The beginning of high school is the most exciting, yet scary, year of your life. It is so much fun to race down the halls looking for classes and chatting with friends. But what if you have no friends? What if you don’t know anyone and the things that were supposed to be fun become the most horrifying experiences of your life? This is the kind of life the new kid in town gets, and I’m a prime example. I am from India (yes, I know how cool that is), and I don’t know anyone here. For a new student, being included in groups of kids from other schools is tough. We need more things to talk about other than a new place and new life. It’s especially tough for kids who are not all that sociable (like me). A conversation usually goes like this: “Hi! I’m in your homeroom!” They’ll reply, “Oh, yeah…So what do you have next?” We exchange classes. There is silence. That’s the end of our conversation. I don’t work up the courage to speak to him or her again.
Another barrier for me is the way that Indians are perceived here. The way Indians are portrayed in the media is bizarre—what is up with that fake accent? Believe me, none of us really have that accent. I’m not from Narnia. I have a lot in common with everyone here. I eat the same burgers and pizzas. I listen to the same music. Yes, I occasionally play Taylor Swift. I rock with Three Days Grace, go insane with Greenday, groove to Avril Lavigne, and scream with Evanescence. I even see the same movies. I saw Kung Fu Panda, Freedom Writers, The Little Mermaid (hey, you’re never too old for a Disney movie). I also saw my favorite: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. I, too, am sad that Harry Potter is over. I, too, hate Rebecca Black. I, too, love Friends and hate Twilight.
My mother tells me that I should be patient and that it will take time to make friends. But I can’t be patient! Maybe I am not very sociable, but if you get to know me, I’m chatty and friendly. It doesn’t take much time for an outgoing new student to make friends, but kids who are quieter and of the “books-are-my-friends” type have a harder time at the beginning. I’m in the latter group of students, and I’m not sure that we are the most popular of friends. But I know we make at least a few very close friends—and if you give us a chance, you’ll find we’re not boring at all.