Looking Back, Moving Forward

Over the past year, a lot of things have changed in our lives.

Ok...thats putting it mildly. So much has changed recently that sometimes I doubt that anything will ever be normal again. Now I realize that, to a certain extent, change will never stop. Nothing will ever be the same again. But at the same time, I'm learning that, even though it may seem horrible at the time, there is hope in change. Change doesn't HAVE to be bad. Some change can be good for us and those around us. Here's the way I see it.

It started a year ago. Well, more than that really. Actually no one's really sure exactly when it started. We just know that it happened and we had no control over it. We all knew Gilead (my school) was having trouble--they had been for a while. We just never really thought that something that seemed so small to us (well, at the time it seemed pretty irrelevant anyways) could turn our lives in a totally different direction. We had no idea exactly how bad it was until March. That's when we got the letter. The school was closing. I don't think anyone really knew how to react. It was so sudden; without much warning, the world began to crumble down around us, not just because we realized that we would have to leave, although that was one of the worst parts for me. But we also worried because we knew how hard it was going to be on our parents trying to get us into a GOOD school somewhere that they could actually afford.

Gilead had been my security blanket in a sense. It was the only world I had ever been exposed to. It was the only thing I knew. And trust me--there were plenty of things I didn't like about it. But sometimes you have to overlook the small stuff that really doesn't matter in the long run and focus on what you have learned and how it can help you in the future. And for me, that was the hardest part: moving on. Adapting to change isn't exactly my cup of tea. I like to have definites, to know everything that's going on so I can be prepared for anything. And when I found out about GCA closing, my entire bubble was shattered. I had no idea what to expect. There were no more certainties except for the fact that my life was being turned upside down, and I had nothing to hold on to.

Enter Covenant Academy. My grandparents had been looking at the school for a while before the news about GCA, but that didn't make me feel any better about the possibility of going there. Then I found out that I HAD to shadow so I could take the test. I remember thinking "Holy cow...they're making me shadow and now I have to take a test??? Shadowing's bad enough!!" Unfortunately for me, I was dragged almost by my hair to CA on April 29. (and yes i remember the date...but only because i dreaded it so much.) I cried twice that morning. (Yes, the girl who everybody sees on the outside as constantly stoic and completely emotionless actually cries every once in a while.) I hated it before I even stepped into the halls of that perfectly structured brick building full of people who think theyre better than everybody else (yeah...as much as i cant stand ppl judging other people...i do it too. especially that day.) Thankfully they took me into a room to take the test right after I got there so I didn't have to actually introduce myself to anyone. And that's where I stayed. For the entire three hours it took me to take the tests. (I had to take the pre algebra AND algebra tests plus the reading and writing the paragraph.) When I was (finally) done, I went upstairs to not so enthusiastically join the ninth grade class (I refused to call them MY class even though I knew that I was probably stuck going there). The rest of the day, I talked as little as possible. One thing that I did notice that REALLY bugged me was that, at lunch, everybody was split up. Ninth grade girls sat together. The jocks sat together. Gilead had their fair share of that too, but not nearly as bad. (then again Gilead was a LOT smaller.) I was determined that if i had to go there, i was going to do something about it (it's still not great...but it seems alot better now than that day last year!!)

So the next day I went back to GCA. Nobody asked me how it went (probably because i hadent told anyone i was even going). I just kept quiet about it. Eventually the class found out (although i dont remember how...). A few weeks later, I got the letter. I had been accepted, but I would have to go to summer school (along with Jess, Stina, Matthew, Hunter, and Dretti) for algebra. I thought my life was over (and not because of summer school...I really couldnt have cared less about that). I knew then that my life was definitely never going to be the same again.

Fast-forward to July 3. Summer school started that day. It wasn't as horrible as I expected it to be (except for the fact that we were SOOOOOO far behind in math it was crazyyy!!!). And the school was huge (well, compared to Gilead anyways...). Even after a month of summer school I still couldn't find the classroom. (then again my sense of direction is pretty much useless...haha...remember BJU jess?? :P) Other than that (and the fact that I didn't know anyone that went there), I was feeling pretty optimistic about school starting(well..i didn't WANT it to start...i mean come on...its school...nobody wants to go back...but i didn't dread it quite as much.)

Orientation night was less than two weeks later. The teachers seemed nice, but I still wasn't thrilled with it overall. The first day of school actually wasn't that bad. My classes were good. The teachers were nice. But that was about it. And so it went...for the rest of the week anyways. The next Monday wasn't horrible, but that's when it really hit me. Everything was so different. I hated it. I wanted everything to go back to how it was before. I cried every day. And you know those dents in my phone? yeah. I threw it . really hard. A few times. (And somehow it still works....?) Finally, sometime between throwing my phone and crying until my eyes hurt, I realized that I couldn't change anything. I wasn't doing myself (or my phone) any good. (except the crying...it was the first time since April, so I really needed to.)

Everything gradually got better. I still felt the same loneliness, but I dealt with it better (well,put it this way...I haven't thrown any potentially harmful objects since then...). But sometime (most likely oneof the many nights that I couldn't go to sleep), I thought back on everything that had happened. And I tried to find at least SOMETHING positive about all of it. And then it hit me (no...not the frisbee...). I realized that even though I didn't have many close friends, the friendships that I did (and do) have are so much stronger than before. Changing schools changed everything...but not necessarily in a bad way. Now that I look back on all the people that I've known and everything I've been through, I can see how changes like this have been good for me.Through this I've learned that even people who are bad influences can teach you something positive: they show you what NOT to do in life. (It's always helpful to have people around that have made mistakes before...that way you're forewarned so you know not to make the same bad choices they did.) But more than anything, going through all of this together has drawn so many of us closer. It's shown us that the people that really matter in life are the ones that are always there,even when something bad happens. The only way I've gotten through all of this is with the help of my friends. So this is for you--the ones who have always been there and always will be, no matter what life throws at us. If you ever need anything, I'm here for you. It won't always be easy, but one way or another we'll make it through. Cheers!!! *raises coffee mug*





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