Beginning at a New School

May 28, 2008
By Taylor Friant, Hooksett, NH

Starting school in Hooksett was one of the greatest changes of my life. I moved there from a small town and I had plenty of friends I did not want to leave behind. I thought going to a new school would be the worst thing in the world, but then the school year started and my life turned around.
I met some new friends on the first day of school, which made my day a lot easier. Despite this, it was still tough being the new kid in school. There were a lot of people in the school, and it seemed as though everyone thought I was a freak and did not want to be around me. Whenever I walked in the hallway, I got blank looks and awful, scolding stares from other students. Thankfully my new friends would always make me feel better at lunch. I was happy because I had a couple of classes with them too, so I could talk to them more.
Making friends at a school where I did not know anyone was a difficult challenge. My nickname (for about a month) was “New Kid”. Whenever I passed a group of people, they always whispered and talked to each other. I never thought I would fit in with anyone because not a lot of people talked to me. I only talked to the few friends I had.
I remember one particular day when I was new. I was casually walking threw the hall, going back to my class from lunch and (at the time I was in seventh grade) some eighth grader thought it would be funny to trip me. Because the hallways were somewhat narrow when our grades passed each other, we usually brushed against one another or came close to it. So, as I walked by him he stuck his foot out and I did not have any reaction time. My feet hit his, and I went crashing down like a big tree being cut down in a forest. When I struggled to gather my books and other materials, almost everyone laughed at me and no one made an effort to help me until one of the teachers that had hallway duty noticed me. The shame was unbearable. I tried not to think about what others were thinking of me, but it was the only thing I thought about the rest of the day. It was an unimaginable paranoia that I could not shake off. I thought everyone was out to get me and did not want anything to do with me. After I gathered my things a teacher escorted me down to the nurse for a quick check because I bumped my head on the ground, while the other student was sent to the office to see the principal. I tried not to seem like I was shaken up or bothered by it. But I actually, really was. I was so angry and yet I felt incredibly helpless. I visited the nurse and I moved on to my class afterwards. Surprisingly, the remainder of the day normal.
Sometimes I also felt intimidated by teachers in the classroom, who always called on me and put me on the spot, whether I knew the answer or not. As if that weren’t enough, almost every time I looked across the room, the entire class was staring at me. I felt really uncomfortable and awkward. Soon, I got used to the stares and began to ignore them.
By the end of the year, there were not many people I did not know. As the school year was finally starting to wind down, I had made more friends than I had thought I would. I was proud of myself for meeting so many people. During that year I learned a lot of things, but the most important were that I should never be afraid to meet new people and that I should never doubt myself.

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