Getting Connected

I felt really alone when I started high school. I didn’t just feel really different from everyone around me—I really was different because I had been homeschooled since first grade. This was my first time in years where I had to get up at a painfully early hour, pack a lunch, and spend an entire day surrounded by hundreds of other kids my age. I didn’t know what teachers expected and I felt extremely shy around my classmates. At first, I would just go to classes and come home, barely talking to anyone throughout the day. I felt exhausted and lonely by 3pm.
However, two good things happened that first year that started to turn high school around for me: I had a wonderful Honors English teacher who challenged me and was genuinely interested in talking to me before or after class. From him, I learned how to write a good essay but also felt like I wasn’t just an anonymous student in a huge school anymore. I also made a friend who was less shy than me but also introverted and happy to spend hours watching movies or talking about ideas. We started spending time together during school and most weekends. Although I still wasn’t popular or very social, I had a close friend and was doing well in school. After that, it was easier for me to participate in classes and make other friends, so I pretty quickly started feeling like I belonged at my high school.

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