I am not Benedict Arnold

 

Every year, each school has its share of “new kids”. Whether they hail from across the country or across the street, it can be a liberating and terrifying experience. After all, no one knows anything about you. They don’t know you aren’t cool; for all your new peers know, you are mysterious and fun and well-connected. While you will eventually and repeatedly embarrass yourself, the first weeks of school are a new beginning, a fresh start.

I didn’t come to Skyline from an exotic location. I don’t have a sexy accent. I transferred from our biggest rival school, Olympus, in my junior year, looking for that fresh start. Yet, even today when I told someone where I spent my sophomore year I got called out as a traitor. No matter that I actually moved closer to Skyline or that I would be the worst Benedict Arnold ever. Seriously, what secrets do I possess? Doesn’t matter. Traitor.

I even play lacrosse for Skyline. It’s just that my school spirit is different from my classmates. While I am proud to be an eagle, I don’t have the same connection to the individual people. I identify with the whole crowd, with the experience of being a student here. The only defense I have against doubters is the knowledge that I have made a unique place for myself in the community. A place characterized by excessive caffeine and cats. They’re…um…jealous?

That being said, I have a few tips for new kids out there:

Do: Wear a “talking piece.” That amazing, unique necklace is a great way to start conversations, establish your personality and win compliments.

Don’t: Let your look define you. If no one recognizes you without three and a half metric tons of eyeliner, you may be overdoing it.

Do: Join something. What better way to meet people you can talk to than join a club of people with a similar interest?

Don’t: Close yourself off. While filling your ears with music and burying your face in your phone helps you avoid looking awkward, it also keeps fellow socially inept classmates from approaching.

Do: Keep in touch with friends from your old school.

Don’t: Let them keep you from enjoying this year. I made this mistake – they might be comfortable, but if you can’t make new friends you will miss out.

Do: Rock your own thing. Even if you are standing alone, everyone respects someone who stays true to themselves.  Plus, having fun draws fun people to you!

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