Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


A Teen's View


Olivia Sielaff

(7/10) For ages people have fantasized about having the power to stop or reverse time. We've seen it on television where people can travel through time. We've read in books like T.H. White's The Once and Future King where Merlin the magician actually lives backwards through time. And we've all imagined about one day being able to go "back to the future" to a special memory in our lives or to fix something that didn't turn out the way we had hoped. Nevertheless, there has always been something in human instinct that wants to hold on to the present as much as possible. We don't want to forget someone. We don't want to forget something. We like things to stay the way they are. At the bottom of it all, we don't want things to change.

Moving from one house to another is a big change that most people experience. Luckily I've only moved once, so far. But that impacted my life in such a positive way that I'm certain I would be living a completely different life than I am now. I remember when our family moved here about eight years ago, I kept thinking it was all a dream and that I'd wake up in my old bedroom. But of course that never happened. It took me awhile to realize that I had to make new friends and get used to a different house. If I kept wishing I were back at our old house, I would have missed new opportunities to adjust in our new neighborhood. Consequently, moving can be a big adjustment for people. However, after the move, we almost always find the need to make new friends.

Like most people, I didn't want to leave my friends and family behind when we moved. I thought I would never see my friends again. Of course, I was being a little dramatic, even though I was only six or seven years old. These were the first people I had ever known, and I would have to start all over again to make new friends. It was hard at first, because I kept wishing I were back with my old friends and I would write them letters all the time (before I had e-mail and then Facebook). But eventually the letters between my friends and I became fewer and fewer, and so I needed to search for new friends in my new neighborhood. I would still have my old friends, and I would visit my family often, but it was time to change.

The first friends I made here in Emmitsburg turned out to be my neighbors and my best friends. My other neighbor introduced me to the two sisters. I was pretty shy at the time, but they wanted to know me right away. Quickly we became best friends and we would play everyday for hours in their backyard and in their room just goofing around and using our wild imaginations. They would invite my family and I to their huge family events, and I became like their cousin. To this day we do spontaneous, crazy things and enjoy each other's company. I'm so glad that I decided to make that change and meet new friends!

A further change that impacted me so greatly was joining another homeschool group after we moved. Where we used to live, we were involved with a homeschool co-op, and I had a few friends there. But when we moved to Emmitsburg, we needed to find another group. As I was entering eighth grade, my family heard about a homeschool group that met twice a week and offered classes based on a classical education. I had never heard of something like this before, but I was willing to give it a try. That was probably one of the best changes I have made so far. I have learned to love learning, I have learned how to teach myself, and most of all I have learned the value of friendship.

Lastly, this past year has seen me through many changes as well. They are not so much physical changes as they are 'growing up' changes I suppose you could say. One of the hardest changes I've had to deal with this year is seeing my highschool senior friends prepare to leave for college. Some of them aren't going very far, and I'll be seeing them throughout the summer, but just knowing that they won't be at school with me next year is, quite frankly, hard to accept. I've grown up with these friends all through highschool, and we're so close-knit that to not see them twice a week at school is going to be difficult. Towards the end of this past school year, I came to realize how different it is going to feel at our homeschool group without the seniors there. My class will soon be in their place and we'll have to set the standard for the rest of the highschoolers.

That leads me to becoming a senior this fall! Just the changes that come with that are overwhelming. Back in ninth or tenth grade, the idea of college was in the back of my head, and I thought, "I have plenty of time until I have to start thinking about it." But my highschool years have gone by so quickly that sometimes it seems I don't have enough time to adjust to the change. I've realized that this summer will have to be filled with college applications, scholarship searches, preparing for the SATs again, and figuring out what I want to major in. By far, this has been a change that is hard to think about, but I'm ready for it.

These changes throughout my life might not seem too significant to some people, but they've shaped me into a young adult and taught me to accept unavoidable change since I can't have control over it most of the time. Moving into a new house taught me that a change of scenery is good sometimes, and no one should stay in the same place for very long. Making new friends, instead of longing to see my old friends, made me more outgoing and taught me to be open to meeting new people.

Joining another homeschool group changed the way I learn, gave me a unique education, and opened the door to so many other friends who are like a second family to me. Watching my senior friends prepare for college showed me that it takes maturity and responsibility to make the leap from highschool to college, and that I have to accept that people do grow up and move on. And finally, becoming a senior has taught me to take on more responsibility for my education, my future, and myself.

Everyone has experienced change in his or her life. Sometimes it's for the better and sometimes it's for the worse. We know there will be change, but usually we don't want to face it. Humans can become so complacent at times and never want things to be different. That's why we've all dreamed of being able to stop time. In many instances I've felt the same way. However, looking back from when we moved here to the present time, I can see how much I've changed for the better. At times I might not have thought a certain change was good or beneficial to me, but everything that had changed has prepared me for more evolutions in my future. Because I can't stop time and keep things the way they are, the way I like them, I've learned to change with time. And that's all part of this life. We aren't meant to never grow up and stay the same. We must adapt, change, and mature to face whatever else time may bring us. And I believe I'm ready for that.

Read other articles by Olivia Sielaff