By Aliesa Bahri
I have never been a big fan of change. In fact, I hate it.
I’ve always hated any type of change, from wearing skinny jeans, to changing my hairstyle, to eating different kinds of foods. I am one of those people who still pick out vegetables from my food when no one is looking. I get that they are good for me, but I still can’t bring myself to eat all vegetables. I’ve always been afraid to try something new. After a while, I realized that if I kept on like this I would never be able to go to college, get a job or even go on vacation to another country.
Slowly, but surely, I decided that I was going to take a new approach on my life. I decided that this was going to be the year I was going to make changes and experiment. I like writing but I had never written for an audience. I was terrified that I was going to be a bad writer, a failure, and that my terrible articles would be online forever. However when my first article got published, I felt that a large weight had been lifted off. I felt empowered, I felt that I was ready for change after all. I decided that I was going to apply to go on a school trip to China as part of Global Week.
My parents didn’t want me to go as they were not sure that I was ready for it, after all I was still fussy about what I eat and how I slept. But I decided I was going to try to go anyway, and they agreed to let me. In China, I’m supposed to live with a Chinese girl and her family. I have never had Chinese food, except for noodles and fried rice and I feel daunted at the thought of eating it for the length of my trip. But some thing tells me that I will survive and even enjoy the experience. My teachers tell me that the Chinese girls speak and understand English, which is reassuring, however I am nervous about communicating with their parents. I believe that not all adults in the family speak and understand English. I hope that my Chinese friend is able to translate for me and that I am not too homesick. I have also signed up to go to Costa Rica this summer on a Spanish immersion program with my seventh-grade Spanish class. My trip to Costa Rica will be different from the trip to China as we will enjoy a new culture and practice our Spanish. I hope to return home fluent in Spanish.
However, the biggest change that I might make this year still looms ahead of me. I might actually be changing schools. It might not seem like much, but for me it is a big deal. I am really worried about fitting in. I am scared that the girls at my new school might not like me. I decided that the best way to find out would be to shadow at this school. The school assigned me to a very nice girl who called me the day before to make me comfortable. She seemed lively, and welcoming at the same time. She showed me around the campus and took me to three of her classes. She seemed to have great friends and teachers. I enjoyed watching them laugh together and hoped that I would be as lucky when my turn came. I’m not as worried about fitting in anymore.
The other part of changing schools that worried me was the thought of losing my old friends. After all, we had been a group of four since kindergarten. Sure, we were always fighting and disagreeing, but we were still friends and I was worried that I would miss them. However, the day spent shadowing made me realize that I could always make new friends; hadn’t my buddy just told me that she had only started last year, yet she looked like she had been there for ever? As for my friends, I will always be friends with them, no matter what happens.
I decided to tell them them that I might be switching schools next year. What surprised me was that they were sad at first, but then accepted it—even before I got used to the idea myself. They even said they would help me prepare for the test so I could get in.
I learned that change doesn’t mean giving up on the things or people you love, it was another opportunity to add more relationships and friends. So the next time, you are worried about trying something new, try it and see what happens.
Editor's Note: Twelve-year-old Aliesa Bahri is a Los Altos Hills resident. Los Altos Patch welcomes student opinion pieces. E-mail Patch at email@example.com and we'll discuss!