• James O'Leary

Moving From a different perspective

I just moved to Switzerland, an amazing place to live, but it was my first move without my parents. Not only that, but because of the quarantine regulations on the way home, I went alone. It was a lot different than a normal move because I had to find an apartment, set up a new bank account, get healthcare transferred, buy phone plans, set up my new address... You get the point.


This has given me a whole new perspective of my previous moves. Normally, my parents did all of the above whenever I moved. And they did a lot more because unlike a single college student, they have us teens to worry about, with registering us for school and filling out all our medical paperwork and such. If you have pets, then I think there’s a whole lot of work there too. Sure, I helped pack and unpack boxes, but I never really considered the organizational hardships of moving as being that bad. Don't get me wrong though, the worst part of every move is definitely still leaving friends... But your parents aren't moving you across the world because it's fun for them or just to spite you. It's really hard for them too. And if it leads to them being a bit more disagreeable and such, I can see why, they probably make mistakes such as this: I didn't know that a Visa approval fee existed. There were no fees at the Swiss Embassy, and I paid the fee for registering here as a foreigner in my town.


This lion has caused me plenty of problems, but I still love Zurich! This is the logo of Zurich's immigration office.

However, there was another fee I was supposed to know about just by doing my research. So I got a letter warning me I hadn't paid it and was being charged interest... I imagine our parents have done similar things, and it's probably led to a small fight between them (as it did between the left and right side of my brain). I paid the fee and made sure to call the right office to make sure there wasn't anything else I'd missed.


For me, it was like: "Wait, what... I have math homework due today, and nobody told me???"


For our parents, it must be like: "Wait, what... there was a group project due today and we're supposed to present in front of the class, and nobody reminded us about it until now???"


The teacher: "Yeah, you should've read what I wrote on the board last week!" (ohhhh... the fine print)


I think we all know this feeling, but then we also seem to think, “Oh, once I grow up, nobody will tell me what to do." Well, there are always new rules you have to follow, from a boss at work or even the government, and they often don’t exactly have your best interests in mind. I mean, our parents aren’t perfect, but at least they try and think they’re doing what’s best for us. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t think that’s the case with the U.S. government, regardless of which party… but anyway, I’m getting off on a tangent there.


That’s not to say it isn’t all totally worth it. I mean, I just went snowboarding today (well it won’t be today when this article is published) and I do get to do my homework or procrastinate whenever I want, but homework/work, in general, does still exist. But work existing is a good thing. I mean, I know we all think we just want to rest, play video games, watch Netflix, or, for me, go snowboarding. But come on- being unemployed is lame. Well, work includes homework and volunteering and doing productive things like Bloom; having a job shouldn’t be your concern right now whatsoever, at least it isn’t mine, I don’t have time for that, but just sitting around doing nothing isn’t all it’s hyped up to be (ask anyone in quarantine). Also as a Christian, I believe God has more of a plan for us than that, and that plan probably involves work, which for our parents (as well as us as we follow them every time we move) is serving our country, and moving is a part of that. That said, there also exists a lot of paperwork, which I honestly had no idea about until now.


Homework on the train with this view is the best!

To close this out, I've got some good news and some bad news. Good news: you’re not moving for no reason, and it’s not some sort of punishment. But the bad news is that means you have to get used to working and life is not always being a smooth and forgiving as the deep powder snow of Switzerland. Although more good news: it’s all worth it and life (including military life) can be really amazing. So instead of complaining about life, we should just accept what we have and make the most of it, which sounds lame but can actually totally be insanely awesome.


If military life gives you lemons and gives your parents limes, make lemonade. Don’t steal their limeade (which in my opinion is better than lemonade) but look at their recipe for limeade so you know how to make it yourself. Also if in doubt, God can give you both lemonade and limeade if you ask. Maybe you want limeade, but there's actually a lot of better things you don't know about, or perhaps your parents' limeade stinks. Well, good news: your life might be destined to make something even better than limeade.


Jokes aside, you don't know what your future holds. But that gives you the freedom to choose it- even if you don't get to choose all the details like paperwork and laws.

Bloom takes pride in being a safe, nonpartisan platform for military kids to share their stories and be empowered. All of the opinions expressed in articles belong solely to the author and are not a reflection of the views of the founders and editors of Bloom. Additionally, we understand the struggles and emotions of being a military child, but are not a mental health resource and are therefore unequipped to administer advice and assistance in that area. If you or a loved one are suffering from depression, abuse, or trauma, please visit our Resources page to find help.

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