The life of a military child can be hard. Some people underestimate how hard it really is to be constantly uprooted, always having to pack up and leave right when a young person finally feels a sense of belonging.
Moving away is always hard. But even harder is moving in – into a new house, a new school and a new life.
Although students at military schools are welcoming and understanding, they see youths moving in and out all the time. Being the new kid at a military school is not a big deal or a novelty. That means that new students must reach out and put forth effort to make friends. This is always difficult, especially for shy people who are missing their old school and friends. Getting used to the way the school and community work may also be difficult. Every school has slightly different rules, classes and ways of doing things. Credits from a previous school may not transfer to a new school. There may be different classes than what a student was taking before the move, and the class schedules may be different.
If a family moves overseas, getting used to the country’s language and customs is also hard. Luckily, the military is great at providing things to make transitions easier. There are always activities planned, trips and places dedicated to young people. The sense of family in a military community is also very helpful. Getting involved in groups is a way to share experiences and stories, make new friends and help the community.
Meeting new people can be difficult and nerve-wracking, but once you get past the awkward meeting process and really start to get to know other people, you can really learn interesting things. The more people you meet, the more chances you have of finding a lifelong friend or an interesting person you thought you would never meet normally.
Getting to see new places is also a benefit, especially if you live overseas.
Living in Europe, it is very easy to take vacations to other countries and to see places many people have only read about. Even though being a military child can be difficult and sometimes upsetting, there are things that make it better – things that maybe you have not thought of before as being a good thing. You just have to open your eyes and take in all of the things that make you happy.
(Lexie Taba, a Wiesbaden High School senior, is a student intern with the USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs Office)