|By Bbstlchi (Bbstlchi) on Tuesday, November 25, 2003 - 07:55 pm: Edit|
My dad waved me goodbye as I walked up the cold gray steps of my new school alone. The kids that walked past talked to each other about their summer but hardly even glanced at me. Changing schools has been one of the worst feelings I have ever encountered. My four years of high school have been a journey full of obstacles that affected me academically as well as emotionally. In the past three years, I have moved from India to Saint Louis, MO and then from Saint Louis to Chicago. Ironically I will have to move again next year and go off to college.
Upon coming to America, I realized I was different with my Indian accent, Indian looks and Indian lifestyle. These differences made it hard for me to fit into my new school. But as time progressed, I got a sense of belonging thanks to the wonderful students and teachers I met, who were willing to help me at any point.
So Just when I thought everything was going al right, tragedy struck. It was spring time of my junior year. I was busy selecting my classes for the next year, looking forward to another fun filled physics class with my favorite teacher Mr. Lay and joining the school’s soccer team. The same day I returned home and my mom with a grief-stricken face told me “ dear, your dad got laid off from his job today, we will have to move to Chicago after completing your year”. Bang! All my dreams and hopes were shattered. My intellectual understanding of the move contrasted with my emotional resistance to it. I was afraid of the uncertainty that lay ahead and unhappy about those who I left behind. Nevertheless, I held the tears within myself, left my destiny into the hands of my dad and moved to Chicago.
My first visit to the school didn’t impress me . Could I have any worse start than to hear the news that I was too late for the soccer try-outs?. And then came the D-day, my first day of school. A feeling of anxiety, depression and resentment overcame me. I felt lonely again in a cheerful and jubilant high school world. For the first two days, I didn’t bother getting out of my secluded world. The next day, as I walked past the cafeteria, I noticed a tall and pale kid sitting all alone in the corner. Feeling sympathetic towards him I went up and said “ Hi, what’s your name?”. In a very peculiar accent he replied” Hi, I am Ricky, I am new to this school”. “Where you from?”, I asked him. He replied “oh, I just moved in from London”. From his talks I realized that he was more glad to find a companion than I was. Perhaps he needed help more that I did. Talking to him made me realize that maybe my victimhood and isolation was all self imposed. I was probably causing misery to myself by refraining from getting involved. Perhaps if I could be more out going like I just was, I could make friends again. The next day, I didn’t mind asking for help from the person sitting next to me in my math class. Much to my delight, he invited me over to play soccer with his friends. This led to a series of new friendships. Making new friends again gave me a feeling of confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
So as I look back at my 3 years of high school, I realize what a life enriching experience changing schools has been for me. Every time I moved, I ended up meeting people who were as wonderful as those I left behind. A few months from now, I see myself surrounded by unknown walls of a university. But this time I will be mentally prepared to face my battles, to talk to people and to make friends again. Each friend I have met has given me something special, I just cant tell you what it is. Every time I have left a friend I hold on to memories, memories that are going to live with me until the day I die.
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