Dare to be different

Alexandra - Easthampton, Massachusetts
Entered on April 14, 2008

I believe that change is always good. Different is always better. I was a seventeen-year-old girl who was stuck in a place and not going anywhere. The same issues were occurring in my life over and over. I was never the one to make a change first because I did not like any sort of negative attention. Three weeks before my senior year of high school, I chose to move across the country for prep school, leaving behind everything familiar to me. I returned home to visit after the first two months and going to the grocery store was never so uncomfortable. I wondered why people cared so much about the decisions I had made in my life and why they were acting as if somehow they’re lives were affected by my own decisions. Making the decision to change schools has changed my life in so many ways. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t made this decision. It has made me a stronger and more independent person. I have created friendships that I know will last a lifetime; I have learned many lessons and overcome obstacles I never thought I could. Three years ago I was a girl who watched as others succeeded past me, watched as others made changes to help them thrive. This decision that occurred in my life was a risk. Sometimes I feel as if people are too afraid of what is really out there. We grow up thinking that there is a routine we must follow and we can’t stray the path, we don’t dare to be different. Although at first it was uncomfortable, as any new situation would be, I would not take it back for anything. I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I could. I am finally okay with being unlike my friends. I am happy to do my own thing and it is okay if someone disagrees, I have learned that that will happen more often than not. I have grown so immensely as a person and I know that I will be more open to different things as I grow older because of the experiences I have had. I believe that this is the best way for a person to mature. I look back on myself about two years ago and I feel as if I do not even know her. I understand that things will not always be good and perfect but I do know that I can make it through. I have confidence in myself that this belief is something I will never think twice about. I will not preach about my own opinions. I believe that will get someone anywhere but where they want to be. I will only show the world through my own actions how much I believe that it is important to be different and important to make changes. No matter what you may think now, we are all different. Express yourself through change, be brave enough to speak up for yourself and never doubt your heart.