Friday 29 May 2015

5 things I learned from moving

In August of last year, I moved from a small village in Wales, where I had lived all my life, to a very different environment in England. Being transplanted from a place where I was happy and had some of the best friends a person could ever ask for, into a place that frankly seemed alien to me and was filled with strangers – that was very scary for me. No matter how much comfort and consolation I received from my friends, family, or anyone who knew of my leaving, I still felt like my heart had been ripped out and I was consumed by a dreaded anticipation for the moment that I would first enter my new school. A school where no one would like me, no one would even want to talk to me and they would all sneer at me and exile me from their ranks.

Fortunately for me, this school was not in existence.

I have learned many things from the move and I thought that I would share them, as some of you may be going through a similar thing. The things I have learned can be adapted to different situations, whether you’re moving job, school, going to university or wherever, I hope these can help you feel more at ease in your new surroundings.


1. People love difference

Although I was not moving out of the UK, Wales and England are still separate countries and with any distance comes different accents, slang, cultures, traditions and customs. My accent was probably the first thing to be noticed by anyone – simple ways I pronounced words enthralled people and, to be fair, it still comes up now even after I’ve been here nearly a year.

People just love to find out more about things they aren’t used to. It’s just the way we are. We have an urge to find out about new customs and how things are done in places we have never been before. If new people are brought up in conversation, it’s likely that the other person will want to know about them. They’ll want to know about your friends back home and the place you lived and went to school in before they knew you. If they’re not asking questions in a creepy way, it’s most likely that they’re just being friendly and inquisitive.

2. People are usually more than willing to make friends

Yes, not everyone will like you: but that’s fine, and they don’t necessarily have to have a reason. You don’t like everyone do you? However, since I’ve been in a new school most of the people I have met have been warm and friendly towards me. They’ve included me in conversations and been open to me. In general, humans can be ridiculously nice and we tend to forget that due to a few unsavoury individuals.

3. Fear can hold you back in a number of ways

Fear. It’s a horrible thing. The fears of being laughed at, of no one liking me, of not seeing my best friends anymore, and of failure were the ones I faced most when I moved (and, indeed afterwards as well). Initially, it held me back from attempting to even talk to people, and from getting my voice heard. Over time, I have come out of my shell somewhat; I put my hand up more in class, shared my opinions and have even let some people hear my feminist rants. Because I lost some of my fears I was able to be myself around people more than I would otherwise have done. I am not a naturally loud person, but I can have strong opinions and want to be heard (one reason why I started this blog) and having feared other people stopped me from doing that.

And on the fear of not seeing your friends, just remember this: if you’re truly friends then you will see them. The friends who didn’t care as much as you thought will come clear to you. Don’t give up on your best friends, though, the ones who you know truly count; when you’re back with them after months of separation and nothing in your relationship seems to have changed, be thankful for friends like them. You may not see them as often as you would like but it’ll happen. Count yourself lucky that we live in a world of social media, which makes it easier than ever to stay in contact with people.

Yes, you will miss your friends. So much that it hurts. But you can see them every so often, and you can still talk to them, even if it is through a screen.

4. Change is not always bad

I have never been fond of change, always been determined to see the bad side and never the good, until the good finally appears. For god's sake, don’t be like me! Change can be good and as much as I understand that, it can be hard to practise this in real life.

The change may seem daunting at first, but once it is in full swing and you start to reap the benefits, it’ll seem much better – believe me.

5. It’s not the end of the world

It may seem like everything is a bit of a shambles at the moment, and they may be so, but you don’t need to get yourself in a tizzy over it. Try and look on the bright side as much as you can and never get too down about it, otherwise, you’ll start wallowing in self-pity. Even if things seem really bad, there’s time to improve them.

You can always move back to that certain place when the time is right, you can see people who are special to you when you want and life will carry on. The world will keep spinning no matter what you’re doing and you have to keep going with it; live out your life just as well as you would have done if you hadn’t been put into this new situation, or live an even better one. This change could be the change that opens the door to something incredible.

Just give it a chance!

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