I woke up to the futile efforts of my alarm clock. As I rolled out of bed my bare feet touched the cold, hardwood floor that I was not yet accustomed to. As we ate breakfast my mom tried to cheer us up.
“You guys will have a great first day”, she said to me and my sister.
“Oh yeah, kids staring at us and teachers asking us lots of questions, yeah, things will be peachy!” I said in my sassy, 7th grader tone.
My mom flashed me a look and told us to get in the car. As we drove to the school my mind thought of what it was like for my sister. She had spent two and a half years at our old school, and now she wasn’t going to graduate with the kids we grew up with, but with people, she would barely know. I was only a 7th grader, I wasn’t thinking about graduation, but my sister was only a few months away from graduating junior high school. I thought about my friends that I left behind in Mt. Prospect, but had I known then that I would only keep in touch with two people I wouldn’t have worried too much.
As we sat in the office of the school, school started. Hundreds of students walked in as if it was a riot. We soon met the principal and the guidance counselor and we received an “exclusive tour” as the guidance counselor put it. I guess during the run of that exclusive tour the counselors decided “You know what is the best way to welcome new students? Let’s give them standardized testing!” So we spent two hours of “fun” taking the M.A.P. test before we received our schedules and locker numbers and were sent off to class.
I walked into the 4th-period gym and realized that I knew someone already; he was a relative of one of my godsisters. His name was Michael Chaires, I mean we didn’t know each other very well, but at least I knew somebody. However, my good mood changed when the teacher decided to stop the whole class to introduce me. The teacher asked me the questions that I anticipated; the usual questions like “what’s your name?” “Anything you want people to know about you?” I was petrified the entire time, from what I had seen in all the movies up to that point the new kid in school is usually the first kid to get beat up in gym class, but before the end of class Mike introduced me to some people, so I felt slightly less awkward.
Things were okay until the one thing I feared the most came, lunch. All I kept thinking is that I was going to die. I had heard all the horror stories, the new kid always gets tripped while carrying his lunch, or gets their money stolen by your stereotypical bully; you know the one with the ripped up clothes who’s secretly crying for help because he has his own emotional issues. I didn’t make it two steps into the lunchroom before the worst possible thing happened; the principal grabbed me and dragged me around the room trying to get people to talk to me.
Eventually, she found a kid who would let me sit with him, and his name was Nick Clark. And I haven’t actually taken the opportunity to thank him until now; So Nick, thank you for making a terrifying day of my life, less horrible. The rest of my day was “interesting” to say the least, especially when I was being treated like a museum artifact whenever I walked into a new classroom; something that everyone wants to look at but can’t touch, or being asked if I was “in a gang” by one of my classmates because of my Randy Contour shirt. When I came home from school that day, I had to admit to my mom that she was right. She still hasn’t let me live it down.
Although my new school wasn’t the same as my old one, it was all new. I’ve made new friends and I keep in touch with the old ones. I have come to know some great people since moving here, whether it be the Kishore twins, who for the first two and a half years I knew them I could only tell them apart by their shoes, or one of my best friends Johnny Barrett, who in the five years I have known him has gone through five different hairstyles. I can honestly say I learned two things from moving schools; One, don’t be afraid of change. And two; never admit to your mom that she’s right… Like ever.