by Breanna Adamick
I am not a big fan of change. This stems from the fact that most change that has happened in my life, especially in recent years, is not necessarily change that I view positively. I have had to let go of many things I held dear, having to simply hope that fond memories will remain.
2020 was a big year of change for me, and probably for a lot of other people, for a multitude of reasons. COVID-19 was a big adjustment for starters, but then for me, it was also my high school graduation and strange, stilted transition to college life. It was losing friends and gaining friends, feeling what it is like to be more on my own and saying goodbye to places that held memories so dear I will cherish them forever.
Experiencing all of that in such a short time was a rollercoaster, and the change, of course, did not stop there. One thing happened after another, and that seemed to make me more jaded and unwilling to acknowledge or truly
accept change. For a while, any sort of change was perceived as inherently negative in my eyes.
I believe it is common to at least somewhat resent change, especially when we feel that it does not suit us at that particular moment in time. It is a big step to realize that you may actually need a change in your life. Little or big, the change can be daunting and uncomfortable at first. Often, we get so set in our ways and used to our routines that we are quite reluctant to switch up anything in our lives, even if there’s a good chance it will affect us positively. When we do take the chance to change, however, interesting things can happen.
For instance, several months ago I began really noticing my tendency to think pessimistically about things, and I realized that was something I wanted to work on changing. As with just about any sort of change, it was difficult to start. I had to recognize the negative thought I had just had and figure out a way to rephrase it in a more positive light, or else look at the situation from a whole new perspective in order to find the positive. It was not always easy, and it still is not, but after a while, I noticed that the optimistic thoughts were happening more and more often, and that it was becoming easier to twist the pessimistic into the optimistic. It is still a constant change I am working on, but it is becoming less and less conscious effort, and more natural.
Change is like that. At first you might be thinking, “this sucks,” but as time goes on and it becomes a habit, that thought will cross your mind significantly less every day. It often seems that the scariest part of change is merely learning how to adjust to it and the altered mindset of it, not the actual change itself.
Situations change all the time, and many times the little variations in our lives are not all that significant. No matter what, we have all experienced change at some point, especially at the stage we are in now. Change is a predominant factor of a college student’s life. It comes with the transition from high school to college, with moving in and being surrounded from the get-go by strangers – in living situations and everyday schedules. It comes with finding yourself and your passions in a new phase of life and better learning how to be an adult and more independent.
Our lives, outlooks and feelings are always fluctuating and being altered by experiences we go through to the point where we may realize that things – routines, hobbies, relationships – that were all important before, are less and less of a focal point. This is natural and okay, and a valuable thing to recognize. It is important to be able to observe when something in your life does not serve you anymore, and to be able to take the
necessary steps to change it.
With that, there can be a certain amount of experimentation as well. You do not need to know exactly what works for you in every situation and that is where experimentation and gradual change come into play. How often have we all heard that a large part of college is about exploring your interests and passions to help guide you towards the right path? I know I have heard it frequently from many different sources.
Something that goes hand in hand with that exploration is facing change unflinchingly and being open to it. Going into college with one planned career and coming out looking towards another can be challenging and daunting, but in such a situation, the result of being happy in a different career than originally planned, instead of unhappy in the previously planned career, is highly preferable.
You never know if you will like something until you have tried it. I am directly quoting my parents with that phrase, however, I have learned the truth of it now and over the years. A prime example would be becoming a staff member for The Collegian, and soon after an editor. I never would have foreseen journalism as a hobby or interest of mine. I started out on staff as a photographer only, but quickly made the transition to writer and then editor.
I had no idea that being on the staff of a newspaper would bring me so much joy, but I tried it, and here I am. All the better for it. College is the perfect time for experimentation and change, we simply have to open our minds to it and embrace what comes from it