This I Believe

Lauren - Sugar Land, Texas
Entered on February 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change
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I thought he was joking. It couldn’t be true. I refused to believe that my parents would make me move in the middle of my freshman year of high school. But Dad wasn’t smiling, he didn’t yell “APRIL FOOLS!” and when I ran out of the room crying, he let me go, knowing he could not console me. Moving was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but looking back, I know it was also one of the most beneficial.

Four months later we were en route to our new home and I was feeling a mixture of anger and terror. Before I left all of my neighbors and friends had given me advice like, “Just keep smiling and you will make plenty of friends” or “Get involved and say hello to everyone you see”. But I refused to make new friends, which left me lonely and depressed. I was unhappy all the time; and I started having anxiety attacks because I was so miserable. Sometime during the end of my sophomore year I hit rock bottom, I grew tired of being lonely and only then did I let myself accept that I would finish high school in Texas. At this point I realized what people had been telling me all along, so I decided to take their advice. I tried out for the school dance team and made several acquaintances that are now my closest friends.

Four years later as I made the transition into college, I was prepared. While many of the people I knew could not adjust to the change, I had learned. I had found out, from experience, that it is vital to join and organization so I went through rush for a sorority. I knew that I needed to step out of my comfort zone, and talk to people that I usually wouldn’t, and I did. And now, while lots of students are giving up and transferring to schools closer to home, I am “living it up” and having the time of my life. It took much more than kind advice and helping words to make me realize what it takes to be able to change environments. I had to find out, on my own, a good way to acclimate myself.

I believe in learning from experience, not your family or friends, but personal experience. Sometimes it takes a lot of tears and failed attempts to learn a lesson the right way, but if it comes from your own mistakes, the knowledge gained is well worth it.