Mrs Chapman’s assembly last week encouraged pupils to think about the changes they are experiencing and how we can manage change. A video of Keane’s Everybody’s Changing (from their 2003 debut album Hopes and Fears) provided food for thought at the start, as the song lyrics are about someone struggling to adapt to the changes around them; people moving away and friendship groups adapting. As they listened students were encouraged to reflect on the changes in their lives, before Mrs Chapman shared some uplifting thoughts on coping and managing change, which we have replicated below.
"There are definitely challenges that come with change but there can also be really positive things brought about by change and it can be a chance to learn, grow and develop. It is up to us to decide how we handle change. It’s fairly normal to feel a bit resistant to change especially if we thrive on routine, planning and predictability. So in order to embrace change we need to look at the positive side and see the good that can potentially come from it. Change can help us to grow because it often pushes us out of our comfort zone. Some of us love to be pushed to try new things but others find a lot of comfort in their comfort zone. However, when we adapt to something new we can experience real personal growth and we often learn strengths and abilities we didn’t know we had. We can learn to let go of our set ways and become more adaptable and flexible. We learn to adapt to new people, new environments, new roles and new situations and we have all had to do that in many ways since this pandemic started last year. In the long run, being flexible leads to more happiness and less stress. Every change and every alteration, big or small, does in some way bring opportunities. It is hard to see this sometimes but when change comes we have the opportunity to learn something new, become something new or feel something new. We can set goals for a new chapter of our lives which is what many of you would have done when you set your New Year’s resolutions. The more we go through change, the more we can use it as a learning experience and the more confident we become in our ability to handle whatever life throws at us.
Overcoming tough periods of change like the current one, only serve to make us stronger. You can see adversity and change as a roadblock or a setback or you can see it as a new opportunity to move forward - use it to learn, grow and develop wisdom rather than quit and stick in your comfort zone. After overcoming something that was seemingly impossible you will realise how strong you truly are and how prepared you are for change in different situations. This will also help you develop the self-esteem you need to believe in yourself. Finally change can teach you how to deal with fear. Going through change, such as we are in at the moment, that is uncertain, especially when it is unexpected can be very scary and overwhelming. Without knowing the outcome of change you will inevitably feel anxious and unsettled. We are programmed to resist things that are unfamiliar and uncertain to us, which makes us create stories in our heads of what could go wrong through change. When you are able to change your thought processes around change and let go of the fear that surrounds it you will find yourself braver and stronger than ever. You will look at things that used to scare you and realise they are nothing compared to the changes and challenges that you overcame along the way."
She finished with a reflective prayer and this quote from Maya Angelou.
"If you don’t like something change it, if you can’t change it, change your attitude”
Maya Angelou (American poet and civil rights activist)