I was not in the mood to change my situation. I didn´t want to leave my best friends and wanted to make new friends even less.
“A new school! Where did that idea come from?” and “Are my parents crazy?” was my way of thinking during the last few days of the school year. “I´ll miss my friends, teachers and the school itself” I kept thinking, “My life will never be the same again.”
I made good use of those last days and spent many good times with my friends. On my last day at my old school every boy and girl in my class signed a big poster with funny anecdotes about the ten years I had spent there. That afternoon my mother and I went to visit “The New School”. It was small and its shield seemed to be everywhere on the green walls. I quite liked it but I was scared that my future was going to be horrible.
The first day of the new term started normally, like any other, except for the fact that it was the first day after summer vacation and I had to attend a new school where I didn´t know anybody but a few girls two years older than me. At first I was not nervous but as soon as I started getting dressed I felt hysterical.
My mother and I left our house early to arrive at Orvalle on time. “What will my teacher think if I arrive late on my first day?” I kept repeating in my mind, especially when we got lost. At last, we found the school and I was as grateful as an American family on Thanksgiving.
When we got there, we entered the school and waited to a teacher to come. No one came. I saw hundreds – no, thousands – of girls talking to each other. Everyone seemed to know everybody else and there I was, waiting for someone I didn´t know.
When someone finally came to help, I had to leave my mother and I felt like a character in High School Musical – “I gotta go my own way”. We started walking down corridors until we got to one with a lot of girls shouting and talking about their “vaycay”, comparing tans.
We stopped. I started talking to someone (I don´t know who she was) and I started making new friends. It was weird, I didn´t know anybody but then, all of a sudden, the teacher realised that this was not my class! The moment she told me we had to meet someone else my heart stopped.
We walked on until we came to my real class: 2nd ESO b. From all the girls who were waiting for the doors to be opened, the teacher I was with began talking to the tallest girl I had ever seen: María. She was a nice girl with a long pony tail and she quickly started talking to me like we were close friends.
It was not going to be as bad as I thought, thank goodness!
The moment I started feeling kind of cool with that tall, thin girl, many people got closer and closer to me. Everybody wanted to tallk. It looked like one of those films where someone has done something bad and the police officer asks him or her a lot of questions. Here I was, the guy who had done something wrong, but instead of something wrong I was “The New Girl”.
“Where do you come from?” “What was your last school?” “What is your name?” “How many siblings have you got?” “Do you like it here?” “Do you like this uniform?” “Why are you wearing a jumper?” “Do you know anybody from the school?”.
I was exhausted. I had never answered so many questions so quickly in my whole life. There were a lot of girls who looked the same. A lot of people told me their names and I didn´t understand a thing. Everybody knew then who I was but I didn´t know anybody.
Someone opened the classroom and every girl ran to a desk and placed their bags there, then ran to the cupboards and picked a shelf. A nice blond girl told me to do the same thing or I would get the worst shelf and I would be complaining all year. It was a tough decision, she said, the whole school year depended on it.
The tall girl I had met outside ran next to me and told me which one was the one she liked best and gave it to me. I liked it there and my classmates seemed cool.
The classes started. I met two or three girls that seemed nice and it felt comfortable having someone to talk to. And, faster than I thought, it was break time! The girls ran off as if there were no tomorrow. soon we got to a place where people were fighting and screaming: welcome to “the lunch queue”! While I was admiring this noisy phenomenon an older group of girls came nearer and started shouting: “You´re Edu´s sister, right?”
One of the girls gave me some good advice: “Hit harder than you are hit and you´ll get to the food faster”.
After lunch we went to the beautiful green playground. I was used to sitting on a bench to talk but not the girls in the new school. They played. And not girly games, no: they played baseball!
The day was getting near its end. It had not been as bad as I had expected. The girls were nice and open-minded; I was going to be fine at the new school. As the day finished I realised: the first day of my new life has just ended, everything is going to be fine.
And so, here I am now. Four years later, same school, same people but different me. This new experience has become old but has an important place in my memory. When I think about how nervous I was back then, it feels funny.
In the end, change is what makes the biggest impact on our lives and we need changes to become better people and renew ourselves. By undergoing changes – any kind of changes, not just schools or cities – we can improve our way of thinking and become the best version of ourselves. So, don´t be afraid of the future. Close your eyes, breathe and dream.
And remember: change is the only constant.
Loreto Méndez is a student at Orvalle School, Madrid.