The New Kid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Eileen has been ever so lucky in finding new friends after moving to Andover from Randolph.

My family moved from East Boston to Roslindale because my father worked in Attleboro and the trip back and forth every day was just too far.

I was 15 years old, and to this day I don't really know why I was unable to make new friends at Roslindale High. One probable reason that comes to mind is ... no one introduced me as "a new kid on the block." I was treated as though I was a long-standing student of the school and that I was just expected to fit in.

On the contrary, I did not fit in. I had no friends and after a month or so, it seemed I would never make new friends. Everything was so different and I was rather shy.

I felt so lost and lonely, I just didn't want to go to school anymore, so I played hooky whenever I could. My grades began to show it.

I would leave the house in the morning as though I were going to school and instead would spend school days in the Turtle Pond Reservation alone, walking through the woods, looking for animals, fantasizing what it would be like if I were out of school for good. I'd spend a lot of time thinking about how lonely I was and somehow survived my loneliness by watching frogs in the pond, fishing and just being close to nature. I would have rather been around animals, insects and mother nature than have been rejected by all the kids at school.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I blamed my loneliness and the situation on my father and mother for taking me away from my friends in East Boston where just about everything I did revolved around friends who I had made since early childhood.

My not attending school got so bad that the school department gave me an ultimatum. They gave me two choices: get my act together and attend school every day, or find a job, and attend a special Boston school downtown for four hours a week.

My decision, and the decision of my parents, was the worst decision we could have made.

With the help of my parents, I found a job within a few days in Boston as an errand boy at minimum wage, and attended special school four hours on Friday mornings and spent days working from 7: 30 a.m. to 5: 00 p.m. I had to be up by 5: 30 in the morning to get to work on time and didn't get home until 6: 00 or so. When I got home, I was so tired, all I wanted to do was have supper and go to bed. I was very unhappy but not quite as lonely. The only advantage was that I had a few dollars to spend, while the rest went to my parents who were having a hard time financially.

I grew up fast in the "Real World" and I am still considered a "loner" by my co-workers. I find myself somewhat confused and cheated, and wonder what things would be like if we hadn't moved from East Boston to Roslindale, or what kind of friends I might have made if I had stuck it out a little longer, or if the teachers at the new school had introduced me as "Newcomer" to Roslindale High and given me a little slack. I guess I blame my teachers somewhat as well. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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