Oh Yeah, They’re New

Whether it be across town or across the country, moving can be difficult.

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Mason Firestone '25 (bottom center), Cameron Firestone ‘21, and oldest brother Tyler Firestone (top left) at a beach in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Ryan Langner, Online Editor

According to The New York Times, nearly 57% of Americans spend their entire lives in one state, with the majority of them living in the same metropolitan area in which they were raised in. Our routines, go-to restaurants, and familiar communities often lead us to turn down the potential idea of moving away from home. Nevertheless, job relocations and wanderlust, among other reasons, move thousands of Americans every year. 

Whether it be across town or across the country, moving can be difficult. It leaves people with a heap of stress and anxiety about the future. Extended family left behind, close friendships drifted apart, and daily habits turned upside down: all are co

A sunset from a dock in Pentwater, Michigan, taken from Firestone’s phone.

nsequences of a move. My family relocated from Southern California to Atlanta seven years ago, and we endured these challenges as we assimilated into a new culture. Cameron Firestone, a new junior at Marist, is experiencing a similar ordeal following her move from Birmingham, Michigan this year. 

“The transition wasn’t as bad as it could have been,” Firestone said, citing her previous residency in the Peach State, where she was born and lived until middle school. Firestone credits her friendship with current Marist student Madden Callahan ‘21 as “monumental” in helping her make new friends. Firestone “felt super lucky” to have Callahan show her the ropes at this unknown school. Friends since childhood, the two juniors are in the same Girl Scout troop and hiked across Iceland this summer with their fellow scouts.

Early on, Firestone found people at Marist extremely welcoming, especially when she was introduced to her peers on Orientation Day. By the time Schola Brevis rolled around, Firestone was happy to find that people made it a mission to come talk with her, “which always feels really nice as the new kid.” Firestone contrasted this experience with her first day of school in Michigan, where she did not know a single person and “didn’t feel as welcome there.” According to Firestone, there is a vast difference between having no friends at a school and having just one.

One perk of moving from Michigan to

(from left to right) Madden Callahan ‘21, Cameron Firestone ‘21, and their friend Bergen Thielen in Cameron’s old home of Birmingham, Michigan.

Atlanta has been the weather. “I do not miss the cold up north,” Firestone said. In Michigan, she plowed through snow and sprinted through subzero temperatures just to make it to first period. “Even breathing becomes difficult in the winter,” Firestone said. “The air is so cold that it hurts your chest when you take a deep breath.” 

Having previously lived in Georgia, Firestone loves the South and has enjoyed reconnecting with friends to whom she once said goodbye. But in spite of her southern roots, Firestone said Georgia could not have given her the experience of exploring a new place like Michigan did. 

Firestone believes her time in Michigan made her more open to considering colleges farther away. She is considering northeastern and mid-western schools, and her earlier experience has readied her to brave the cold and make new friends should it become necessary. But “different experiences [are] received at different colleges,” said Firestone, so if in-state universities like Emory or the University of Georgia prove to be a better fit for her, that will be perfectly okay, too.

For those Marist students who are lifelong Atlantans and have known some of our classmates since preschool at Christ the King School, you probably don’t know what it’s like to be the “new kid.” Luckily for Firestone and others, Marist has proven itself to be a hospitable place, making the transition to a new school far less daunting.