Take change and run with it

John McClatchy

Sometimes it feels like the world around you changes radically. That can be a good thing.
As I sit on my porch trying to think of what to write to conclude my four years at Malvern and on this paper, the only word I could think of is change.

It’s no secret that high school is supposed to be a formative time, and that usually means a whole lot of change in four short years. I’m no exception, and I don’t think I would have had it any other way.

Just about everything about me changed in between June of 2013 and June of 2017: new friends, new school, new interests and talents, and so on and so on.

Even my motivation as a reporter on this team has changed. Originally, an outlet for writing. Eventually, a place to meet and talk with some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, from politicians and candidates to new students and teachers. I’ve formed relationships with people that would not have been possible because of this change in outlook.

Change seems like a scary thing. People get so used to doing things “because that’s how it’s always been done” that they actively fight against a change that may be for the better. Or it may not be. What change does more often than not is teach us how we can respond to new situations, even if we don’t like that answer.

I’ve been scared of change more times than I can count. Things around me changed so often these past four years, but I’ve learned to deal with that a little bit. I’ve learned that does no good to whine about going back to how things were before, which is a lesson I admittedly still need to work on acting out.

I don’t know if me from eighth grade would recognize me now. That’s a cliche phrase, I know, but I really feel it. So much about me has changed, and frankly, I wouldn’t want to be me from eighth grade. It’d be impossible for me to live through so many of the experiences I have inside and outside Malvern and not change from four years ago.

I readily accept that I will change in the next four years, and the next four and next four. Life can stay constant for only a certain time before something needs to give. We can decide to try to cling to the familiar or go with the flow. It might be terrifying doing that, trust me I know that, but you come out better at the end for it.

Like I said earlier, close to everything about me changed. I came to Malvern playing football, nervous out of my mind, and listening to heavy metal. As a senior, I was heavily involved in theatre and music, was a whole lot less nervous about stuff (college applications aside), and now I listen to more folksy music and definitely less metal.

One constant in the changes I went through was Malvern. I really feel like this was the place for me as a person in a pretty tumultuous time. It developed me academically, artistically, personally, but also religiously. I may not consider myself Catholic, another change from four years ago, but Malvern has instilled in me a deeper understanding of God even if it’s not how the Catholic Church understands God.

I think Malvern was an incredibly formative experience for me. If I had gone anywhere else for school, I’d be a wholly different person. I’m a firm believer that a lot of who we are is built by the environment we are placed in, and boy am I glad I was put in this one.

It was at Malvern that I felt comfortable pursuing my academic and artistic interests and being respected by a lot of people for it, shattering a common perception of high school. I felt comfortable examining who I was as a person: what I believed in, who I admired, what I read, and what I wanted to do with my life.

This has been a lot of rambling, so I’m going to cut it off here before I lose my message. There is a lot in life that will change. People will enter and exit your life, jobs and school will come and go, and you’ll set bags down in a lot of different places. I’ll try and be ready for what is in store for me, and that’s all I, or anyone now that I think of it, can do in life.