Chapter 16 – A New Start (Hi!)

1 09 2008


Hi there! And… WELCOME to my humble blog! My name is CloudsAreGatheringOverMe, and this is my first proper blog post. I’m a little nervous, but I’m going to give it my all.

I’ve just returned from my first day at my new school, and I think it went pretty well. In the past, my problem has always been giving a bad first impression, because I’m shy and I’m not the most trusting of people. Which is a problem, because first impressions are important. No matter what your reason, if you’ve given a bad first impression, you don’t get a do-over. In everyone else’s eyes, that first impression is you: the quiet girl who ignores people. Stuck up. Awkward. Moody. And that is so not who I am.

When I stepped out the door this morning, I had two ideas in mind: that I would be cheerful always, and that I would be friendly to everyone. I was repeating those words over and over in my head all the way there. When I got there, school still hadn’t started, and everyone was standing around outside, talking. I panicked, because everyone was so strange and unfamiliar. I was even more of a misfit than usual. All thoughts of friendliness forgotten, I went over to a bench and sat down. Nothing had changed.

Then this girl came over, and I thought, ‘Here we go, it’s starting already. I wonder what names they’ll call me here.’ She looked, to be blunt, like your stereotypical Southern nettla: chunky bracelets, hoop earrings. I braced myself for the first, inevitable, sneering insult.

She said ‘Hi.’ I blinked, surprised, and said ‘Hi,’ back. She thought I looked lost, and asked if I wanted to sit with her and her friends.

So I did. And they were really cool people. They were friendly and they made jokes, and they talked about all sorts of things, music and clothes and people I’ve never met and sports and what subjects they were taking, and somehow I fitted in just fine. Well, I still felt utterly out of place, but I was cheerful, and I was friendly. I didn’t need to think about it, I just was. And I liked them, and I think they all liked me. Which was a very strange thought.

The morning was mainly spent listening to lectures from the head teacher and members of the staff – well, not so much listening to them as enduring them – and touring around the school buildings. The girl who said ‘Hi’ to me earlier showed me where everything was, and was happy to give advice about which teachers were lenient and which ones were strict, what were the best shortcuts around the buildings, which drinking fountains worked (none of them), that sort of thing.

Lunch break was cool; they gave us free sandwiches and cola. My new friends and I sat in the sun, eating our free food, talking and enjoying the weather. After a bit, some boys turned up with a football and asked if we wanted to join in. The girl with the bracelets and one of her friends joined in the game, but it wasn’t my thing really, so I just watched.

After lunch came my first lesson at my new school: English. At my old school, the other kids hated me because I would always ask and answer questions in class, so I kept a low profile here and kept my hand by my side.

I walked home along the same route as one of my new friends. Turns out she lives on the exact same street as me! So that’s one new neighbour I know! Back in Hyperborea, I never really knew my neighbours, but maybe I can be more neighbourly around here.

It’s been a super opti beastie day. I’ve made some new friends, and school wasn’t anything like as noxious as it might have been. I was nervous about coming here, but if today is anything to go by, Hercynia is going to rock.




2 responses

1 09 2008

just had a new start myself, but the real friendliness comes after the first week. if you’re still friends with these people after a week then you’re pretty much friends. 🙂 i wasn’t – but then again, i don’t speak the same language as the people i made friends with, so that was probably a problem. 😀

CloudsAreGatheringOverMe: Sorry to hear that. I hope I can stay friends with them. I think I’ll be OK so long as I don’t do anything too stupid or stand-offish. We may speak the same language, but I sound completely different from everyone else around here!

3 09 2008

I’m glad people were friendly to you on your first day. It really helps to fit in when they are welcoming. I’m going to try your trick repeating “cheerful and friendly”. Sounds like that worked for you.

CloudsAreGatheringOverMe: Me too!! That it certainly does. Everything’s going great! I didn’t think it did work, but looking back, I guess maybe it did!

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