Moving has been, and probably always will be, one of the most chaotic experiences of my entire life. No, it’s not an exaderation, it’s the truth. Moving separates you from your environment, (one that you’ve probably been in your whole life) and transplants you into a completely foreign environment. You have no idea what names go to which faces, and where you’re supposed to go when you turn up for your first day of school.
My moving experience all started in December of 2015. I was midway through my 8th grade year, getting ready to move on to the wonders of high school. I had a good group of friends, and I had a good feeling I was exactly where I wanted to be, until that infamous day.
It was the day after Christmas. I remember because I had some serious heartburn from all the stocking stuffers I had received the day before. I was blowing as much time on video games as possible before New Year’s, and before vacation was over. I’d imagine my sister was probably binge eating just as hard as I was, but her door was closed so it was anyone’s guess really.
“Zach! Ally! Come downstairs please!” Mom blurted out from downstairs.
These random calls always scared me to my feet, and they still do. I just don’t know how she can be that sneaky and then scream at the top of her lungs. Ally and I made our way down the stairs, grumbling all the way. We plopped down on the couch, bellies sticking out from under our shirts. (Mostly me)
“I’ve been meaning to tell you guys something”, she spoke with a slight waver in her voice. You could tell she was shaky. “I think it’s about time we moved”. In a way, we saw this coming, but we didn’t want to believe it. Mom had picked up a job writing for a newspaper in Amery for some time now, probably about a year. I’m sure she was just tired of commuting the 30 miles every morning and wanted to start making the transition. There was one bright side to it, though. Our father had been living in the Oceola area for over 10 years, and always had to drive nearly an hour to bring us to his house on the days he had custody. Plus, me turning 16 would only make that drive even easier and we wouldn’t even need his help.
From the moment she murmured those words, everything went downhill. The rest of my vacation was ruined with the thought of losing all my friends. Everything I had worked on, all the relationships. Teachers I had grown up with, students too. All of it was about to change, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Nightmares started frequently popping up in my sleep. I often woke up yelling or gasping for air. Nobody else really knew that, that’s the first time I’ve told.
The first day, January 11th, 2016. I woke up early, which for me is a rare occurrence. Couldn’t sleep anyway, so I was probably thinking I might as well present myself well. Mom hadn’t even thought about living arrangements. It wasn’t the first time seeing the school, since we did have an orientation a few days earlier, but that wasn’t what I was worried about. The students were my focus. The only previous interaction I had with a student was Grady pummeling me in the stomach with a baseball during a baseball game, so that’s what I used as an introduction.
As soon as I walked in, the cafeteria was a buzz. Drew walked around with me, since he was one of the Student Council members who gave me a tour. The layout of the school was just, weird to say the least. Academically speaking, it made sense. All of the common core subjects were on their own half of the school, but it wasn’t exactly the “choose your own classes” feel I was used to. First period was gym, something I wasn’t very enthusiastic about because I had already taken gym in Cumberland, and assumed it would count.
By the time lunch came around, I managed to make it through ELA, Advanced Math, and Social Studies. I recognized one familiar face, Henry Budke, because my step mother always went to his farm and helped tend the horses when Henry’s family went away. I decided to sit across from him, and roll with it from there.
“Hi” Henry grumbled, barely looking up. Later on I’d learn that Henry didn’t really open up until you knew him, which did happen in time.
I didn’t think he recognized me from the reaction I gave, so I tried to explain. He still had no idea. Then, the table started to fill up rapidly. Kenny, Nick, both Jacksons, and others sat down and all gave me a weird reaction. I would be lying if I said I could remember the conversation, but I can’t. They did warm up to me though, and the rest of the school year went on relatively smoothly with the boys I met at the lunch table.
Housing was a bit more chaotic, but we made it work. We originally started to live in Mom’s Boyfriend’s apartment, something we hated, but we eventually made the transition into our own house. I learned through the lunch table the Chloe Keller’s family originally rented the house, and I was sleeping in her former bedroom. I always laughed about that. My house sort of became the inside joke of the group.
Ok, so it wasn’t as chaotic as I made it out to be, but it was still pretty nuts. Even now I don’t know everyone’s names in my own grade, much less the entire high school. Hopefully, things continue to go smoothly with the whole transition, which I don’t think is over quite yet.