Never Be Afraid of Change
About a month ago, I did an internship at a dental office, shadowing for my dental class at CDC. As a senior, and because it was my second year in that class, getting an internship at a dental office was a requirement in order to get my certificate.
And let me tell you: during the month and a half that I was there, I was so miserable. I was the most unhappy I had been in a really long time. I wasn’t upset because I ended up hating the work; I was more upset at the fact that I had to go through it because it was something that I needed to get done. By doing this I was going against what I believe in. I always tell people, “if you’re not happy then don’t do it; if you don’t like something in your life then change it.” But after I went through this miserable internship, I realized that sometimes you have to do things that you don’t really want to do.
The dental assisting experience made me realize a lot of things. I realized that in high school I was able to just do what I wanted to do. I was able to be free. Now, leaving high school and entering adulthood, I am not able to be as free as before. I’m going to have to do things that I don’t always want to do. I also realized that in the midst of it all, I don’t want to lose myself. I don’t want to change the person that I am today because of the things that I might have to go through or because of the people that I might meet along the way.
A few years ago, during my sophomore year, I had a great friend who moved away because of family and before she left she said “never change, always fight for what you believe in and always stay true to who you are in order to be happy.” Back then, I didn’t really understand what she meant because I thought, well why would I ever change? Although, now I understand what she meant: when people change, they never realize that they do. And that’s what I am afraid of. I am afraid to become someone that I am not.
During my internship at the dental office, two of the assistants would tell me things like, “don’t waste your time here,” or “this isn’t for you,“ or “why did you even choose to study this?” I constantly felt like I wasn’t allowed to be me. Yet, all I would answer to them was “well, I’ve been doing nails and working at a nail salon since I was 15 years old, and I realized that is what I love to do.” When I told these ladies that, they would ask: “is that even enough pay?” or ”you like working weekends?” or say “you’re gonna’ regret not going to college.” And you know what? I didn’t answer any of their questions! After I left, I couldn’t believe myself. I couldn’t believe myself for not answering them or defending my dreams. The fact that I didn’t really upset me. I don’t ever want to stay quiet about things that are important to me. I want to continue to be the opinionated person I am, and I want to grow from that. I want to keep going forward instead of backward.
Throughout my journey, I’ve realized I am so lucky to have everything that I do. Sometimes, I think about if someone would have told me that I would have the life I have when I was 5. I would have told them they were crazy. Every day, I am doing things I never thought that I would. Although I hated doing the internship, it was a learning experience for me. I learned that it’s okay that things don’t always end up the way that you want them to. I learned that I’m not gonna be the same person I am today five years from now, and that’s okay, too. Four years ago, I was an incoming freshman who was just 14 years old and didn’t know who I was. I struggled to find myself and what made me happy. I didn’t know what I wanted, and I felt like I had to be like everybody else. I was afraid to be different. Today, I stand here as a senior entering adulthood–someone who’s strong, independent, knows exactly what she wants, is ready to fight for what she believes in, and is not willing to change for anybody. From here on, I’m only going forward, and I’m ready for anything that God wants to throw my way. I thank him for all the blessings he has sent me throughout my whole life, and I thank him for all of the obstacles he put in my path. Overcoming such obstacles has helped me be able to make it to today.