**To read this Flashback Series, click the link at the top of the page**
The second day of school, when all the upperclassmen were there too, was scary. There were so many kids!! It was nice to have her neighbor friend there and to see her in the halls. She was really looking forward to swim team practice after school; Her neighbor friend would be there and She would, hopefully, meet some more people.
It was weird to be new as a freshman because no one knew She was new. There were two junior highs that filtered into the high school, so if someone didn’t know Her, they just assumed She went to the other school. She would have liked for people to know She was new; maybe they’d be nicer or ask her to eat lunch with them. She wasn’t sure if the two girls she ate lunch with the first day would sit with her again. When people discovered She was new, they were really nice though. It was hard though because most of these kids had been friend since elementary school and had very definite groups. She met one girl who was new too; you could tell because of her strong southern accent. She was wearing all Polo Ralph Lauren and was gorgeous; right then and there She decided She needed to save up to buy something Polo too. She only had the one brand name outfit and she had worn that already. Clearly there were things She needed to fit in. She didn’t even know what Polo was before She moved here.
Over the first month of school, things got easier. Swim team was fun and She loved being a part of that group. Her coach was really tough but She was proud to be in the “advanced” group. All those years of practice were paying off. She really liked being part of the team. She soon discovered that it was not cool to ride the bus and found an older teammate that would drive Her. All of these different things to fit in! Back home, having grown up there, She never had to worry about fitting in. Now it was all She thought about.
The other tricky part of moving was that her Dad was still back home. She was supposed to go visit him on Mondays, Wednesdays and every other weekend. With swim practice, the weekdays were out. The weekend visits were getting tougher to make because She wanted to stay here and be with Her new friends. It was hard. She knew Her Dad was upset that She didn’t go visit, and Her sister was upset too that She wasn’t there to keep her company, but how else was She going to fit in? She had to stay and do things with Her new friends.
It was exciting to be able to go to football games and have sleepovers with new friends. Before She knew it, the homecoming dance season had arrived. She had no boys interested in Her at all. She wasn’t surprised. Who would like Her? Who would notice Her in this huge high school? It was nice that She had three other friends who weren’t asked to the dance either. They planned a fun girl’s night out instead. They decided to go out to dinner. Her Mom dropped them off and then They were supposed to call when they were finished. After dinner, She realized that She didn’t remember Her Mom’s boyfriend’s number and that’s where Her Mom was that night. They called the other girls’ parents but no one was home. They were stuck. She tried calling information but the number was unlisted. They were starting to panic. How would they get home? They thought about calling a cab, but they had limited funds between them. They decided to wait a bit and try the girls’ parents again. After about an hour, they finally got someone to pick them up. What an adventure for 14-year-olds!
Swimming was going really well. She was actually really good. At their third swim meet, She beat the fastest girl on the team in the 100-yard breaststroke. She was really excited but felt bad beating the other girl; she was a junior and not too happy about being beat by a freshman. The people on the team were really fun too. She felt like She fit in on the team.
It was so strange to be in this new world with a new house, new school and new friends. She felt like a total stranger in her own life. She really missed Her old friends. They tried to write to each other, but it was so time-consuming and calling on the phone was expensive. She did go back to her old school’s homecoming. It was really fun but, now that She had moved and wasn’t in the loop, She felt like an outsider there too.
She just didn’t fit in anywhere.