Let’s continue outlining what you need to do to be a military brat. We now know that at least one of your parents is a an active duty member of the Armed Forces. You’ve let go of the idea of growing up locally with your childhood BBF (Best Friend Forever) and you’ve opened your mind to moving frequently. You’ve also learned to adjust quickly to major life changes and you’ve got to hold your own when Mom and/or Dad deploys. Are we there yet? Not quite, Military Brat. Just a couple more things to keep in mind before you gain full-on Military Brat status.
You might have to move in the middle of your school year.
Sounds awesome, right? If you hit the “it’s time to move” jackpot and it happens to be in the middle of summer, you’re golden. But another popular time of year for the military to move their members: January. Yep, smack-dab in the middle of the school year. But try to roll with it…and keep your fingers crossed that you’ll graduate at a high school you’ve been attending for at least two years.
You might have to work a little harder to make new friends.
Easy enough, right? Just walk up to a group of people that look friendly enough to accept a complete stranger into their Circle of Trust…nope. As a military brat, you’ll need to find ways to worm your way into intimidating groups of well-established friendships by having something to offer that makes you immediately cool, like a skill or a talent. Maybe you have a llama for a pet or you know where to take your Sledehammer bike for sweet jumps. Until you breach that daunting Circle of Trust, be okay with spending a lot of time alone. It takes time building relationships and worthwhile friendships are no exception.
Learn to LOVE change.
This doesn’t come naturally to you? Work on it. You’ve already been cautioned that you might have to experience some major life changes without any warning to speak of. If you want to survive as a well-adjusted military brat, you are going to have to learn to embrace change and quickly adapt.
You will most likely lose the accent of your home state–unless you’re from the Midwest.
It’s almost a given that within two years not being in your home-state, you will sound like you came from a mid-western state. Are you originally from New York? “Fuhgeddadaboudit“. You now sound like you are from Omaha, Nebraska. But don’t worry–after a year or two back home, it will sound like you never left.
Are you reconsidering your desire to be a military brat? Chin up! In our next installment, you’ll read about all the great things you gain as a military brat.
CJ Heath is a military brat with lots of experience dealing with the struggles that come from growing up in military life. She has four military brats of her own and does her best to help them adapt to the many challenges (and adventures!) that military life brings.