Changing Places, Changing Interests
As a young little military brat, I was involved in many different sports and extracurriculars. Softball, gymnastics, volleyball, basketball, viola, piano, you name it. I never held on to any of them, though.
The scene would play out as follows: my family and I are stationed in a new place, I join a local club or team, work hard on cultivating my new interest, then move two years later and never want to pick back up my earlier interests.
Reasons for this unwillingness vary. Maybe I truly did not enjoy whatever extracurricular I was doing, and so decided to avoid it when we moved. Maybe I dearly missed my previous team and thought nothing I tried would be as great as playing sports with the friends I once knew. Maybe I thought it was time I tried my hand at a different activity, dropping the one I previously did altogether. Trust me, all of these ‘what-ifs’ come from personal experience, and possibly sound pretty close to some of your own experiences, dear reader.
On the other hand, I have known many military kids who are dedicated, through thick and thin, to their sport or extracurricular activity. One of the first friends I ever met joined his school’s team and started swimming competitively a few years ago. Despite moving across the United States several times since then, he has never given up his passion and continues to swim wherever he is stationed. Another friend of mine has been gaming for years and takes it with her wherever she moves, while also using this as a way to keep in touch with friends all around the world. This kind of dedication is awe-inspiring. I can’t speak for anyone who is not me, but knowing that you have a miniature family waiting for you wherever you go might just make moving a bit easier to tackle.
Sports and extracurriculars are important to many people, especially school-age military kids. While we are still moving around the globe with our parents, our interests help us make connections with those we meet and keep those connections over extreme distances, not to mention over lifetimes. And even if you are not part of a team, club, class, or otherwise, listen when I say that the connections you make with random-strangers-turned-friends will still be just as fulfilling and familial.