The Cultural Columnist

An analytical perspective to the news and experiences of the everyday

The Problem with Change

change

I have officially been accepted to the Discover the World: Europe program at St. John’s for next fall! I am very excited for this study abroad opportunity, considering it would be a huge advantage towards my career. This educational experience would perfectly highlight my ideals to escape ignorance and become more attuned to the world I live in. I am so very anxious to see the rich cultures of Italy, France and Spain.

BUT, I am a little nervous. It really is all very new. All of it. The overwhelming unfamiliarity of this opportunity intimidates me quite a bit. Not only will the environment be new, but I will not even be able to share my thoughts and experiences with anybody close to me. Not to mention how much I will miss my loved ones! Given I will make friends and such, nonetheless, it is four months away from home.

Now let’s be clear, I am going! (As long as the financial aid works out). So this uneasiness really does bother me. I am literally missing out on the excitement and anticipation of this incredible opportunity because of this inconvenient and foolish anxiety. But then I get to thinking, this anxiety is not uncommon either. This bothers me too.

It’s the change: the transition from something to another very different something. Isn’t that terrible? As I think more and more about it, I realize that the concept of change introduces this fear for the unknown. Whether it is a new job, a new house, a new town, a new relationship, or personal development, there is a worry for the outcome or the endpoint because one is so comfortable with the starting point. Or even the fear of failure. It has even been discussed that people would remain in the worst conditions to avoid change and so they could remain in the comfortable state of familiarity of their lives.
This is a problem. The result is that people remain stuck in this adaptive state of sameness and lack of mobility. They are then closed off from enriching and necessary experiences, ideas and transitions. So how, then, can one move forward or become better?

This problem is present in so many areas of society. Let’s not elaborate on personal issues like staying in a bad relationship or not moving to a new place, or staying in a crappy job, or not studying abroad! But how about racism—the refusal to integrate new cultures? How about adopting new laws because of the risks it poses? The adjustments, alterations, modifications, transformations, CHANGES are daunting.

I am in the process of becoming inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success and I admire how the society encourages students to ask themselves, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Given not all change is unwelcome because of the fear of failure, yet, the suggested initiative of this statement should be applied to those fearful of changes. No matter the deterrent, it is important to take risks and develop an open mind towards the possibilities. After all, who knows how far one can go if one does not push him/herself to go beyond their own limits?

With this said, in August, hoping all goes well, I will be on my flight to Europe.

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