Coming into the 2016-2017 school year, I was convinced that I could fit into any friend group, that I could get along with anyone. While that might have been true, I never seemed to test it out. My junior high career I had always stuck to the same three girls, doing the same things, making the same jokes, and talking about the same boys. It was what I was comfortable with, they were all I knew. As the school year went on I really started to see people. I watched as groups of friends walked down the hallways. I watched and made quick judgements on people as they went by, but only to stop myself and realize, why? Why had I been paying so much attention to the people walking around me (enough to make judgement) if I hadn’t wanted to talk to them? To learn more about them, to learn who they really were? Working on my new friendship ethic, I had tried to push myself into new friend groups. Learning new things along the way, like the people who I didn’t click with, and the people I did. I learned the ways to start a conversation, and others that didn’t work too well. Although I was being more courages in making friends, I always went back to the three I knew because I thought that was who I was. I thought they defined me. Eventually, the Eastern Canada trip came around and I was shoved into a tiny room with roughly 40 girls that I had seen in the halls before. I didn’t know them. I sat with the same three girls and watched as the other 36 gathered a group to play a game. They laughed and joked while I sat there on my phone. Eventually I got up, and I asked my three friends if they wanted to join the game with me. They all ignored my offer. When I managed to squeeze myself into the tight circle of girls that I wasn’t too sure about, I was welcomed as if we had all known eachother for years.
“I didn’t think you’d come over.” One girl said as I found a seat. Hearing that from a member of the group upset me. Why did she think I wouldn’t come over? Did she think that I didn’t care about the others? Maybe she thought I didn’t want any other friends than the three I’d always had? I told her I was surprised she had thought that, then I asked the rules of the game. Surely by the end of the night, I had made 36 new friends. People who I had heard things about, people who I had judged but I had never thought to actually meet them for myself. The girls were amazing. They were all so kind, so welcoming, and they were all so different. We all came from different places, and we had all lived different lives. There was no need to feel judged or uncomfortable. In an hour I felt like I was at home. Before the game had ended, my three friends had come over to join too. I am so glad, that CMJHS, and the Eastern Canada trip gave me the eye opening opportunity to see people in a new light, and live my life how I should have been all along.