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PLSouthside Scroll

Moving has ups and downs for teens

Leia Baxter

With the month of the military child coming up, it is important to know the impacts that moving schools in the middle of the school year may have on someone. I would like to share my experience with moving. Military kids here in Papio South might have had to move plenty of times due to the military job of at least one of their parents. Moving can be a difficult experience for many people; the cons might feel as though they outweigh the pros. However, I believe moving to another state or country is great despite all the temporary and/or long-lasting negatives. 

My family and I moved to Germany when I was in the second semester of the fourth grade, then we moved back to my birthplace in Omaha at the end of my sophomore year. At the time, I struggled to cope with emptiness and stress because my unofficially diagnosed (meaning diagnosed, but not treated) autism and selective mutism prevented me from communicating with others enough to befriend someone. For some odd reason I think moving was great for me in the long-term. Let’s ponder the effects of moving and find that reason. 

First of all, the reason our parents might decide to move is for a new job to keep us financially afloat. As a child, we might feel like our small world has been shattered for no apparent reason. Said shattering might be good for us because staying in the same place with the same people and the same culture could make a person a little narrow-minded. For example, if I did not move to another country I would not have fully appreciated my close friend back home. 

Speaking of friends back home, many people do not move early in their lives so they could face physical separation from family or a childhood friend due to moving. A positive for them is, if they stay in contact with whoever is leaving, they can learn more about the world outside their own home.

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Teenagers might be going through a tough time in their life, and moving sounds as though it could push them into the pit of stress. However, there are some positives to moving, such as starting over with a clean slate. Expanding one’s world view through new friends, new places and a new local culture can be great for teens who want to learn more about the world they live in. Another pro is the availability of new classes for those who move from a small school to a large school, which allowed me to join Journalism 1. 

Speaking of moving from one school to another, I feel sorry for those who move from a big school with a wide variety of classes to a smaller one with limited options. This is only one of many potential negatives. Physical separation from childhood friends can greatly diminish meaningful relationships. Said relationships can be terribly difficult to make for students who have to move every two years or so. The relationship I had with my close friend was totally demolished after I moved, because we could not maintain long-distance communication. 

Moving might not have perfect timing; summer is ideal, but trying to move at the most beneficial time is like throwing a dart. The stress and mountain of work military teens have to deal with in their new school might turn them into active volcanoes, building up frustration and anger until they burst or leak out through venting. Said venting can make others uncomfortable, but I understand people need to let strong emotions out. After all, I myself moved in the middle of a school year. 

In my new 4th-grade class in Germany, everyone was learning about multiplication, but I had never even heard of it before I came face-to-face with what appeared to be a diagonal plus sign. I overcame that challenge quickly, yet others were not so easy for me to handle. Shortening the distance between my close friend and I was not an option; my father needed a job. My younger self decided to wait for someone to ask me to be their friend, because that is how my close friend befriended me. After six and a half years alone, I moved back to Omaha a different person (which is to be expected, since I grew up). To make matters worse, my family and I had limited health care in Germany because my father is not on active duty; he is retired from the Air Force. Whatever struggles I had gone through could not be treated. 

In the end, I was glad I moved to Europe because there were beautiful landscapes, less snow and traffic and much more history than here in the U.S. Also, due to the recent pandemic, I started watching the news and forming opinions on American politics from outside the country, which gave me a glimpse into political journalism, the only career path I have truly felt interested in. 

The Covid pandemic had a certain effect on military kids because, in a time of crisis, our home country might feel safer than a place far away from immediate and/or extended family. As a student, my grades plummeted due to online classes, but I think my older sister had it worse because she could not go to college in Germany. A little positive I can think of is, since I lived in Germany during the brunt of the pandemic, I avoided poor executive response in the U.S.

Many might argue moving is an overall negative experience for teenagers because the stress and potential depression can be too much to handle. This argument is understandable; it is difficult to see anything positive come out of leaving your home and entering a place you are not familiar with. The German village I moved to was so much quieter than the hustle and bustle of Omaha that I worried about not having enough people around me to feel safe. I learned quickly that I was safe, because discomfort and fear do not last forever. A difference in scenery will eventually become a day-to-day visual.

I think what makes moving so powerful is it teaches us to adapt to change. The time it took for me to get used to living in an unfamiliar Omaha was less than the months it took for me to find comfort in Germany. That is truly worth it, because change is a common life experience, especially for teenagers becoming adults.

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About the Contributor
Leia Baxter
Leia Baxter, Staff Reporter
My name is Leia. This is my first year on staff. I am interested in opinions and reasoning. My hobbies are reading, playing video games, and relaxing. I hope a lack of communication will not prevent me from potentially helping others.
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