Sunday, September 4, 2011

First Day Of School

The first day of school was never a thing that was particularly memorable to me one way or the other.  It generally carried some weight because it was close to or on my actual birthday.  That can be a little less than the best birthday day, to have it fall on the first day of school.

The only first day of school that really stand out in my mind was my first day of high school, way back when.  It used to stand out to me in a bitter way, but not anymore.

I went to high school in a small town.  A very small town.  I moved to that town just a few short months before high school began.  I moved there from a bigger city.  I had attended a big middle school.

I expected it to be easy.  Small town, small school, small class--about 200 kids.  I thought it would be a piece of cake to make friends and fit in, to learn my way around the school and make the most of high school.

I didn't understand small towns.  In a way, I still don't.  But I learned a lot.

These kids, my classmates, had been in everything together from the very beginning.  From toddler playgroups to kindergarten to soccer to middle school.  Now it was high school.  Everyone had their click.  Their place.

I didn't have a place.

My first week of high school, not a single student spoke to me.  Not a casual hi.  Not a oh you're the new kid.  Not a teasing word.  Nothing.

That silence spoke volumes.

After a week, someone did befriend me, thanks Shelly, you'll never know what it meant.  She dragged me kicking and screaming into all kinds of things I would never have done without her.

That first week of silence changed me in a way.  At that time, it shut me down.  It made me afraid and doubtful.  I spent high school being afraid of everything and everyone.  I never got truly close to more than one or two people in high school.

As the years have rolled by, and many have by now, it's changed me in a different way.

I've come to see all that was wasted by fears.  I've come to see them as invalid fears.  I've come to finally now know some of my classmates and realize that even though it was awful at the time, it was never really an intentional slight.

I don't think any of my high school classmates meant to ignore me then.   We were all just kids trying our best to figure it out.  In the end, even though I have very few friends from high school, even fewer who are close to me, I still have great high school memories and I wouldn't trade it.

What was your most memorable first day of school, blog it and or leave it for me in the comments.