31 Days of Writing – Blogging each day for 31 days on one topic.
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Coming of Age – Being the New Girl, Again
I remember the first day of Senior year like it was yesterday. There I was, the new girl. Again. I was a little nervous, but excited at the same time. I looked forward to making new friends and having new experiences. I probably couldn’t have articulated that sentiment then, but I somehow knew that first day would be the beginning of a great school year.
As I sat in homeroom on that first day of school, I was immediately put on the spot when this girl named Jackie, who I could immediately tell was one of the cool kids, looked me right in the eye and asked rather loudly “Who are you? Are you new here?”. She didn’t say it in a mean way, but her tone wasn’t all that pleasant either. I could have responded in a lot of different ways. I could have matched her semi-nice/semi-nasty attitude as I answered (and we would have certainly become enemies as a result). I could have come across really shy and timid (the entire class was looking at me after all). But instead, I simply smiled and told her my name and said that I was, in fact, new and had just moved to Savannah from Ohio. I don’t remember the entire conversation after that, but we did continue to chat and discuss how I came to be a student at Jenkins High School. I earned Jackie’s respect that day and while we didn’t end up being best buds, we were friendly with each other throughout the year.
Whenever I think about the impact that moving around a lot growing up has had on me, I often think about the positive effect of being the ‘new girl’ several times and learning how to handle it. It has served me well in my adult life both professionally and personally. I am comfortable being in a room full of people I do not know. I am comfortable speaking in a room full of people I do not know. I’m sure part of that is innate, but I am also sure that some of that comes from my ‘new girl’ training.