Embrace change, seize new opportunities

Time waits for nobody. No matter how swimmingly things are going or how happy we are in a single moment, it does not change the fact that life continues to move forward. We are pushed and shoved out of our comfort zones into situations that are new and unfamiliar. Then, just when things start to settle down and fit into place, life picks up the pieces and scrambles them around again.

However, as challenging and frustrating as it sometimes may be, we must embrace the changes life provides because, as I have found, they often lead to bigger and better things.

Too often we find ourselves cocooned in our familiar environments. We get so comfortable in our surroundings and find a way to settle. But this pattern of nesting makes it really challenging to break free and explore.

I have found the transition from summer to school particularly challenging this year because I got a little too cozy in my daily home routine. Something about entering into apartment life and getting back into the school grind had me feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated. Not to mention, none of it sounds nearly as appealing as hanging out with my dog and watching Netflix. Being thrown into a world of new responsibilities I’ve never had before has left me yearning for the simplicity of home.

So frequently we live our lives as nomads, and sometimes not by our own choosing. We move all of our belongings back and forth from home to dorms to apartments and back again. It’s as if nothing is ever permanently settled because at this point in our lives, none of these places are our permanent homes. We jump through fiery hoops and balance plates on sticks to impress employers and directors of organizations in hopes of landing campus jobs and summer internships. Each semester we adjust to new classes and new professors and lay down another few hundred dollars for new books. Our lives keep going and changing and there is really no time to get comfortable.

While it is often said that ignorance is bliss, sometimes hindsight sheds more light and clarity on our hectic lives. As we jump into new situations in life, we are often overwhelmed with fear, uncertainty and a general discomfort that lives within unfamiliarity. We may struggle and break down over our new surroundings or new opportunities and it is difficult to get through those times without knowing what positivity it will end up bringing. And in these instances, ignorance is anything but blissful.

But, ironically, it is those moments of breakdown and discomfort that allow us to grow and become better, stronger people. It is that ability to struggle and then succeed in a new situation that gives us knowledge and experience to enter a new job, new living accommodation, or new opportunity with a little more positivity than before. When we look back in hindsight and everything is said and done, we tend to feel grateful for our experiences and proud of our accomplishments.

When I began life as a sophomore last year, no one told me I would be writing for the school newspaper or going on a service trip to New Orleans. No one told me about all of the wonderful, interesting people I would meet and friends I would make. No one told me about all of the challenging, time consuming and fulfilling work I would do.

All of this happened because of change. I was able to have these great experiences because I tried new things and stepped out of my comfort zone. I remember being anxious and hesitant about many of the opportunities I went after last year but I’ve come to realize that those are often good feelings to have because it usually means something new is on the horizon.

Though I still loom in the stage of longing for the comfort and familiarity of life at home, I know that many new experiences await me this year. And I am excited to look back a year from now and see how I have changed and what new opportunities I have taken advantage of.

As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and awhile, you could miss it.” Keep going forward and seize new opportunities with an open mind, but remember to enjoy the present because these moments certainly do not last forever.

Nicki is a junior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]