The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Don’t Be a Stranger | A Survival Guide to Change

Don’t Be a Stranger is a biweekly advice column that feels like catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee.
Don%E2%80%99t+Be+a+Stranger+%7C+A+Survival+Guide+to+Change
Joy Zhang | Staff Illustrator

Hey stranger,

One of my close friends mentioned to me how much difficulty she has with the concept of things in her life changing. I knew a thing or two about what she was saying. When I was little, for instance, I used to cry whenever my grandmother took off her glasses. It was ridiculous. Even the most seemingly minor, insignificant changes can overwhelm us so deeply.

The thing is, change happens every single day — sometimes, we don’t even realize. It can happen while you blink.

My friend explained to me that when she gets comfortable, she prefers for it to stay that way. To her, change is synonymous with havoc. This made me think about how, as humans, we are obsessed with routines. We cling to them like a security blanket. Our sense of structure, paired with our craving for control over our lives, lead us to having a relatively negative reaction to unprecedented change. 

Don’t even get me started on nostalgia. Our sentimental tendencies make change look like a bone-chilling monster, ready to pounce and disrupt the cozy familiarity that we had been basking in. Change is the boogeyman.

So, how do we cope with something so nerve-racking, but so inescapable?

Everyone is always saying that acceptance is the first step — of course it is! But, as with everything, it’s also easier said than done. Embracing change isn’t something that can be done with a quick snap of your fingers. My advice is, let it sink in. If change is like stepping into a cold swimming pool, let your skin freeze for a second. Sit with the weirdness. With time, you’ll adapt more than you can imagine. You’ll warm up — you were built for it.

Think about it this way — change is inevitable. Technically, it’s the only actual constant in life. You can’t count on things staying the same, but you can always count on them changing.

If that sentence made you start biting your nails, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Instead of seeing it as something daunting or worrisome, take a chance at transforming your anxiety into a form of excitement. Flip the script. 

I’ve always been a sucker for a silver lining. I truly believe it can be found in anything, in the most obscure places, under the table or right in front of your nose. We’ve all heard of the metaphor of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. The benefits of change can be elusive at first, but after some time and with a little sprinkle of patience, you may just end up in a place even better than where you started. Sometimes, the curveball is exactly what you need.

Viewing change as a disrupter may be the root of the problem. Instead, do your best to see it as a catalyst for growth. Think of it as a chance to stretch your wings rather than being confined to the safety of a familiar nest.

Change is not a barrier, my friend — it’s a bridge.

Remember, you can always submit to my Google form for advice about anything and everything.