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Don't Fret Over What You Can't Control

By Stéphanie Bourque, Grade 12
Going to a new school can be scary. It might feel that way because you’re stepping outside your comfort zone. You might not know many people, or in this case, it might be your first time away from home. On top of it all, English might not be your first language. You might worry about what others think of you, or if you’re going to fit in. Personally, that’s what was going through my head my first year here.
When I came to Stanstead college, I was in Grade 10. I was too busy focusing on what I couldn’t control instead of just being myself. I was always worrying about what others might think of me, or if they would laugh at my accent when I spoke in English or even in French. All this worrying stopped me from meeting new people because I was too scared to leave my room.  
At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening. When my Grade 10 year came to an end, that’s when I realized that all my energy was wasted on things I had zero control over and in the end, I didn’t make the most out of my year. When you waste energy on things out of your control, you forget to focus on what you can deal with.  
Before coming back to school, I asked myself a couple of questions. Can I control what people think of me? Can I control if I’m going to fit in? Am I able to change the way I talk? When I answered no to all these questions, it made me realize that I should stop worrying about them, so I did. When I came back to Stanstead, I was no longer afraid to leave my room, I was meeting lots of new people and I was making the best of my year.  
For me, focusing on what I had no control over was an easy way to blame others instead of myself because if I had no control, how could it be my fault? I realized that it wasn’t worth it because if I wanted to make a change, it wasn’t possible. By focusing on what you can control, yes, you’re going to have to take responsibility for your actions, but change can happen.  
This is not only about school, but it can also be applied to life. For example, if you’re always focusing on what people might say or think about you while you’re trying to achieve your goal; you are possibly disabling the outcomes that could happen and, in the end, not achieving your dreams. By focusing on things you have zero control over, you add some unwanted and unnecessary pressure that could be avoided all together.  
What I’m trying to say is: don’t waste energy on things you cannot control, it’s not worth it. No matter how hard you try to change it, it won’t do anything other than allowing you to achieve your goals. Instead, put your energy on something that you can control. By doing that, you will feel more relaxed, and you won’t have unnecessary pressure.