On the Move
With most of us having lived in our respective cities our entire lives, it's hard to imagine how challenging it can be to completely move your life out of one place and into another. Here's a look at some people who've done that and the changes they had to face along the way.
Mahtab Ahmed, a student of Maple Leaf International School, says, "Transition is almost always unasked for. Mostly it's due to the fear of the unknown and the uncertain. We moved to Dhaka in 2004 from a small village near Chandpur. Adjusting to a new environment was difficult but the tougher challenge was for me to bond with my father who had then just returned from abroad. I was meeting him for the first time, while also moving out of a place I had lived in for over 12 years. Previously I had attended a kindergarten where the national curriculum was followed and I was given the mammoth task of preparing for admission to one of the most well-known English medium schools in the country. However, some of the topics were common in both curricula and I was fortunate enough to get enrolled."
If you're like me and the biggest move you've ever had to make was shifting houses from Mohammadpur to Lalmatia, leaving your hometown or village seems unfathomable. Yet there are people who (because of the nature of their parents' jobs) have moved around so much that they never got to stay in a particular place for long. B. M. Abrar Shahriar, a student of Scholastica, says, "I've been moving around almost my entire life because my father is an army officer. When I was a toddler, the changes were never really that noticeable. But when I started going to school, it was apparent. It was never a big hassle academically, because almost everything the schools taught was pretty much the same. Moving around didn't bother me much at first because I wasn't the most social person. But when my friendships started to matter, I realised I was never really friends with any of them for more than a year. Though I've kept in touch with a few of them, it's just not the same. It was always fun moving around, though I mostly stayed within the Army Cantonment and never felt like going out much – the other places didn't have as many options as Dhaka. All in all, I had tons of fun moving around but sometimes I wonder what it would've been like had I lived in the same city my entire life. Maybe I could've been less awkward. Maybe, it would've been a more stable way of living. I would never trade my experiences, however."
Contrary to popular belief, it seems shifting cities doesn't really hamper your student life (unless you let it). But in accordance with popular belief, it does have a major impact on your social life. Some people find it hard to adjust to new surroundings, even more so when their life feels like it's pressing the refresh button over and over again. Mahtab continues,
"I felt out of place most of the time initially, both at school and at home. Home turned from a house with a yard into a concrete jungle. At school, everyone was watching Dragon Ball Z back then and in the village where I came from, there were no cartoon channels available. I could not participate in conversations regarding it and had very few friends. I hated the cartoon so much I never bothered watching it. But eventually it was easy to fit in academically; I have made friends whom I still spend time with a lot and the experience has been more positive than negative."
Shahrukh Ikhtear, a student of IBA-DU, is all too familiar with the refresh button mechanism. He says, "A school is meant to be a constant of a child's life. Many are fortunate enough to graduate from their respective schools, having studied there since kindergarten. However, others like me were deprived of such a privilege. My father was an engineer working for the government and he had to move around the country a lot, as he was transferred every 1-2 years. As a result, I had to change schools a lot. The daunting feeling on the first day of school came back to me more often than I wanted. It felt as if whenever I got too comfortable in a school after trying so hard to socialise, build up good relations with the teachers, and get myself accustomed to the environment, I would be uprooted and planted in another school.
"Although these shifts have left me devoid of lifelong friends, a feeling of belonging and stability, I would not say all the after-effects are negative. I've seen that it is hard for many people to view certain aspects of life from many perspectives but it is quite easy for me. My varied experiences with different groups of people have allowed me to relate to a lot of things which in turn open up opportunities to make new, unexpected friends and follow different roads which others are unwilling to take."
From shifting schools to shifting homes, we all know, to some degree, how difficult adjusting to change is. We've all been there. Some of us handle it better than others, just like everything else in life.
Shuprovo Arko copes with the soul-crushing amount of studying he has to do by trying to be funny. He writes about movies, video games and music normal people don't listen to. This generic blurb was brought to you by facebook.com/shupro.arko