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“Everyone say cheese!” My mom said as she took a picture of my five best friends and me in our pristine, white middle school graduation dresses. Our hair and makeup had been done prior and we all looked stunning. “My little baby’s really growing up,” My mom exclaimed, teary-eyed.
“Mom!” I wail, begging her to not be so sappy.
She laughs in return, wiping a few tears, “Sorry, Ella. Okay, let’s get going, you can’t be late to your own graduation!”
That night was very bittersweet. Everyone was ecstatic to be leaving our middle school and move on to high school, but at the same time, many of us were parting from our closest friends. My friends, Ava, Claire, Elise, Sofia, Kate and I were inseparable. We were always together, so just the thought of all of us not attending the same school in just a few short months broke our hearts. But, for the time being, we pushed that thought away from us and cherished the time we had left with each other.
We spent the whole summer together, trying to become as close knit of a group as possible before we were split apart. Time seemed to fly by, and no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t get summer to slow down.
Ava and Claire started high school two days before the rest of us. The rest of us texted them and wished them good luck, pretending to be happy for them even though we were distraught when we realized that this wasn’t just a bad dream. Two days later, even though Sofia, Kate and I were at the same school, we didn’t have any classes together and felt very secluded. Elise started the same day as us but at the opposing school.
I began to love my new school after the first few weeks. I had made a lot of new friends and everything was going very smoothly so far. Except, things started to get a little rocky in early October. Halloween was coming up and I came to the realization that since I usually do something with my old friends, I didn’t have anyone to do a costume with. No matter how many people I had talked to, everyone already had plans with their friend group which was the one thing I was lacking. That night I decided to call Ava.
“Hey Ava,” I started.
“You sound upset, what’s wrong?” She replied
I reassured her, “Oh it’s nothing, don’t worry about it. Do you want to do something this weekend?”
“I wish I could, but I have plans with Maddie and Sarah,” she said apologetically.
I questioned, “Who? I’ve never heard you talk about anyone named Maddie or Sarah,”
“They’re in my English class they're super nice,” I guess I was silent for too long, so she continued, “Ella, why don’t you do something with some of your new friends?”
“Or lack thereof,” I said sarcastically.
She said sympathetically, “Aw, I’m sorry about that. I miss you a lot, but I have to go.”
“See you,” I replied and hung up. I sighed and laid back in my bed staring at the ceiling wondering how I was ever going to make it through the next four years. At least I had my birthday to look forward to, right?
I wanted to have a sleepover with all of my new high school friends, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I texted all of them letting them know about my birthday plans, eager to see their responses. To my surprise, every single person said they couldn’t come except for one, but at that point I wasn’t just going to have one person at my party. I was devastated. My birthday plans were down the drain because everyone already had fun plans that they would rather attend than a friend’s birthday who they’ve only known for a month and a half.
“I miss you guys,” I texted my middle school friends
“Aw me too,” Elise said back.
Kate agreed, “Me three, I wish we were all back together again”
“We should all meet up Friday night,” I suggested in response.
Evidently, everyone had parties and other plans to go to. Everyone is making friends except for me. I thought. I sulked for hours wondering what I had done wrong. Am I coming on too strong? Do they not think I’m nice? Or funny? Am I trying too hard to make friends? Should I just give up?
That next day at school sucked. One of my only new friends decided to not be my partner for a project after we had discussed it the day before. Half of the girls in my class were invited to a huge party that of course, I wasn’t invited to. The pain hurt more than anything I had ever experienced. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the heart, repeatedly. They say that giving birth, or tearing a ligament is one of the worst pains known to man; clearly whoever decided that, has never felt lonely before. I called Ava again.
“Hey Ella, what’s up?” Ava said happily.
I sniffled, holding back the tears, “I miss you guys so much and you guys don’t know how much I’ve been through, I hate high school already. I don’t have any friends here or even anyone to talk to. I just feel so lonely, and I wish we could just rewind to a few months ago when we were all together and happy,” At this point, I began to cry.
“Why didn’t you tell any of us?” She worriedly replied.
I explained, “Well, you guys have all of your new, cooler friends and I figured you couldn’t be bothered.”
“Oh my gosh, no. Ella, we love you and you can tell us anything,” Ava explained, “Even if it may seem as if we’re splitting apart, you have to understand that nothing can break our bond, not even time and space.”