Turn and Face the Strange

In Colorado, the weather is always changing.  Just this week, it was snowy one day, 60 degrees and sunny the next.  While this change is often a welcome respite from the dreariness of winter or the intensity of summer, it sometimes causes me, and others, anxiety.   

But change is not necessarily a bad thing; it opens new opportunities, makes us more flexible, and provides a new pace of life. However, change is also inherently stressful. It forces us to take our routines and throw them out the window, to take what we thought we knew and guess again, to release what is normal and comfortable from our grasp. 

Breaking out of our old ways is certainly easier said than done. There is comfort in the familiarity of watching the same Netflix shows, eating the same breakfast, playing the same board games. Still, I find it comical that, at a school where we literally change our course of study and schedule every three and a half weeks, students are so resistant to even the smallest of changes. I have several examples. 

Illustration by Annabel Driussi

The first change that students refuse to stop griping about is the crosswalks. I get it, the crosswalk change forces us to take new, sometimes longer paths to which we are not accustomed. But is it so bad that we must find new routes? Is it that much more time-consuming to take a few extra steps, and, God forbid, actually get a little more exercise and fresh air? 

The decision was made at the city level, and the grounds and construction workers worked hard to complete it. There is really nothing we can do about the crosswalk situation other than dealing with it. 

The same goes for the removal of the large plates in Rastall. Students acted as if the world was shattering when they discovered that they’d have to get up more often in the dining hall to get food. Who cares if those large plates potentially created extra food waste? At least we weren’t bothered to get refills as frequently. It was another instance where, despite the familiar reality being a completely ineffectual waste of time, change resulted in tons of complaining. 

And then there are the changes that influence people everywhere, not just at Colorado College. If I had a nickel for every time there was an iOS update — or an update to any social media platform, for that matter — that caused immeasurable grief, I’d be rich. No matter what technological changes come with an application update, people seem to think that the change is dumb and a nuisance. Nevermind that a week later, everyone has become accustomed to the update and has forgotten that it even occurred. This is the root of people’s exaggerated anger over change: not being used to it. 

As students who are constantly adapting to the requirements of the Block Plan, I firmly believe that we can do better. We can take small changes such as these in stride, as we do every month, without complaint. We should see change not as something to battle against, but as a blessing, something that can improve our functioning and flexibility. A change is just something we’re not used to, but we can be if we don’t resist it. We are so fortunate to attend a school that challenges us to roll with the punches; why not exercise that skill on even the smallest of changes?  

Sarah Laico

Sarah Laico

Sarah is a junior from Warwick, New York. After being Head Writer of her high school paper, she has enjoyed continuing her passion for journalism working at the Catalyst. An outdoors enthusiast, Sarah loves to rockclimb, hike, ski, and trail run, and she also is a backpacking, rafting, and climbing leader for the Outdoor Education Center. When she is not editing for the Active Life section at the Catalyst or monitoring at CC's Ritt Kellogg Climbing Gym, Sarah can be found playing drums and eating cereal.

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