Small-Town Bubble

Julene - Valparaiso, Indiana
Entered on December 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change
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I believe in change.

In my life there have been many opportunities that have helped me appreciate the challenges and prospects that come with change. My life was unexpectedly altered when I was forced to move from Holden, Utah, to Valparaiso, Indiana. It was challenging to be uprooted from my childhood foundation and thrown into an unfamiliar, and even at times, threatening environment. Despite these difficult adjustments, the move became an indispensible opportunity to embrace change in my life.

My Dad once told me something that I have always remembered, “As knowledge comes, ignorance goes”. When I lived in Holden, Utah it had a population near 500 people. The school was about 12 miles away in a slightly larger town; there were around 80 students in my grade. Unfortunately their main focus was not academics, but rather sports. So it’s fair to say I was quite ignorant of society outside my “small-town bubble”. Before the move to Valparaiso, I thought myself very intelligent. I had received good grades and did very well in my classes, especially excelling in math and the flute. So when I moved it only made sense that I enroll in an honors math course and join the band program. Well, I quickly realized I didn’t understand math nearly as well as I’d once thought; nor was I as musically gifted as I had once imagined.

That first year was so hard. I could have let my fear of inadequacy overpower me, but instead I thrived upon the difficulties of this great change, allowing it to open my life to priceless opportunities. In Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints community was very tightly knit. In contrast, members of the church are scarce in Indiana, so I learned to rely upon my own testimony rather than leaning on that of my friends. I had the chance to learn French, which was not offered at my previous school, and I had the opportunity to develop life long habits: exercising, journal-writing, reading books, managing time, and studying the scripture. I have grown so much from that one change in my life.

Change has had a positive influence on my life. It has helped me live in the moment, not for the moment. I have moved past the fear of change and embrace the opportunity to learn new things. Even if the adjustment is hard, nothing happens without a purpose, and everything will work out in the end.