This I Believe

Ashleigh - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 10, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I never truly understood the meaning of the phrase “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” until I recently moved away for my first semester as a freshman in college. For the first time, I am not able to attend loved one’s birthday parties or be there when a friend is hurting, and this is all because of change. I believe change is inevitable, but it shapes you into the person you will be in the future. Granted, more drastic examples of change are evident in many people’s lives such as, for instance, a death in the family. But at this point of my life, the change from childhood to adulthood is one of the most thrilling, but scary situations that I have experienced so far.

When my parents left me at college to begin, what I would call “the rest of my life”, I quickly realized how different everything would become from there on out. Former friendships would need more work and time to survive, responsibility would increase and my involvement in family matters would be less evident. When problems with my friendships arouse and homework began to pile up, I continually thought of what my life would have looked like, if I had not gone to college. Would I still be as close to my friends and family? If you had asked me a couple of years ago, if I had a choice to live in the Bahamas or to go on with my life as a high school student, I would have answered “Take me to the beach!”. I did not like being confined to parental regulations or having to deal with high school drama. If it could just be me and my friends going on a road trip across the United States, I would be content. But now I see how foolish my thinking was, even a year ago. Now, I understand the meaning of “you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone”. Even though I have not truly lost anything, I have realized by being away from my family and friends, how much they mean to me and how I took for granted many things that I would love to have such as home cooking, family get-togethers and friend’s birthday parties. But I now have a different perspective on change, and I continually find myself accepting and learning from these new experiences of life. I believe that through this experience I have learned to appreciate what I have and have become more confident in handling the changes of life. I also believe that change helps formulate our character if we have the right attitude about our circumstances. If we have the right attitude we can continually grow into the person God wants us to be. Because God, our Creator, knows our capabilities and puts these changes in our lives so that we can learn more about ourselves and become the person he planned for us to become. This I believe.