By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Moving sucks. Coming from someone who has lived in three different towns and four different homes, I can tell you from experience. It's never any fun, especially when you're younger. If you're young or old enough where moving doesn't matter, then great. However, if you fall within that teenage range where moving and/or changing schools is a major change for you and your social life, then it's not the best experience. However, with all the media in effect this day and age, it's so much easier to keep in contact with old friends through Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. It's like you never left. Kids several years ago didn't have that luxury, so once you moved away, you were slightly never seen or heard from again. Thankfully, that's no longer the case.
Personally speaking, I moved for the first time during the summer before my freshman year of high school. It was the next town over, so it wasn't like I'd be moving to an entirely different state and would never be able to see my old friends again. It was also perfect timing since it was right before high school, so I was able to enjoy my eight grade year with all my friends and going into a new school allowed me to make new ones. Most of the class, of course, already knew each other from middle school, but there were other kids who had also had the tag of being the 'new kids on the block' and therefore I wasn't the only one. That way, it wasn't as hard of a transition because everyone was getting to know each other (for the most part) anyway.
Unfortunately, some kids aren't as lucky. Moving while you're in elementary school isn't as big of a deal because you haven't formed many lifelong friendships. The older you get, the harder it is to say goodbye to people you've had a friendship with. Middle school and especially high school are the worst times for that to happen when the dreaded 'cliques' and classic 'survival of the fittest' mindset are at their peak. The thought of moving away from your hometown may be scary, but for some, like myself, it can be exciting. You'll undoubtedly be nervous about moving and switching schools regardless of whether you want it to happen or not, but for those that don't like their school system or possibly the people they attend school with, this is the ultimate opportunity to start anew.
I didn't particularly dislike the town I first lived in before I moved away, but moving to a new town and looking back on it, I realized that it was the best thing that could have ever happened. The first town I lived in was full of a lot of 'fake' people and politics. Granted, after a few years, I'd grow sick and tired of the town I moved to as well, but the first place I resided was even worse. I knew as soon as I moved that summer of 2009 that this was the perfect chance to reinvent myself. In the process, I tried being someone I wasn't and it just wasn't a comfortable fit. It wasn't until maybe my sophomore or junior year that I finally found myself and stopped being something I wasn't.
Another mistake I made after moving was publicly trashing the town I used to live in. Only weeks removed from moving, I took it to Facebook to trash the town and the people living in it. Yes, it's okay to have a gripe with your school system or classmates, but it's a whole other thing to be very outspoken about it. I would speak openly about how I strongly disliked high school many years later, but that was a least a less less public and vocal. In this specific instance, I didn't have much to rant about unlike when I was on the verge of graduating. I just took shots at the town for the sake of taking shots. I held nothing back and was intentionally obnoxious about it. It got me a lot of 'heat' from people I used to go to school with. And the biggest problem? I'd still visit there every once in a while anyway! The least I could have done was not go back at all to back up my claims.
I'd move to another town once again during the summer before my senior year of high school, but unlike the first time, I wasn't entering college. I was going into my senior year and saw it as being pointless to switch school systems if I had only one year left. As much as I despised my school system, I didn't want to start anew with one year left. I would've probably hated my last year of high school more than I eventually did, so what I did instead was make the drive from my new house to my old high school. Yes, it was a 30 minute drive and it might not have even been allowed, but I somehow managed to get away with it for a whopping nine months and made it work. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel: graduation. It was a terrible experience for sure, but it was well worth it in the end.
Moving can not only take a toll on you mentally, but it can take a toll physically as well. Having to pack up all your things, transferring it all and then unpacking everything can be quite the hassle. For me, I felt like I was on the verge of going insane after the sight of so many boxes in my new house a few years ago. I was beyond the point of exhaustion and thankfully since it was summer, I was able to relax and recuperate in the days that followed. The best feeling you can get from moving is when you finally feel moved in. Once everything is put away and where it should be, you get the chance to soak it all in and come to the realization that the stressful process of moving is over with at last.
When you're young, being told that you have to move may come across as unfair. As you get older, you realize you just don't have a choice. Whether it be due to getting a new job or something else financially related, your parents don't have much of a choice, either. They realize what you have to give up in moving, so don't blame them. It's just the way it is. So, instead of complaining about it, go along with it. You can rant and rave all you like, but it's not going to change the fact you're moving, so might as well deal with it. It'll make the transition from Point A to Point B that much smoother.
As noted before, moving is more than often looked at as a negative thing. As much as it may suck to leave your lifelong friends and the home you've always lived in, look at it as an opportunity to start anew. Look at it as a challenge, as a way to branch outside your comfort zone. In making friends in the place you move to, you now have twice the amount of friends you had before! Your life may have been great before the move, but strive to make it even better with the move. Life rarely presents you with a 'do-over.' Take it and make the most of it.
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