In the words of Ben Franklin, “Change is the only constant in life.” Change is something that we all must learn to accept. Some changes are bigger than others, but change is inevitable. Our acceptance and ability to adapt to change is critical to our happiness. I recently became aware of the need to accept change when moving out of my childhood home after fifteen years. I felt sad, nostalgic and slightly overwhelmed throughout the process of purging, packing and reminiscing. I decided that instead of feeling blue about leaving my past behind, I would try to be excited about the future and my new home. Change can often act as a reset, a time to try and feel something new. Although my daily life may be different going forward, it is up to me to make the most of the change.
Sometimes we are forced to take a crash course in change and adapt quickly. Many of us had heard of COVID-19 last January but never expected the changes we would be forced to make almost overnight when the pandemic became our reality. We learned how to work and attend school from home. We entertained ourselves with absurd television programs about underground big cat breeding. We began to appreciate how valuable and enjoyable our family’s company can be and how precious life is. All of our lives are far different from before the pandemic, but that does not mean that they are worse. Many of us have embraced the changes we were forced to make and found at least one silver lining.
While some change cannot be anticipated, there are other changes that one can predict and plan for their occurrence. Every four years, we are confronted with the possibility of new leadership for our country. Sometimes the political party in control stays the same and sometimes we have a complete change. Regardless of what party wins, we must learn to adapt to our new leadership team. We can choose to fight this change and create political divide or accept the change and use it as a basis to come together and work for a better tomorrow.
One interesting thing about change is that the nature of the actual change does not matter. There is always an opportunity to decide how we want to react to it. Take me moving, for example. Not only has my family moved, but we have made an interim move before our final destination. Since I have been living in my new “temporary” home, I have felt happier and even a sense of excitement. Does this have anything to do with moving? No. I attribute the change in my attitude to the change of scenery and my determination to make the most out of this new experience. I have realized that although I am not living in the house that I called home for so many years, home is more than just a place. Home is where my family is.
The ability to use change as a checkpoint in life can be implemented in any circumstance, big or small. Starting a new quarter in school? Re-evaluate your study habits and your attitude towards success. Starting a new sports season? Take a look at your training and practice methods. Starting a diet? Don’t just set a goal, think about why you want to reach your goal and how it will make you feel. Remember, change is unavoidable, it is up to us to embrace it.
—Zack Siegel is a senior at Schreiber High School