The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

A Whole New World

Hannah Shaffer, Features Editor

It’s been four years since I moved to Mansfield. Four years since transitioning to this Texas metropolis from a tiny town in West Virginia (what’s up, Shepherdstown) with less residents than Mansfield high school’s student population. I moved here as a tiny freshman, stereotyped as a coal miner because of my West Virginian origin. I’ve lived in Mansfield for four years now, and this is the longest I’ve lived in one place in almost ten years.

Ever since the fourth grade, I have moved every two years. It’s just been a part of my childhood experience because of my dad’s job. Some would hate this life – this life of constantly changing friend groups and cultures and languages. Who would want to leave their friends every two years just to move to a new place, attach new relationships, and repeat the process?

Personally, I love it.

Not only could I not imagine my life without it, I quite appreciate the change. Living in one place gets old. I get stir crazy. In the span of nearly ten years, I’ve switched from a hippie town to living overseas, back to said hippie town, and back to my home town of Arlington. Over the course of my entire 17 years of life, I’ve moved six times, called three different places my home, and lived in 11 different houses. This doesn’t include the apartments and temporary housing we occasionally occupied while our house was being built or our belongings were being shipped overseas (it takes upwards of three months).

Yeah, it’s a little… overwhelming.

Not to be cliche, but learning to be versatile has shaped my personality. First of all, I was a great little kid on long airplane rides. Nine-hour ride to a new country? Give me some crayons and a snack and I’ll be fine. This concept still applies. Making friends in middle school was a breeze; I used to be the quietest kid in the class, but after moving several times and learning how to make friends easier, I could work my way into social circles effortlessly.

Bottom line: I know a lot of people fear change. It can be scary, I suppose, but personally, I can’t imagine living without it. Change isn’t something to be feared — rather, something to be embraced. To me, it’s like a breath of fresh air, something new to tackle and occupy myself with. Instead of associating negative feelings with the aspect of change, the given chance for a new opportunity should be one to be enjoyed.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “A Whole New World”

  1. FastBoi on December 11th, 2017 9:30 pm

    Really interesting how that experience has turned you into the great person you are today!

    [Reply]

  2. love u on December 12th, 2017 10:41 am

    ur doin great sweatie

    [Reply]

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