Approaching the intimidating building that holds the future of not only the rest of my high school career, but my entire life, I continue to feel a longing for my old school. I wish for my old friends who I know will recognize me and jump to greet me; my old routine that I grew so accustomed to. But none of that matters now. All that matters is that I currently feel like a “nobody” and I’m certain that is all that I’ll feel for the next two agonizing years of my life.
Is it just my imagination, my insecurities flooding my brain, or is everyone staring at me as I walk down this hallway? I can feel eyes piercing me as “the new girl” nervously walks down the hall. I don’t know where to go, and even worse, I don’t know who to ask for help. I’ve always had tons of friends; I’ve always felt like I’ve had a place at school, but now everything has done a complete 180. My mom’s piece of advice was to “just think positive”, but I don’t find that possible while I’m roaming around in an unflattering, frumpy uniform feeling like a clueless fool. I don’t know if I want to cry to my parents and have them make it “all better”, or if I just have burning resentment toward them from yanking me from the school I really belong at.
I never knew how much a simple smile from a stranger would mean to me until I felt completely lost. I began to wake up a little bit from my little pity party and actually notice that there are quite a few friendly faces around this place. I even made a few friends, I guess you could say. My mind continues to bring me back to thoughts of how much I miss my old friends and public school, but my mindset starts to shift a tiny bit once I get more familiar with the place and the people around me.
The time of the day finally comes that I’ve been dreading the most… lunch. I pictured myself as one of those loners who sits in the corner by themselves. What I really want right now is my old lunch table crammed with eight or so friends to be waiting to greet me, but instead I’ll have no one. “Hey, Grace! It’s Waffle Wednesday; remember? Let’s go get some waffles with extra whipped cream before it’s all gone!!” My old buddies and I never missed Waffle Wednesday at my old school. Well guess what? There are no more Waffle Wednesdays.
There are no more old friends. There’s no more old school. I snap out of my daydream, grab my brown paper lunch bag, and shuffle toward the new cafeteria… really slowly, hoping to procrastinate and waste a couple minutes.
My stomach hurts after lunch, and you would never guess why. A couple of the friendliest and brightest faces came right up to me and welcomed to sit with them at lunch. They seemed so genuine, as if they actually wanted to get know me. That is the last thing I expected all day. I mean, I did come across a few nice people, but I never thought anyone would actually want to sit with the anonymous, shy, timid girl during lunch. As I was saying, my stomach hurt from laughing so much during lunch. A stomachache induced by a laughing fit is undeniably the best kind of stomachache.
Not only was I invited to sit with some people, but they were extremely kind, and on top of that, they were hilarious. I can actually say that I made friends today who I plan to sit with at lunch every day from now on. I walked in with no friends today, and I can say that I ended the day with two. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s only day one and there are so many more days to get to know new people.
My mom’s advice to “just think positive” didn’t seem too promising when there seemed to be a giant raincloud over my head. I was so self-absorbed in my own dread that I was much too consumed to look up and gain a new perspective of everything around me. When I was closed-off and had a pessimistic attitude, I cheated myself of so many good opportunities. I noticed that once I began to lighten up and exude a sense of optimism, I started to attract positive energy. I see this new school as more of an opportunity instead of a torture chamber.
I can do anything with this opportunity that I want; I can make it an unpleasant and dreadful experience, or I can make it something fun and exciting, all depending on my attitude. I know what it feels like to feel lonely; so now I’m going to be that stranger who offers a kind smile and potentially brightens that person’s day. It’s only day one of my journey, so I have quite a while to make my impact. I still may have a tad bit of distaste for the frumpy uniforms, but at least I can say that I’m able to make the best of my days here.