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Dealing with change

This past week I was working on a group project for one of my classes that entailed making a group video. No, it didn’t require an Oscar-winning performance from me; instead, the assignment required we find clips and assemble them together. The project seemed simple enough. Our group did an excellent job working hard to find clips that worked well and decided to compile them together using iMovie. Like I said, it seemed like a simple project; we weren’t editing the next Star Trek film or anything, just a simple 4-minute movie.

Boy, was I wrong.

I would give myself an “intermediate” experience level rating in dealing with technology. I wouldn’t be able to program an HTML homepage or install a new motherboard, but opening a Word document and troubleshooting a faulty wireless connection are easily up my ally. In regards to the assignment that we were working on, I thought that it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out how to throw the clips together and create a cool finished project. After all, I had done made my senior slideshow in iMovie four years ago. Did things really change that much?

Apparently they did.

Opening up the new version of iMovie installed on my laptop was like discovering the book you checked out from the library is in a foreign language. Nothing on the screen looked familiar. The controls were all different, the interface was completely reversed, and, worst of all, I discovered that all of the clips that we amassed were incompatible with the software. My frustration level immediately shot to red-alert status.

Our group had to muddle our way through the different controls at first to try and get a hang of things and eventually we figured out what did what. The whole process was incredibly frustrating, and in the midst of our editing I wished we could have just thrown in the towel. But at the end, we had created a cool movie and we were really proud. The final product was an excellent testament to our hard work and patience.

During the video editing process I kept thinking, “if only Apple had kept this the same,” or “I hate this new version so much” or “good gravy, Marie. I swear that in five seconds I am going to throw this laptop against the wall.” I was upset with the new changes that I was forced to encounter. It was scary and very intimidating and the learning curve was very steep. But in the end, things got better, and I adjusted to the new interface.

As our project was burning onto a DVD, it struck me: this single change caused me a great deal of frustration, and when I was faced with it, I looked for almost every possible way of not having to deal with something new, scary and unfamiliar. Taking this insight a bit further, lots of change is like that. It’s unexpected and often unwanted but praised after it becomes the norm. After the whole process is said and done we’d look back and think “how did we ever get by before?”

So much is changing in our lives. As a college senior, I’m ending my time at Concordia and beginning the search for opportunities out in the “real world” (whatever that is). For some of you, this year might be your first year away from home. For others, it might be trying out a new major or minor, and for others of you, it might be coming to terms with changes happening in your personal life.

Regardless, feeling things moving and being pulled away from you can be a truly terrifying experience. But life often moves in interesting ways. The key is to remember that without change the world would grow stagnant, dull and predictable. Life is a beautiful painting, and without its necessary change and variety, those colors would fade and the paint would dry out, crack and peel. We can try and resist change with all of our might, but then the world will move on to leave us behind. So, when considering the changes we must face, enjoy the ride as you move onto something new and different. Learn lessons from the past and move on to a better tomorrow.

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