Gigi Goshtigian

I hate change. I have always been one for routine and tradition. When something did change, it would take me forever to get used to it, whether it was moving schools or just my daily routine shifting slightly. I would do practically anything to avoid change or make the change as minimal as possible. Life isn’t always like that though, and  I once had to go through two of the biggest changes in my life around the same time.

The first change would be going to two different highschools. My public school district doesn’t have it’s own high school so I got to choose between two different schools. Naturally, I went to the school that all my friends were going to. This change was inevitable but I was determined not to be alone. My first year there was great, but the massive school environment ate me alive. It allowed me to hide in the shadows. The beginning of sophomore year was a disaster. I had to miss school because of a broken collar bone and the school wasn’t the most accommodating. Throughout all of this, my parents had been suggesting I go to Rolling Hills Prep. I was adamantly opposed. to another change? This time, I would know absolutely no one in my grade. I would be completely alone. After some time my parents convinced me to give RHP a try. Though I was extremely reluctant at first to say the least. I’m not very social, and, like I’ve said before, I have the tendency to hide in the shadows when it comes to new environments. To be honest, that's exactly what I did for about the first two weeks of  school. I would talk very little in my classes and I’d eat lunch alone. Eventually, I met a really bubbly girl who started eating lunch with me. Others began to follow. Outdoor ed is where I really got to know my classmates though. On the bus, I sat across from another student who introduced me to her friend group. I got to know my advisory and some other students in my grade. After outdoor ed, I had friends to sit with at lunch and in my classes.

The second change I would like to talk about is a barn change. Up until recently, I had ridden at the same barn. The barn I was with was a second home to me. I spent my weeks up there and even my breaks. Before school I’d go up and ride my horses and other days I’d go after school. Unfortunately, I outgrew the place I called my home. This was a change that I refused to make for the longest time. When it finally did happen though I was crushed. I wasn’t sure what my life would be like now with my new trainer. Mostly because she is the polar opposite of my old trainer. My new trainer was competitive and actually wanted to help me work towards my goals. At first I didn’t fully accept the help. There was a lot of relearning I had to do and it was overwhelming. We spent multiple weeks  . She would have me hold the two points at the trot  for the whole lesson to make sure I had the correct muscles strengthened enough. Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near the perfect rider. I’m just scraping the surface, still unlearning and relearning things. My trainer has given me so many opportunities. Since starting with her I have competed at the national level and I have learned so much. I have grown more confident in myself and my abilities as well. 

Now, I am still not a fan of change. I don’t think I’ll even be jumping up and down when my path changes. One thing these two big changes have taught me though is that change isn’t half bad. I am so happy that I landed where I am today, and if I had to go back I wouldn’t change a thing.  I have amazing friends and teachers that care. I also have a supportive trainer who wants to reach my goals as much as I do. I’m learning to embrace change, as hard as it might be. Especially with one of our biggest changes coming up, college. I have no idea what college is going to bring me but I’m embracing it and starting to get a little excited about it. It’s a big step but I know that I am going to land where I’m supposed to be. Thank you.