With senior year and the new school year come a multitude of changes; the best way to approach them is to embrace them with open arms and a positive attitude. Photo Credit: Danijel Zekanovic

Saturday, 11:00 P.M.: “So much is changing. I can feel it all unraveling around me. Sometimes I wish I could stop time.”

Today, I helped my friend, who had also been my close neighbor for nearly 14 years, pack all of her belongings into the back of a car headed toward San Francisco. We spent the morning sitting in her bed for what I didn’t realize was more than likely the last time, and took a long, hard look at the newly sold house that would soon belong to someone else. My family and I watched her drive away, not knowing when we’d see her again.

With senior year approaching, today was only the first of a flood of changes to come.

Change is exciting and healthy and it is the reason the world exists as we know it, or objectively speaking, why the world is any good. I know all this and yet I can’t help but be fearful of change.

Change is the only way forward. Still, sometimes when I watch everything unfolding around me at once, all I want to do is stop time.

I am a firm believer in the idea that as humans, all we ever do is change. If a person isn’t changing, they are not learning, growing or improving. Change is the only way forward. Still, sometimes when I watch everything unfolding around me at once, all I want to do is stop time.

Comfort lives in sameness and familiarity. When change (especially significant changes or several changes at once) sets in, that comfort is lost— it can be exhilarating or scary or a combination of the two.

Fall— and the new school year— always tends to be a time of bountiful changes. With friends going away for college or pursuing bigger endeavors, there is an absence of familiar faces and a whole slew of new ones. The green leaves surrounding us transition into an amiable autumn red, and suddenly everything feels brand new.

Although it may be comfortable, routine and sameness can often suck the joy out of life. In my experience, staying in a routine long enough results in a drought of inspiration and a blocked up headspace. Spontaneity is what adds color to one’s life; I feel most alive while experiencing something for the first time.

At this moment, my friend is in San Francisco, learning the city, pursuing her dream and making it her home. Despite the fears, worries, or attachments to the past, she left everything she’s ever known behind. She grabbed change by the horns, said “go,” and went.

It’s easy to get caught in sentimental feelings when letting go of the past, or anxiety when engaging in new experiences; However, it’s important to prevent these worries and fears from claiming residency in your mind and acting as roadblocks to moving forward. Focus on the beauty that lives within the unknown; Welcome and embrace the changes as you would the changing leaves.