The New Kid At School

December 17, 2007
By Jessica Meccariello, Hartland, WI

“Let’s welcome Josh, he’s all the way from Georgia,” said Mrs. Brown.

I watched as he looked around at all the unfamiliar faces. His round, freckled face turned rosy, and his voice started to tremble as he murmured a quiet hello. There was no doubt in my mind that his cowboy boots would not stand a chance to all the jocks and preps. These were the two most profound groups; the groups everyone strived to be apart of at one point or another throughout a students high school career. Interested to see how people would react to Josh, I gave him a smile and opened my English book to page 102 as Mrs. Brown instructed.

Having lunch at school sounds so simple, but in reality it can be strenuous for some students. It’s all about where you sit, who you associate yourself with, and someone’s personal style which determines their “group.” At 12 O’clock Josh stumbled into the cafeteria, blown away by the size and number of people, he didn’t know where to turn. He glanced quickly my way, but only for a second, afraid of rejection he cautiously took a seat with the chess club members.

There was something about him I was attracted to. It might have been the way he confidently raised his hand in class, knowing his answers were correct. It might have been how his rugged, worn out blue jeans screamed Brad Paisley. What drew me to him I did not know, but I was ready to try something new. I wanted to experience something different from the jocks and preppy boys all the girls fought over at school.

High school is supposed to be filled with the best times and memories. It’s not about how to hold back tears when you’re getting picked on, or how to camouflage yourself in the hallways. I could see the petrified look in Josh’s hazel eyes as he walked from class to class watching all the cliques and groups pass, hoping for acceptance.

A month has passed; Josh found a group, unfortunately not a group my friends talk to. He enjoyed off-roading down those winding country roads, musky fishing by the creek, and playing “mud on the tires” by Brad Paisley in his Chevy pick-up. It wasn’t until that day in the parking lot, which would change everything. When Josh accidentally backed up into my Kia Spectra, I witnessed his freckled face turn rosy like his first day in English class.

We started talking and surprisingly we had much in common. I hung out with his group of friends more often; while my friends, whom I thought were true, began to ignore me. High school is tough, but we all manage to make it though, some leave with emotional scares that never seem to subside. If we just give people a chance before passing judgment, maybe we’ll find true friends, ones we hold dear.

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