I have kept a journal documenting my life since I was in fifth grade. I remember my experience as a fifth grader as easily as solving a multiplication problem. I had just gotten back from the most amazing vacation in Myrtle Beach with my cousins and feeling like I could take on the world. I changed schools for my fifth grade year because my normal elementary school did not have a strong enough curriculum for me. I remember walking into my classroom and immediately feeling like an outcast. Everyone knew everyone because they all had been together since kindergarten and younger. I felt like I was getting in the way of all of the bonding between friends as I walked to my seat in between two girls who were, obviously, best friends. They kept on talking like I was not even there and it made me feel uncomfortable and awkward. I know people typically talk about how they were finally able to make friends and live happily ever after, but that was never my case. I wish that I could have watched “Mean Girls” before my fifth grade year, but I had to learn the hard way how mean girls can be. I was on a different curriculum for some of my classes from all of my class mates, but it was decided, later in the year, that they thought I was being distant with everyone so they decided they wanted me to be more involved with my class, so my other classes were twice a week, and so the teachers that all elementary kids look up to just threw me to the sharks.
Recess had to of been the worst part of the day for me. Since most people knew I was the new kid, people found ways to get a good laugh out of me. I remember some girls asking me if I wanted to play catch with them. I replied yes and they told me to go grab a purple ball from the ball basket so we could play. As I got the ball, some sixth graders came up to me and told me that the rule at recess was that only sixth graders could use the purple balls. I did not believe them so I kept walking, but they kept on yelling at me and saying that they were going to get me in trouble, or worse, get me in detention if I did not give them the ball. I decided to not get myself in any more trouble, so I gave the guys the ball, and tried looking for the girls to tell them the bad news. They were no where to be found.
I still do not understand, to this day, why I was targeted for this cruelty. I remember finishing my spelling assignment the day before it was do, so I placed my book inside my desk and left for the day. The next afternoon when our class was going over the spelling assignment, I could not find my spelling book. I cleaned out my desk looking for it and knew by then that someone had taken my book. I went up to my teacher and told him I was missing my book from my desk. To embarrass me more, he made an announcement to the class that I had lost my book and that if anyone saw it, to give it back to me. All I got from my class were stares that said, “wow, she must be stupid for losing that”, and I got some mischievous from other kids. Two days later, my book was placed back in my desk in the same place I had put it two days before. I remember wanting to run out of the classroom screaming and crying.
My mother tried to soothe me, saying that everything would get better, that I would make friends and they would stand up for me. She obviously did not know what I was going through. Everyday from school I would come home and run up to my room and literally cry. I know how emo that sounds but it was true. My mom considered taking me to a therapist because I refused to talk to her about what was going on. I would write in my journal, saying everything I was unable to say out loud. I could not cry in front of anyone, it was how I was raised. I had an older and younger brother who were both attending my previous school and were having no troubles what so ever. I could not comprehend all of the good stuff they were saying, how they were being invited over to friend’s houses to play, being invited to birthday parties.
I had lost all contact with my old best friends, and I had no intention with talking with them again. I was afraid they would not like the way I had changed. I kept myself guarded and silent, not wanting to create trouble or attention on myself. I have always been a small person, and some people seem to think that, because of this fact, they have the right to pick on me, call me names, and say it is like making fun of a younger sibling. People thought it was funny, but I would never let people see that I never thought it was funny.
When my mom finally got the agreement that I would be able to go back to my old school next summer, I was ecstatic! I remember smiling for the first time in a long time. But, by that time, I had lost all of my self-confidence. I was distant with all my friends, missing out on awesome experiences that they all had of their fifth grade years. I felt left out and lost back at the school that I had been wishing to go back to since the first day of fifth grade.
I remember the day when I met my best friend, the one who my mom was talking about who would understand me and would stand up for me when no one else would. I was playing basketball by myself (since I was a 6th grader now I could play with any ball I wanted! hahaha) and she came up to me asking if she could shoot some hoops with me. At first I saw that we were complete opposites, mostly that she was tall and I was short, but that was how our friendship got started. I would throw her the ball and she would be able to toss the ball in the hoop, most of the time. :)
She was the first person I had opened myself up to in a year, and it felt good, normal. :) She was the first person to teach me the new music of the time. I felt like I had been stuck in the old ages because I thought everyone still listened to the Beatles and Avril Lavigne all the time. I remember the first band she introduced me to, and that was Linkin Park. I learned how to appreciate lyrics, and how I could speak out about myself through the music I listened to.
I would just like to say thank you to this friend of mine who saved me from myself, and changing my life forever when in 2006/2007, she introduced me to Paramore, the band who I live through every day of my life, and who have taught me that no matter how hard life may be, you still gotta keep moving forward.