The Next Move

The Next Move

Photo by Stephanie Zhang

Staying Behind

Several months ago, while sitting in a restaurant with her family for dinner, junior Alex Isler received important news from her parents: she and her family would be moving to Dallas. Isler said this news evoked a mix of emotions.

Her parents, however, allowed her to stay in Carmel on the condition that she find a friend willing to host her for the duration of her senior year.

Isler said, “Staying (depends on) whether or not a friend of mine can take me in for 10 months and, if not, then I will be moving to Dallas with my family.”

She also talked with her counselor to find out what financial conditions staying would entail.

“I talked to my counselor about my ability to go to Carmel High School and whether or not I would have to pay tuition or have to pay taxes here, and what would be the circumstances for which I could stay and what he said was that I have senior rights (to attend local public schools without the payment of conditions, according to the Indiana General Assembly’s current 2014 code) so I can stay here,” she said.

In March, she found out she could stay in Carmel; however, her family would still be moving to Dallas.

Isler said she and her family have moved before, moving from Florida to Indiana in fifth grade, although this move presents a situation different from her experiences before.

In spite of the impending separation between her family and herself, Isler said she feels there are a number of reasons this situation is for the best. For Isler, moving to Indiana provided both her family and herself with a more advantageous situation than before; however, if she were to move in the time right before her senior year, Isler said she is unsure whether doing so would help her.

“My family moves about every seven years, so my previous moves have always put us in a better spot, and I’m just really hesitant about this move because I’m not sure that, for me, it would be a better spot. Like, where we would be moving was ranked number one by MONEY magazine this year, so it’s really similar to Carmel, but,” she said, pausing for a moment. “I don’t know—I’ve just grown really accustomed to everyone’s morals here, and I just fit in really well, like, I think I’ve found my home.”

Another misgiving Isler said she had to moving was the thought that she would likely lose the academic environment of this school, which she has become familiar with.

“There (are) actually a lot of reasons. It’s not just because I have a lot of friends here or because I feel like it’s my home, although those are big reasons for me,” Isler said. “It’s also because academics-wise, Carmel is a really strong school and although the high school I would be moving to ranks higher nationally than Carmel (and its) sports program is strong, (its) performing arts program is really lacking, and (grades), GPA-wise, would be affected and I don’t know whether I would be in, like, their ‘Top 3 percent.’

“Their curriculum for graduation would also be different, so, say you need four years of gym to graduate, then I don’t know what my situation would be there. So, that might complicate things.”

When Isler imagines what would happen if she actually had to move, she said she would lose more than just a physical presence at CHS; she would lose time.

She said, “I mean, it is really stressful to think (about moving) because, as it is, we’re already running out of time, like, being a junior and going into your senior year anyways.”

Moves of the Past

Sitting in the family car. Staring out the car window. For senior Hannah Nordin, these actions have played out several times in her life beginning with the first move she remembers when she was 5 years old.

“My earliest memory of moving is when I was about 5, and my mom had just gotten remarried, so we moved into a new house with my stepdad,” Nordin said. “I’ve moved eight times that I can remember but probably a few more when I was really little.”

According to Nordin, she was born in Santa Barbara, CA; from that point on, she and her family continued to move.

She said, “(We’ve) moved to a few different cities in California, and then we moved to Louisiana, and then we moved to North Dakota. After going back to Louisiana and then back to North Dakota, we came here.”

Leaving behind friends has been perhaps the hardest part about moving, according to Nordin. In her memory, her move from California to Louisiana was most difficult and saddening as she said she did not want to leave her friends.

She continued, “The thing I miss the most after every time I move is my friends, and it’s hard to keep in touch with them when I live so far away. And every time we move, time doesn’t seem like a problem until about one week away when it feels like time is running out, and we won’t be ready in time.”

Nordin’s most recent move took place last year as she transitioned from North Dakota to Indiana. Though this move brought challenges, she said the change allowed her to learn that “distance can’t break a friendship if you really care about each other.”

Nordin said, “Moving here was the hardest for me because I was so close to my friends in North Dakota, but it also has made me realize how important it is to enjoy the good memories I make with my friends because in the future, I’m going to look back and think about the happiness of having them and not the sadness of leaving them.”