MOVE: life change from Bakersfield to Richmond

Learning to hope for the best in quarantine

It was definitely not easy to move away from Bakersfield, especially because it was the only place that I had lived. I liked living in Bakersfield because it’s where my whole life had been. I was never one of those people that wanted to leave their hometown as soon as possible. I didn’t want to leave my friends, school, and all of my memories behind. It’s where I was born and where I thought I wasn’t going to move away from until college. 

I had started the school year at the high school that I had gone to for my freshman year. I moved to another school, Bakersfield High School, for the month of September. One day, at the end of September, my mom came home from work and asked me what I thought about moving to Richmond. I didn’t think that she was being serious.

We would go visit my aunt and my grandma in Richmond, but I didn’t want to move there. I said no, but I didn’t know that it wasn’t really a question. She told me that we were going to move soon because my grandma may have cancer again. I was shocked because I was not expecting to move that soon. I was sad for a while after that. I stopped putting as much effort into school. At that point I was ready to leave and get the move over with. 

We packed all of our things up and on October 5th my dad helped us put a majority of our things into a storage unit. We put our beds, the washer, the dryer, pictures, and everything that was too big to fit into our car into storage. We put our clothes and other necessities into our car. I said goodbye to my dad and we drove away. 

The drive was difficult because I didn’t know what to think. I was angry, nervous, and sad all at the same time. I was going to miss hanging out with my friends, seeing my dad, going out with my boyfriend, and living in an overall different environment. 

At first I didn’t like Richmond because it’s very congested and a lot smaller. Bakersfield isn’t the best place, but I always loved living there. When we got here I was out of school for about a week while we were looking at where I would be going to school. It gave me a chance to process living up here. Moving to Bakersfield High School for that short period of time helped prepare me to start over at a new school. 

When I started going to Richmond High School I didn’t know anyone, which was an odd experience. I didn’t socialize at all. I would just walk to all of my classes and stand around at lunch waiting for the next class to start. Seeing everyone else standing in groups, laughing, and talking was hard because I didn’t know anyone at the time. 

After about a month, we moved into a bigger house for all of us from the one bedroom apartment that my grandma and aunt had been living in. I went to visit Bakersfield twice, I made some friends in Richmond, and I was actually happy. 

I had been living in Richmond about six months when Covid-19 hit and shelter in place began. It has been hard because things seemed to be going so well. Now, everything is cancelled or rescheduled. School is online and I can’t hangout with my friends anymore. I’m looking forward to when things will go back to normal, so that I can continue doing things that I enjoy. I know that they say things will be much different even when we do go back to normal life. School, going out, and life as we know it may be very different than it was before, but I am going to keep hoping for the best.