USA TODAY

January 13, 2009
By
The village that helped raise me was probably my high school. I grew up in a family with very good morals and values. I went to St. Charles grade school and even there it was like a sin to wear make up or not sing in church. My parents kept me very sheltered and didn’t let me be myself. I was always inside a shell and was loath to cracking it open. However, this all changed the day I entered my first day of freshman year.
I was the pasty white girl wearing ineffectual mascara and practically a turtle neck. I also had a social malady. No one knew who I was because I went to a private school and was very rarely exposed to public school kids. Because of this, I thought they were intimidating and did nefarious things in their free time. The only time was at dances and even then, we private school kids tended to stick to our own kind. It was world of business and I sat next to this boy that I had liked for a very long. He went to a public school and the only way I knew who he was, was because of dances. I began to scrutinize the way he looked and thought he was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. When I first met him though, I thought I sounded astute and sweet. He thought otherwise. He was vexatious and acted like he was better than everyone else. He also had a girlfriend who is now one of my best friends. Anyways, that’s when I knew this wasn’t going to be a good fit for me unless I adjusted. Just then, the bell rang. The halls were all so crowded and jammed compared to the 40 kids I was used to. I had to learn to not apologize every time I bump into someone and just make my way the best I could. I only saw a familiar face every once in a while during passing. Next hour was Spanish. There, I made my first friend that didn’t go to my old school. We were both the only two girls left without a person. Being deathly intimidated by boys, I was very happy when she asked me to work with her. We began talking, and she seemed like an amicable girl. She introduced me to a lot of other kids in the class, and advocated for them to like me. One of the boys she had introduced me to also happened to be on my bus that afternoon home. He had no idea who I was and came and sat down next to me. “Hey you’re in my Spanish, right?” “Yeah” I said. “I think you are on the wrong bus. Where do u live?” I told him where, and It turned out I was on the right bus he had just never seen me before. He then informed me that he had heard of me and every kid in the neighborhood just knew me as the little private school girl. I solicited his help in making friends. He began introducing me to other kids on the bus. I made many knew friends that day that I ended up hanging out with that whole summer and still do.
The moral of this story is to not be afraid to hatch out of your shell. Once you do that you may change a lot, but usually this change is for the better. I never would have the best friends I have today if I had I not been willing to step out of my comfort zone and live a little.





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