Turning obstacles into opportunity, by Justin T.

When faced with adversity or encountering a major obstacle in my life, I think of a famous quote from Dr. Martin Luther King. The saying states,”The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”Growing up, I’ve experienced many setbacks throughout my childhood. Whether it be moving from place to place or me adjusting to high school. I spent, on average, two or three years at every school I went to during my elementary school years. My experiences taught me to not take certain relationships for granted and get to know more people. They also gave me some perspective on people from different places and different cultures.

For me, moving was a great learning experience and taught me to not take my relationships for granted. I had close friends whom I had never said goodbye to. Every time I moved, I never really got to say a proper goodbye to some of my close friends. It’s always felt like something was missing, sort of empty. Preparing to move to Hinsdale, thoughts of old friends and some family members left behind filled my head. Thinking of my friends, I wondered if I would ever see them again. Knowing that I’ll be in a different state in a different region for the next four years made the feeling even more intense. While on the road from Arizona to Illinois, we experienced many different types of weather. It was during the Summer. So we went through dry heat, humid heat, and windy climates. The ride was pretty long, so it gave me lots of time to reflect.

When I had first arrived at my new home, the days leading up to the beginning of my freshman school year became seemingly endless. The minutes felt like hours, and the days felt like weeks. I woke up the morning of my first day of high school and wondered how different the people at Hinsdale would be than my old school. On my first day here at Hinsdale Central, I didn’t know anyone. But, I did know that I was going to stay here for all four years, which made me more comfortable in my own skin. The move made me wonder,”What’s next?” There were still adjustments for me to make coming to a new school on a new level and higher curriculum. I had some major adjustments that had to be made. Freshman year, I struggled and felt that I needed to catch up with the more advanced curriculum. But, as the years went by I have seen a gradual improvement throughout my four years of high school and have adjusted pretty well to the environment. During the first week of school, I realized that it wasn’t that much of a difference between the people that went to my old school and Hinsdale.

Regarding the differences in pace, it was noticeable. Keep in mind that this was pretty much the biggest move of my life. At my previous schools on the west coast (Arizona), they never really rushed things. Here in Illinois, I noticed that it’s much more fast-paced. That being said, I had to change how I do things overall.

As Winter approached, the difference in weather between Arizona and Illinois was extremely evident. I had never really experienced snow beside when I visited my family in Chicago. There is a big difference between visiting and actually living here. The first winter was the harshest, and the weather got the best of me. Temperatures were sub-zero, which I had never experienced.
Reflecting upon the adverse times in my life, I think that I’ve adjusted quite well to the environment, speed, and curriculum. With these experiences, adjusting to the campus in a new city should be an easier transition and I will utilize my ability to adapt.

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