where that could happen. I feel as though I have a brand new relationship with my brother and sister-in-law that I may not have ever developed given our 12-year age gap. I have never loved living apart from my brothers and Covid-19 has not been the most fun experience, but without either of these occurrences I would not have had the opportunity to create such a cherished relationship that I never realized I was missing.

Another significant season of change was when I moved to Germany at the age of ten. I spent three years there and in that time I lived in four different houses and attended four different schools. This was a lot for a ten year old to take on at the time, but I developed resiliency and adaptability from that period. In such a developmental age, I was thrown into situations where I had no option but to adapt and learn to thrive in a brand new environment. Though I was young, I attest my ease of transition into college to those years of moving to and from Germany. Moving away from home to college felt easy and I was well versed on goodbyes and dealing with the ache of being homesick. Because of this, adjusting to college life was not overwhelming and I felt like I could jump right into making a new environment feel like home. These same skills applied when I was told I had to leave campus this Spring. I knew that adaptation was necessary and that home was not a concrete place in the moment. Welcoming the idea of a new environment with my brother helped me find the joy in misplacement and uncertainty.

These periods in my life have not been easy, but my life is more dynamic and I am stronger because of them. My advice is to welcome change when it comes or seek opportunities to be just uncomfortable enough to grow into new spaces. Covid-19 has changed the landscape of everyone’s lives, but it can be an opportunity for new beginnings or experiences that can be positive in the midst of an uncertain time.

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