Constant change promotes growth, resilience and tenacity

It’s that time of year again. The return to school inevitably ushers in a myriad of policy changes throughout the school, and this year is no exception: the introduction of devices (complete with bright blue Baltimore County public schools-issued cases), an extended school day (five minutes that somehow seem much longer), an enhanced lockdown drill (termed A.L.I.C.E.), teachers departing (coupled with the introduction of brand-new teachers), even a new grading software (gone are the days of Engrade).

The constant flux of policy change can be wearisome and taxing for both faculty and students.

Yet ultimately, if anything is constant in life, it is change. Change in both small and large ways can be daunting, whether if it is just the school day being longer by a few minutes or if it is seniors applying to college and determining where they will spend the next four years of their life.

However, change promotes adversity, and according to James Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago, personality traits, not intellectual ability, ultimately determine success. And adversity, which is commonly caused by change, has been shown to have a positive effect on character through promoting traits such as persistence, self-control, curiosity and self-confidence.

Ultimately, change is out of our control, no matter how irritating or frustrating that fact may be. It is a guaranted fact of life. But being open and adaptable to change, in whatever small or large way it may come into our lives, can lead to newfound growth and self-improvement.