Turning Over A New Page

Becky Weber and Kallie Brown

“Turning over a new page” is a term that indicates the coming of a new age. They are words that mean change.

They always tell you that high school will end, and suddenly you’re in “real life”. This is your chance to redefine who you are. You separate yourself from all the expectations of high school, and you get to decide who you want to be, around people with no notion of who you used to be. Life becomes yours to do with what you will, building it up brick by brick. What comes next is so much more pain and happiness; so many more tears and trials and payoffs. Everyone will depart into their own great unknown, be their own explorers, and discover for themselves what is next.

Once high school ends, there is nothing keeping you tied to your past personality. For those who have been unhappy with their status, once you leave your hometown, all that can change. Moving into college, no one knows who you were in your past. If you decide that you want to become that artsy girl who is obsessed with scrapbooking, do it. No one will question you.

In some ways, this opportunity is absolutely terrifying. With all that freedom, what’s stopping us from becoming recluses who do nothing except play Breath of the Wild in a dark cave of a room? What if I want to reinvent myself, but I don’t know how to become that idealized version of me? Leah Tegtmeier, Bingham senior, said that she was “excited and terrified at the same time” for what comes after graduation, which sums up pretty much everyone’s feeling on the matter. Like she said we are all “ready to move forward, but also… internally screaming 120% of the time.”

To become the person you have always wanted to be takes active work. It’s not something that just happens without a second thought. Someone can’t change from a reclusive book-reader to a hyperactive student body officer without forcing themselves outside of their comfort zone multiple times.

Steven Stosny, Ph.D., says to stop waiting. Many people who want change stop themselves by thinking they should hold back or wait for the “right opportunity”. One example he quotes is people think that “I cannot be the… loving person I truly am until others do what I want or see the world the way I want them to see it.” Waiting for others to change first is possibly the worst way to become a new person. There are some restrictions, especially since half of Bingham’s population are minors and almost all are living under their parents’ roof, but self-improvement begins with the small steps.

If you want to be more healthy, don’t start by cutting all sugars, carbs, and fats. You’ll want death more than ever before. Start by making a goal to only eat out once a week (or less). If you want to become a social butterfly even though you’re an introvert, start by joining one club– and make sure it’s for one you’re interested in. Build up from the base steps. Change takes time.

For half of Bingham’s students, this “new leaf” can’t quite be turned, since they’re not graduating this year. Summer still brings a chance to begin change, and it doesn’t take leaving everyone you know to do it. You can be who you want to be now ― reinvent yourself into your best you. See you on the other side of summer.