A “Moving” Story


Sophia Bienkowski

Whenever someone finds out I grew up overseas, invariably they ask if I regret moving.

Five years ago, I moved 4,000 miles away from everything and everyone I knew to my current residence in Lake Bluff. That move was both the hardest and most beneficial thing I’ve ever done. Suddenly I was thrown in the deep end, and I had to quickly acclimate to American society. The first few months were, by no surprise, the hardest. It sounds pathetic and self-pitying saying it now, but I had no one. I had left all my friends behind. I experienced the most extreme case of homesickness I ever thought possible. Before this gets too depressing, I’ll explain what changed. One day I woke up, and I didn’t regret moving. I still missed my old city and my old friends, but now I looked forward to making new friends in a new, exciting place. I looked forward to going to school and forming new relationships. I learned to adapt, to flourish. In a few months I had learned more things about myself than I ever would have if I had stayed in London.

Today I value the move. The struggles we all face shape us into who we are today. As cliche as that sounds, it is the truth. I still wonder what life would be like if I had never moved. I never would have met my friends, I wouldn’t know what living in America was like, and I wouldn’t know how good Panera is. I joke about all the things I would miss out on if I had stayed, but what about all the things I’ve missed out on being 4,000 miles away from the place I grew up in-the people I would have met and the lessons I would have learned. But I may have never learned the importance of adaptation and the importance of change. I am not saying one cannot learn how to adapt if they have never moved. Those lessons come in many ways other than my experience.

Next year I start a new journey. I’ll move again, but this time I’ll have practice. The transition to college is supposed to be the biggest change in an aspiring young adult’s life. But I don’t dread the change; I welcome it with open arms. Again, I am not insinuating my experience is better than anyone else’s. What I know to be true is that I am stronger now because of it.

So no, I do not regret moving. Not only do I have the memories from two very different places, but I have two places to call home.