That day in 6th period, we were dismissed a little late, since a couple of boys had to be unpleasantly loud in class. To make up for the lost time, I had to take a detour from my usual path of the parking lot. Instead, hurried over to Ms. Palmer’s (the administer of the test’s) room, to make sure she would still be there, since I had to give her $3 for the test. I walked down the pathway to Room C, passing many other classrooms, all of which were mostly empty since they were let out on time. I was almost running, pushing past dozens of other people who were casually walking, seemed like they had nowhere important to go. Fall Fest was coming up, so the air smelt of fresh cotton candy. Leaves were falling down and there was an unwanted cool breeze, everyone missing the sense of summer. As I came closer and closer to Room C, I started to relax and slow down since I heard her voice inside and knew she was still there. Then, I heard a couple of unfamiliar voices. Two 7th grade boys were standing on the railing of the ramp that lead to Ms. Palmer’s room, talking to each other loud enough for everyone to hear.
At the time, it was early in the year of 6th grade. I was still adjusting from elementary school to the differences in middle school, taking each and every step seriously, like the world of responsibilities rested on my shoulders. I was the kind of girl who was a little confused, but still loved the journey. I was a pretty fun and outgoing person if I was with my friends and loved ones. Otherwise, I was a shy and sensitive girl, who could fall down with the tiniest push. I had heard on the announcements that day in the morning, that there was going to be an AMC8 test. The AMC8 test is basically where they give you a test with questions ranging all the way from sixth grade math to eighth grade math, and you have 40 minutes to answer 25 questions.
The other day, my friends and I were debating on whether or whether not to take the test. In the end, I was the only one of my friends who had decided to take the test this year and the rest said they would take it next year. I would try to do as best as possible, since math was my favorite subject. This isn't common, but I had liked math ever since 3rd grade, when my favorite teacher, Mrs.Taylor taught us. Anyways, back to reality. When I was shuffling past classrooms, almost running to Room C, I heard some 7th grade boys talking…
“Hey dude come on, let's go, SCHOOL IS OVER! Race you to the parking lot,” said one huge 7th grader, with a nasty smile.
“Nahhh, I wanna stay here to see what pathetic nerds sign up for this stupid AMC8 test. They probably think they're so smart. I’ll race you next time, but I would have beaten you anyway.” sneered the other seventh grader in a sarcastic voice.
“Uh huh, you wish...Well cool, bro tell me what you find out later,” as the first seventh grader sprinted away in the opposite direction passing me and almost tripping me.
I comprehended the words: pathetic, stupid, and nerd in my mind. My cheeks began to redden and my eyes teared up. Sniffling, I wiped my nose to keep it from running. And in a few seconds, tears started rolling down my cheeks. I quickly started walking away in no apparent direction other than away, away from those cruel, judging voices, forgetting about the money I had to give. Even though it was a cool October day, everything around me began to heat up, and I felt a knot forming in my stomach like an endless void was sucking all the happiness from me. Am I a nerd? Am I pathetic? Is it bad for me to like math and think that it is fun?Would I be branded as a nerd in my school and be teased if they found out I was going to take the math test. Millions of terrible thoughts ran through my head. If people would have heard those disparaging remarks, maybe it wouldn't be too hard for them to believe in my thoughts. At that time I even looked like the stereotypical nerd. I was still wearing my glasses, that I put on in class to look at the board for clarity, my hair was in a messy bun, and I even had braces. I probably screamed, “Look at me, I'm a nerd,” physically and personality wise.
I quietly ducked my head down trying to hide myself in the hoodie I was wearing and concealed myself from any outside connection. I was feeling embarrassed about even considering to take the test and also intimidated at the fact of being a social outcast for signing up for the test. Losing track of things, I bumped into a couple of people, quietly saying “Excuse me” and “Sorry” while trying to fight through my tears that couldn’t seem to stop. I lifted up my glasses and wiped away any traces of what had just happened and put on my best happy face so my mom wouldn't ask what had happened.
It was the next day in school and I still hadn't given the money to Mrs. Palmer. It was Friday, the last day that I could give the money. I pulled my best friend, Tanya over to the side at our secret meeting place (that well I can’t tell you, since its secret) during brunch and asked her about my situation.
“Tanya, so you know how I said I was going to take the AMC8 test…” I said embarrassed, wondering why I had even decided to tell her, almost saying never mind.
“Yesss, you went yesterday to give her the money” she said, clearly not sure where this conversation was going.
“So, um I went to Mrs. Palmer’s classroom and I was going to give her the money, but then something happened….” I gave her the details.
I hadn't told anyone except Tanya. I was embarrassed what they would say, whether I wasn't brave enough to face my fears, or I truly was a nerd and a social outcast. Being my best friend who always looked on the bright side of things, she told me I needed to stand up for myself. She told me would never get anywhere in life if I only cared about what others thought of me and didn't do what I wanted.
After thinking about all that had happened during lunch, brunch and the advice I had received from my best friend, I had finally came to a decision. I was going to go to Ms. Palmer’s class and give her the $3. I wanted to take the test whether or not those boys were there. I would stand up for myself even if those boys were there mocking people for taking test and be proud for my decision. Sure you can think whatever you want, I am a nerd, I'm pathetic but you don't decide for me. If they weren't there it was fine I would still have the feeling knowing that I made right decision. I knew that it wouldn’t be much of problem what the boys said, whatever they said. But it was me with those words taking over me and doubting myself.
That day after school, I walked proudly with my head up towards Ms. Palmer’s room. I saw that the boys weren't there, but it was fine. I had gotten over that. I walked up the ramp, into the room and said, “Hi. I'm here for the AMC 8 test.”