By Isabella Rudnick
Childhood Matters Youth Ambassador
Throughout my middle school experience, I never thought about when I would leave the school. In my life, I always knew which schools I would attend, until an opportunity for a better education came into perspective for high school. When I first decided to go to a different school than all my friends, it didn't bother me as much. Now that school is out and realization has suddenly struck, I realize that I am losing them. The transition to middle school was not as harsh because of COVID, so I didn't have a big issue with that. However, starting a new school where I don't know anyone petrifies me. I don't want to be alone. The fear of loneliness has taken over, causing me to "shut down" and act accordingly. I became jealous of all the fun times my friends would share without me, which made me angry. I'm not sure why I feel this way since I made the choice to go where I am going. Regret has struck me time and time again, wondering if this was the right choice for me. These thoughts in my mind have pushed me further into isolation and anger, directed at people who didn't cause my "issue" or "problem."
After experiencing waves of anger and loneliness, I came to a conclusion. No matter where you go, change will happen. Decisions have to be made based on yourself, not on other people. One of the reasons I chose this school is because larger crowds or groups trigger my anxiety, so a smaller school environment is the best option for me, not necessarily for my friends. I had to realize that everybody's path is different. Also, I came to understand that only true friends will want to stay in touch, meet up, hang out, and continue making memories, whether in middle school, high school, or even college. We shouldn't let our fears or anxieties about loneliness or change affect our decisions. Instead, we should view our new path forward as a new experience, not something to fear. We may not always be able to predict what will happen in the future, but without giving new experiences a try, we might miss out on something great.