Change is necessary for growth

by Zahraa Ahmed

2022. A year with a lot of change, but change is necessary to grow, to experience, to learn and to mature.

I have lived at home my entire life with little to no freedom or independence, so moving to a new city to complete my Honours degree was like having my tectonic plates shifted with a massive earthquake, and when it was over my life had completely changed in almost every way. I remember the first day I landed in Cape Town. It felt so surreal as if I was dreaming and all I could feel around me was magic. It took me a long time to get into a routine with a new flat, transport arrangements and a massive campus that I knew nothing about. Responsibility definitely grows but I suppose the hardest change was being in a place where I didn’t know a single person. As an introvert you can see how that was my Mount Everest. The first 6 months was the most difficult time in my life. The demanding workload and no break lead to a constant burnout state, and being away from my family’s support structure and feeling alone almost every day made me feel like I wasn’t going to make it to the end of the year. But as each week ended I ticked it of my year schedule and at some point I looked at it and was surprised by how far I’ve come. We always underestimate our capabilities. It took some time but I began to make friends and started feeling truly happy again. I could have completed my Honours degree at home but I chose to challenge myself. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. Change is scary but sometimes you just have to be like a bison and withstand any storm that comes your way.

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