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The Cliché of a New Beginning

Posted on 6th September 2016

Growing up is forever fraught with changes, which can often be daunting for the young mind, whether it be moving house, joining a club, or for many of us, starting College. To cope with this, adults tend to sugar coat the necessary yet unexpected step as a beneficial and healthy start.

New starts, fresh starts, the start of something new (apologies for the High School Musical quote). Our whole life is a continuous circle of never ending chapters, introducing us to different stages at different ages at different times. Of course, we are all expected to get on with it, and most of us do, but not without faults. These clichés which we are all so familiar with are often used to justify our struggles and worries, as hey - you can't have a rainbow without a little rain! Obviously this does not comfort the ever-stressed teen: in times of change, no matter how glossed over you make it, it is still a change, and will therefore take a blow to our routine of life.

Personally, I love a good routine. I like watching The Great British Bake Off, drinking a hot chocolate, wrapped up in a blanket. I like having lazy Sundays, where the only exercises I do is walking up the stairs to take a shower at 9pm. I like not waking up before 7, and will do anything in my power to avoid doing so. So, when these daily rituals are disrupted I am slightly thrown off. For example, although slightly groggy at a 7am start, I can still easily get through the day. However, if by some unforeseeable case I am forced to get up at 6.45am the day is basically like trying to walk up an icy slide in slippers.

Now, these are only minuscule happenings in my life, and although slightly annoying when changed, are more or less bearable to cope with. So, when the change of GCSEs to A Levels arrive, I think to say the affects of this are pretty shocking. My first week at College was strange. From going to a school of 700 in total, to a College with over 1000 students in one year alone is startling to say the least. Add on new subjects, new classrooms, new teachers and it creates one hell of a shock to the system.

As you may have already guessed, I am a late riser in the morning and like to go to sleep fairly late at night, yet in that first week of change my head hit the pillow at 9pm every night. This wasn't because the work was piled on by the hour, or down to the sudden shock of activity by trekking up the dreaded hill towards college. I believe it was simply down to one thing alone - the worry that I wasn't coping well with change, and that it was just me who felt like this.

Upon talking to my friends about this later on I found out that, obviously, it wasn't just me. Hearing how other people were coping equally just as bad in response to this "new start" helped me adjust and quickly settle in. The dismissal of struggle to cope with change does more harm than good: cheerily commenting that College is purely a fun challenge puts us under the false pretence that we need to immediately move on and adapt.

Clichés based on changes are simply an easy way out for the elder who doesn't want to take the time to listen. Smile and nod absently mindedly at this feeble attempt of comfort. No matter how long it takes to come to terms with the "new Start", you will eventually settle in to the swing of things.

Ella Mapes
(Studying A Levels in English Literature, Law and Modern History)