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The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Student Narrative: Langley Foster

Student+Narrative%3A+Langley+Foster

There’s something to be said for pulling yourself out of your comfort zone, but I had no idea that I would be pulled 2,000 miles away from it. After moving twice in three years — from Colorado Springs to Manlius, New York to Seattle, Washington — I’ve learned a lot about meeting new people and about dynamics in different areas of the country. Moving was one of the most diffi- cult and engaging experiences I’ve ever had. I had lived in Colorado my whole life, and it was the only place I knew well. When I found out my family was moving to a place I’d never even heard of — Manlius, New York — I was terrified. I had no idea what to expect, and I’d never even visited New York City, let alone upstate. On top of that, COVID-19 began to spread in the months before we left. I spent my last semester in Colorado on- line, and I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to many of my friends and classmates.

Manlius was profoundly different from Colorado Springs, especially because of COVID-19. Many people have lived in that region their whole lives and have the majority of their family there, and new people with no past ties to the area are uncommon. When we first arrived, people would often greet us with questions like “Why would you ever move here?” Neighbors would question us regularly about it, and sometimes it felt like a different world. My school was small and very close- knit — especially in the midst of the pandemic — and I grew to know most of my classmates well. City size can play a big role in the social dynamics of their inhabitants. Smaller ones are often harder to break into but can have very close circles of friends. Bigger ones offer many more opportunities to meet people, but sometimes lack a centralized sense of community.

The move to Seattle was less of a shock, but came at a more difficult time as I was transitioning from middle to high school. Seattle is by far bigger than either Manlius or Colorado Springs, and it offers a completely different experience. There are tons of opportunities to visit museums, parks and places like zoos if you can suffer through the traffic. It also provides a diverse industry and different job opportunities if you want to settle here after college. However, it’s crowded and too large to have one unified identity. It’s been hard for me to adjust to larger Seattle schools and the sheer amount of people in my class. Even though Seattle sees a lot more movement of people, it’s been difficult to break into already established groups that had been friends since middle school.

There are good things and bad things about any area or city, and I’ve learned a lot from experiencing different ones. I loved the outdoorsy dynamic and relative lack of rain in Colorado Springs, the sense of community in Manlius and the opportunities Seattle presents for learning new things and meeting new people. Comfort zones have their value — close friends, hometowns, and easy routines — but don’t be afraid to see what’s outside.

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