NEW COLUMN: Will I really change?


By Naomi Ornstein, Ninth grade

Aug. 29, my first day as a student at Shalhevet High School. My first day of an ongoing four-year journey.

The feeling of being the youngest in a school was something I hadn’t felt in a while. Walking the halls that day brought back memories of being new to school on my first day of kindergarten.

For the previous four years, I had only looked at Shalhevet as my older brother’s school, a place where I knew he felt at home. That Wednesday, at time I felt as if I was still in my older brother’s shadow, and having a junior scream out “Oh my God, that’s Daniel Ornstein in a wig!” as I walked into davening merely reinforced that feeling. However, I knew that as school went on, I would establish my own presence and identity.

Knowing that these next four years would shape my own future and solidify my identity was scary. And knowing how much I was going to change over the next four years was even scarier.

I spoke to a senior at Shalhevet the other day about everything from classes to friendships. I took in everything she said but there was one thing she told me that I couldn’t get out of my head. “As a freshman I would have never guessed I would end up being friends with the people I consider my best friends today, it’s crazy how much my friend group has changed.”

I couldn’t believe it. My initial thought was that I loved my friends and I knew for a fact that I wanted to stay close to them throughout high school.

After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that the main reason I was scared was that I knew things would change. Change is a frightening thing. Our brain is used to our routine in which we do the same things over and over again, and when our routine changes our brain has to adjust as well.

I then realized that accepting change would be way easier than resisting it, and that not only would my surroundings change, but so would I. I am going to mature in many ways, and am going to develop new thoughts and opinions about both myself and others, and in the end it doesn’t matter if I have the same opinions or friends as I did freshman year. What matters will be that I have tried new things and taken advantage of all the incredible opportunities in front of me.