“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” ― Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein

The word “change” according to Google, is the act or instance of making or becoming different. Many of us have faced several big and little changes in our lives. In some way, shape, or form we have all participated in the act or instance of becoming different. These changes can often be very good for one’s future/life, possibly leading to great things such as a flourishing career and healthy relationships. However, sometimes these changes are unintentional and can come at you hard and be totally unexpected. This type of change is what I dread the most.

 Over the years, I have grown to loathe any type of change in my life, whether it be good or bad, intentional or surprising; I dislike it all the same. I believe my first encounter with a sudden change was my parents getting a divorce when I was in elementary school. At a young age I had to start adjusting to a life without both parents being together in it. I had to learn to live in two homes with separate birthdays, holidays, summers, and so on. I can admit, it wasn’t completely rough since my parents were so great at co-parenting; that eventually helped to make my transition easier.

Then, right when I was beginning to settle into and accept my new way of living, a sudden and very painful incident occurred. My father passed away at the start of my first year in middle school. No one in my family truly saw this coming; especially me. Now, I had to begin to learn how to adjust to a life without a father; a life with only one biological parent. I had to adjust to living with my mother full term. I was forced to adapt to having conversations with people who talked about their fathers, someone I no longer had. I also had to learn how to survive through the treacherous halls of middle school; that in itself was a challenge altogether.

That particular chain of events was hard and painful, and it felt as if my whole world was turning upside down, slowly but surely. I believe that moment in my life was when I knew change was not my friend. Since then, I’ve gone on to experience several other kinds of life-altering changes in my life, resulting in deeper trust issues. I cannot sit here, though, and say that the change in my life has been all bad, because it hasn’t.

There have been so many times in my life where I have intentionally changed things. I have changed the people I allow to be around me; I have changed my mindset on certain things, and I have changed how I view myself. All this intentional change was done for the better, and as a result I became a much better, much healthier me. One huge change in my life that was both intentional and sudden, was deciding to come here to SFA for school. It was intentional because I knew it was a great school for my desired major and because I actually wanted to experience living on my own. On one hand, it was still so sudden because I didn’t know much of anybody out here, I had to really adjust to sharing a space with a complete stranger, and I was feeling tremendously homesick.

If not for this change though, I would have never met the amazing people that I am friends with today, I would have never experienced all the fun/exciting college adventures that I have, and I would have never learned what it feels like to live on my own. Ultimately, what I am saying is, deep down I hate change, but I also recognize that it is necessary and, more often than not, a good thing. I must admit that with each bit of change I have experienced I have gained something within myself. Through the painful loses, the weird adjustments, and the uncomfortable new beginnings I have found strength in myself.