Looking back at my life, from since I was a child, I always thought of myself as an easy-to-approach and friendly person. This made me confident about being in new environments, as I imagined people could easily befriend me…
Looking back at my life, from since I was a child, I always thought of myself as an easy-to-approach and friendly person. This made me confident about being in new environments, as I imagined people could easily befriend me. Even when I watched movies that showed how people are bullied when they join a new school, I was sure it would never happen to me. In my view, I am easy-going, cool and fun to be around, as evidenced by the fact that I have many friends with whom I play football with over the weekend or after school, if time allows. However, this all changed when my father informed my siblings and I that we would be moving to a different town since he had been offered a better job there. This meant changing schools and worse, leaving the friends that I had grown close to and shared memorable things with. My siblings- two younger sisters- were excited and sad about leaving their friends too, they were scared about joining a new school too, as they felt it would be hard to find people that they could get along with easily. On the other hand, I felt that this would not be a challenge and that I would keep in touch with my old friends via phone and facebook. The fateful day of our moving came and goodbyes were said. Being on a Saturday, I made sure that I had bid farewell to my friends from school the day before and exchanged contacts, including postal address, to ensure we remain in touch. I was particularly keen on keeping in touch with my swimming instructor; he had been such an inspiration and a mentor as I hone and perfect my swimming skills. I discovered my passion for the sport through him and found someone to guide me through my studies, so he was a person I was sure I would miss. Getting to the new town and settling into a new neighborhood worked out fine; this was a larger town, much nearer to the city. I found it exciting and eagerly awaited that day which I would start at the new school and make friends. Sunday was dedicated to unpacking and being acquainted with the new environs. I realized that there were no kids of my age but consoled myself that I would make some at school the following day and we would visit each other. My sisters were lucky enough to find their age mates in the neighborhood. I was further consoled by the fact that there was a youth hostel nearby, thus I could comfortably continue swimming. I mapped out my route to school and prepared my bag and clothes in anticipation of the first day. I had no problem getting up, as I was energized and slightly nervous; hurriedly, I showered, had my breakfast and left for the new school which was a ten-minute walk. I got to school early enough and checked in at the admissions office to get a copy of the timetable, combination for my locker and a brief orientation. Walking into my first class marked the end of all my hopes of making friends easily and simply fitting into the new environment. The class teacher felt the need to make me stand up at the front and talk a little about myself. As I did this, I heard other students giggle and some sneered; it was generally an uncomfortable and disheartening moment. Being an optimist, I told myself this would pass before lunchtime; however, this was not to be, as I painfully discovered through the rest of the day. My next class was Chemistry and everyone had a lab partner except for me. The teacher then paired me up with a student that seemed ‘out casted’ by the rest for some reason. I joined her and quickly introduced myself only to get a cold shoulder from her. Through the class, I realized that she was much smarter than everyone else and this made her arrogant, thus no one liked her. I suffered through trying to keep up and challenged myself to make her a friendly person. My day got worse at lunch time when I walked into the cafeteria and realized that everyone sat in a group which each had certain tables ‘reserved’ for them. I got my food and mustered the courage to sit at a table that had two occupants ...
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