I had known since my Sophomore year that college wasn’t something I wanted after graduating high school. It felt scary, wrong, and sometimes embarrassing to discuss this with my family, teachers and friends. Most times, the same question would rear its head; “What will you do instead?”. Going through the rest of high school, I had no set answer to this. I worried until I had approached my Senior year, when my guidance counselor sent me an email entitled “Dynamy”.
Joining the Dynamy program has been, by far, the most dramatic life change I’ve ever experienced. Having moved houses more than a handful of times before, I expected mostly what I had already been used to experiencing- the physical adjustment. Moving all my personal items into the new living space and settling in. This happened- but this time it felt different. I was without my family for the first time in my entire life. It was really strange. I felt a lot of things- sometimes multiple feelings all at once. In the beginning, the adjustment was mentally exhausting for me. The first week was particularly challenging, especially with everyone having to keep Covid in mind. But, once I felt settled in, I realized I was more excited than anything else. I had been ready for this big change, waiting for it for 18 years- and here it was.
Never have I lived in a city before. Transitioning from living in essentially the middle of nowhere to living in an urban complex wasn’t easy- especially when the closest I’d ever lived to a city was being 40 minutes Northwest of Boston. Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized how much I actually enjoy living in the city. It’s fun to discover more and more contrasts each day I spend here because almost every aspect of living is different. All the time I’m hearing, seeing, smelling, and touching new things that my brain isn’t accustomed to. I’ve had to get used to living without my two triplet brothers, and now living with 5 other girls.
One of the most immediate adjustments for me to process were the sounds. The general sounds within Worcester are almost a polar opposite of what I’m so used to experiencing in my daily life prior to Dynamy. Isolated in the forest with my small family, we’re used to things like gentle bird calls, howling of the wind, creaky trees, and the occasional owl hoot. Now, I find myself surrounded by all kinds of noisy, urban activity- and lots of it. The honking of traffic and migrating geese, the bustling movement within every building, and many barking dogs. One thing you can’t miss is the fact that, at most times, you’ll be surrounded by cars. You will hear them every day, almost anywhere you go. I’ve grown to find parts of it pretty calming, actually. Sitting in bed at night, I enjoy watching the headlights of passing cars cascade across my wall.
I’ve been realizing how many things make me miss home. Moving away from all 10 of my pets has made me excited to see squirrels in the park or people out walking their dogs. Something that I’ve really enjoyed has been making friends with an outdoor cat in our neighborhood. We found out from our neighbors that his name is Gizmo. He’s helped fill that part of me that’s missing my pets at home. Though he’s usually been shy and cautious, at times it’s like he flips a switch and comes prancing up to us. Just touching his fur reminds me of my cat at home and every time, I catch myself smiling. When I’m preparing meals and have leftover food scraps, I catch myself thinking, “I’ll throw it to the goats.” before I remember they’re miles away.
Though there have been countless changes I’ve had to get used to, I really love living in Worcester and I’m so thankful to have joined the Dynamy program. I can safely say that my overall experiences have been fun, challenging, and completely new. It truly feels like I am on the right track towards what I’ve wanted; growth.