First, I would like to introduce myself, and apologise, because this is the first time I have ever written something like this, so my ideas might be a bit disorganized.
My name is Cristina, I’m sixteen years old and I’m currently studying at Orvalle School in Madrid. I remember my first day at Orvalle as if it was yesterday.
It was the 10th of September of 2015. My sisters and I were very nervous because it was our first day and we didn´t know anybody.
My mother went with us to our classrooms but she left with my little sister because she was in the upper floor and she didn´t want to go alone. That´s why my other sister, Marina, went with me and we waited at the door for the teacher to open it. Minutes later, a group of girls approached us and one of them asked if we were the new students that were going to be in their class. I almost laughed because my sister was two years younger than me.
I was a bit overwhelmed because I was very shy and I found it hard talking to people and making new friends.
At first, the thing that impressed me when we first entered the school was the building and that they had grass in the playground. At my old school all we had was some spaces with sand, a couple of courts where the boys played football and a pitch to play tennis; but we didn´t have grass, so we had to sit on benches or on the stairs.
I remember when we went out to the playground on my first day. We were sitting on the grass making a circle talking and laughing and it felt great. I wasn´t the only new student that year though, there were two more and the others told us to try and say their names. I was the last one to try, so I had a bit of advantage because I had memorized the names so I could say them all without getting anyone wrong.
Another difference from my other school was that we had to wear a uniform, when in the other school we didn´t have to wear one because it was optional and no one wore it. We didn´t like the idea of wearing a uniform but we got used to it in a few weeks.
Since we didn´t have to wear a uniform at our old school, almost all of the girls that were the “popular” ones went to class with a different thing every day. That got on my nerves because I didn´t have something different for each day and I woke up every time thinking: “I wore that the other day… I don´t think they will like this t-shirt and so on” and it was really stressful, especially when you wanted the others to see you as someone cool who they could speak to and hang out with.
It was also strange not having boys in the classroom and girls flirting with them but for me it was a relief. I wasn´t very good at my other school because some of my classmates said bad things about me to other people and invented other things as if I was a weirdo. I don´t know what I did to them to deserve that but I try to put it in the past. It’s hard though because it really hurt me and that affected my self-esteem.
I was glad and sad at the same time when my mother told me she was going to send us to a new school because she wanted us to have a better education. On one hand I was glad, because that meant that it was going to probably be the last time I was going to see some of them but on the other hand I was sad because I was going to leave all my friends behind.
That feeling soon disappeared, though, when I met my new classmates. At first it was hard to fit in their group, but then I was part of them and they made sure I was feeling well the first few days while I was getting used to the different things of the school.
Furthermore, all of the teachers were very kind with me because there were some things I hadn´t studied at my old school, so I had to learn them from the start, while the others already knew how it was done. Also, there were some things I did in a different way at my old school, so I had to learn how they did it and adapt to it.
After a few weeks, a girl from my class came to school. It was the cousin of one of my classmates and was really funny and easy-going. I remember being almost pulled by them so I could get to know her. She seemed very friendly and I wasn´t wrong because she got along with almost everybody. There were also other girls that had arrived mid-term because they had been abroad for a month or so.
I thought that I wouldn´t see my old friends so often because we had different timetables. They got out of school earlier than me and we had different holidays during the year. Also, one of my best friends, Cristina, studied a lot and wanted everything to be perfect and to have good grades, so she stayed home a lot of weekends, studying. The good thing was that one day, Cristina phoned me to ask me if I wanted to go out with her to catch up, because it had been a very long time since we last saw each other, so I said yes.
When I got to her house, her mother greeted me at the entrance and told me that Cristina was in the porch, so I went there. As I reached the porch, I could see that she wasn´t there, so I went to the middle of the room. Suddenly, from behind the sofas, my old, closest friends jumped out and shouted: “Surprise!” I started crying with emotion, because it was the last thing I would have expected. It was a surprise party for me because I had left my other school.
They had been planning it for about a month, and I hadn´t notice it! I didn´t know what to say, because I wasn´t expecting it. Then, they gave me a cork board with a lot of photos of us all, a t-shirt signed by all of them and some clothes. It was a great day.
Cristina Garrido is a student at Orvalle School, Madrid, Spain.