Just don’t humiliate yourself, Vivian

Just don’t humiliate yourself, Vivian

Rachel, JRB Youth

Vivian, JRB Youth

I hoist my bag onto my shoulder. I check the mirror one last time, lathering a little lip gloss on and checking my hair. Good. I think I look presentable.

I give my mom a hug goodbye as I head out the front door. I spot the big yellow school bus at my corner. My heart skips a beat.

Just don’t humiliate yourself today, Vivian. I mutter to myself as I nervously make my way down to the bus.

I step onto the bus. A whole bunch of unfamiliar strange faces, all gawking at me. Their eyes are like lasers burning holes into my head. I just ignore them quickly, finding a seat.

The whole bus ride is dreadful. Everybody is staring at me, asking me who the heck I am. I don’t want to be rude, but I try to just ignore most of them. They are the least of my worries right now. Besides, I can’t bring myself to speak words. I’m too nervous and shy.

***

T he moment I have been dreading for days is here. We have finally arrived at Trinity Springs Middle School.

I head straight to the office to get my schedule. It’s not yet time for school to start, so I explore the place. I notice that almost everybody has their little clique of friends that they stay together with.

That’s just great.

It’s March.

In the middle of the second semester.

Of course, everybody’s already chosen their friends. Which means it will be harder for me to make friends. I immediately wish I could be at home in my warm, cozy bed.

The bell rings. Time for first period.

I look at my schedule. Science- Room E112. I head upstairs, weaving in and out of the other students.

E112, E112, E112, where is E112?

I can’t find the room. I’m lost. Passing period is almost over. I scope through the hallways at least looking for the letter E somewhere.

But no E112.

Great. I’m going to be late to first period on my first day at a new school. I’m sure I look like a helpless loser trying to find a stupid classroom. The bell rings.

CRAP!

I AM late. Perfect.

I finally find the classroom about five minutes later. Palms sweating, heart racing, I grip the handle and open the door. I see I’ve interrupted the class. Every single head in the room immediately turns to me. I see the lasers again.

I ignore them and walk up to the teacher. She seems to be expecting me. She tells me to go find an empty seat. In my head, I gratefully thank her for not forcing me to introduce myself to the class.

The teacher begins the lesson of the day. I copy what everyone else is doing trying to look like I know what to do. I don’t want to look like an idiot on my first day, so I at least try to pay attention.

***

I make it through the next three periods, ignoring all the gawking and quiet whispers. When lunch time comes, I congratulate myself for making it through the morning without totally humiliating myself.

Lunch time. My next challenge.

The office had sent someone to show me the routine and help me through the lunch line. She even offered me to sit at her table with her friends.

I sit and try to enjoy lunch, and hopefully make a couple new friends.

***

The bell rings and it’s time for the last two periods of the day. Theatre Arts, and Art class — two of my favorite things, so I am feeling a little more confident.

I walk into the classroom, getting used to the routine of the head turning and staring. I introduce myself to the teacher. She’s short and friendly looking in the face.

“Just find a seat somewhere,” she tells me.

***

The bell rings. Time for the last period of the day. Art class — the class I am most looking forward to. Art is the one thing that can help me escape all of the other awful drama and gossip.

Before I know it, the bell rings one last time, and school is out for the day.

I survive my first day at Trinity Springs Middle School.