Encounter, adventure: Building Me

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Alexia Slaven

My first day of high school was definitely one to forget. 

I was petrified and begged my mum to take me home, but to no avail. 

At that very moment, a tsunami of negative emotions engulfed me with unrelenting angst.   Socially anxious, I did not want to go to a school with a bunch of strangers.  

My main reason for being extremely nervous on the first day of high school was this sneaky rumination of replaying conversations in my head, “What will people think of me? Where do I sit and where do I go?  What do I say?  What do I do if I trip or get hit by a banana?” 

 I tried asking people in school where the Year 9 building was, but I felt my words fall like laughing gas bombs.   

As overrated as it may sound, I care greatly what people thought of me and because of that I was scared.   I’m not exactly what you’d call an average teenage girl.  

I am big-bone with broad shoulders and have humongous feet, inherited traits from my parent’s DNA files. 

Yet at the same time, these are the things I’m proud of. What I’m not exactly thrilled about is my awkward conversations preplanned in my mind and the other person not following the script.  I suppose it is all part of growing up and moving on, making memories and having fun, falling down and getting up.    

I am a maladroit, both clumsy and dorky! 

Throughout my life along with my enormous feet, I’ve tripped over many rocks. I’ve gotten hit in the face numerous times by soccer balls. I’ve run into several walls and even got my head stuck between the rails once.  

All these stumbling incidents ran through my mind when I got into the Year 9 classroom of Samoa College. I was worried of my unsuppressed clumsiness and lack of finesse that people would find me independently annoying, weirded-out and probably distance themselves from me.  

I do crave connecting socially with people through topics I enjoy, but at the same time cautious about revealing too much about myself to friends, in case it would scare them off.  

It’s now been eight weeks of school and I don’t understand what I was so nervous about. High school is a lot like real life.  I’ve made new friends who accept me for me, as I do them. 

I’ve embraced my peculiarity and have met people just as uncoordinated as I am! I have gained self- confidence in my perks and flaws, because no one is perfect.  I am also emotionally untethered to the fact that I am namelessly invisible to many people in school, but that is okay. I have changed my mentality of thinking to suit my surroundings.  

If we focus only on the black dot (problem/flaw) in the middle of a white paper we forget to recognize the white (the good things).  This can lead us to never feel good enough as I once did.   

So far, I have learned that freshman year is a time for growth.  

As a freshman, I am never bored, always curious to learn and usually look at any challenge as an opportunity to grow.  This first quarter, I began to notice things about how other students act, how rumors spread and how smart kids make stupid choices and lots of mistakes. 

Each encounter has become an adventure that I will gradually share with you all.  

My trials at school, is just the beginning of a journey that will define me.   

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