Posted: Monday, December 31, 2012 12:22:48 AM
I started grade 9 this September, and I have to say, it has been a journey. Making friends -decent ones- has always been easier for me than it is for certain people. In an all-girls school, making friends was even EASIER because there were no guys; ergo less pressure, insecurities, etc. No one cared if you were of different racial background, grade level, spoke distinctively, quieter or were outspoken. None of those mattered. As long as you demanded no trouble, you were fine with everyone.
But slowly but surely, people formed tighter binds with each other, leaving the few other people. As time went on, I began to realize that something was amiss. I noticed during lunch one girl would leave and sit in front of an empty classroom or at the end of the hall. I became conscious of the fact that not one soul seemed to care about that one person. After about three times of witnessing this occurrence, I asked myself what any humane person would do.
The next lunch, I waited for her by her usual ‘spot.’ She looked surprised to see me-anybody- smiling at her. Her name is Jessica. We got around to talking and I discovered a lot about her- her wallflower demeanor did no justice to hidden personality. She’s nothing I expected. Till today, I question myself why I didn’t see past her slightly bigger frame, a little more pimply face and dark hair (which I learned is called brown-hazelnut).
I think that’s the lesson to get through to teenagers today: Everyone does stuff to try to fit in; don’t get caught in the whirlpool. Be your true self. Don’t bother impressing anybody for whatever reasons. You never know, that popular girl coats her face in foundation, or that boy has insecurities but just puts on a mask.
That’s my goal for 2013- I am going to be the change and prove to high-schoolers that real friends don’t care whether or not you have the latest gadgets or if you like a certain band or not. It takes real courage to see past all that blandness in a person to the unique individual they really are.