Fresh Starts

Don’t you just hate fresh starts? Or is it just me?

On Wednesday, I will be thrown into a new school to join the mass of hormone-driven young adolescents known as Year Twelve, a.k.a Senior Year if you’re American. 😉 Sure, I go along with a bunch of high school mates I’ve known for just under two years, but the majority of the student body will be strangers to me. There will be new teachers, a new floor plan to get used to, five lessons for me to scramble around finding, and glass doors to walk headfirst into (I almost always end up doing this in a new building). Most importantly, I will fail horribly at introducing myself.

I always feel incredibly helpless when I’m thrown into a new environment. The confidence I’m told to muster up never arrives. Does anyone else feel the same way, whether it be at a new school, workplace or town?

I’m very bad at meeting new people. I’m rather introverted, so I tend to be shy around people I don’t know. I do try to speak more, yet it rarely works. I’ve noticed that extroverts tend to start conversations by talking about some aspect of themselves, and I can’t do that well because I’ve always found talking about myself boring (and a bit narcissistic). I can’t start things off with my name, either, because people always mispronounce both my fore and surname. The first they never seem to hear properly, the second they notice is African and so they attempt to pronounce (I have never understood why) with some strange accent. They never get it right.

But perhaps I worry too much. Perhaps by some miracle someone might one day pronounce both names right; perhaps at the end of two years, someone might even be able to spell it correctly. Perhaps someone might find my oddness somewhat endearing, and maybe when I walk into that glass door, nobody will be around.


Hopefully, school starting won’t disrupt to a great extent my ability to post frequently. I know I’ve been a bit sketchy during the past week just attempting to get ready for it, but the thing about the school period is that it tends to help me get organised, oddly enough.

14 thoughts on “Fresh Starts

  1. lemoed

    When I moved to the UK from Germany (to go to Uni) I felt quite shy and self-conscious because everyone could immediately tell I wasn’t British (the accent, the name; I so get the name thing). In hindsight I think that it was my self-consciousness that was the real problem though. From what I am reading on here, you do really well talking about yourself and your thoughts. Maybe you can find a way to translate that into real life (I do know that sounds a lot easier than it is). Good Luck!

    1. dlaiden Post author

      Ah, moving countries is definitely the worst. I moved out of England when I was 9, and came back a few years later. Felt like a stranger both times, but it did get better. Yeah, I’m pretty self-conscious myself. 😛 I could maybe try talking about my thoughts, maybe in relation to something someone’s said…I just know I’ll spend half an hour rehearsing the exact lines in my head only for it to sound completely different out of my mouth. >.< Alas, I shall try! Thanks!

      1. ancoron85

        I used to have a shyness problem when I was your age. Don’t worry, self-confidence in dialog is trainable, but rehearsing lines is not the way (at least, it wasn’t for me). Of course, I also had a little bit of a cultural gap to bridge, since I am from the US and we moved to Germany – luckily, the name problem didn’t exist, as I am of German descent. What helped in my case was to find a group of like-minded people to talk to, which in my case was Heavy Metal Fans. Equipped with a sub-cultural reference reportoire, I got rid of my shyness, and eventually transferred the skill to talking to other people without stuttering 😉

        1. dlaiden Post author

          Yeah, I definitely would love to learn to speak better with people. I know little about heavy metal, but maybe I could find common ground with someone who listens to indie. I’m also definitely joining the creative writing group. 😉 Thanks for the advice!

  2. The Waiting

    I transferred schools my sophomore year and I hated my parents so much for doing it to me. The first week was hard, not knowing anyone. But I soon met the person who would become my best friend. Thirteen years later, I’m so glad that I made the switch. Just be yourself; like you, I was a moderately introverted teenager, but the people I bonded with loved me for who I was. Best of luck to you this school year!

    1. dlaiden Post author

      I hope I meet someone like that, whether here or in uni. I’ve got a few close friends, but I wouldn’t say I’ve had a “best” friend since primary school. (Hmm. Reading that back makes me seem incredibly sad.) Either way, I will go into school being myself; I guess I can’t be anything more! 😀 Thanks for the support!

  3. brightbluesaturday

    When I was in school, I was terrified of meeting new people.
    After 3 years of moving from place to place, it’s one of my favourite things ever. Getting to know people is amazing – I still meet up with a lot of them regularly, too.
    Maybe it’s because school and after-school are completely different – people are genuinely interested after they’ve left school, there are fewer cliques and no group of “cool people”.
    I’m always heartened when I find someone I used to be terrified of in school is working in Tesco and still living with their parents!

    1. dlaiden Post author

      Really? I always thought that life after school would be similar, with everyone split into groups/cliques, snobbery, etc. Glad to know it isn’t. 🙂 I’ll try looking for genuine people to make friends with, though easier said than done, what with true natures tending to come out after the first couple of weeks. And ah, Tescos. When I was really little, I actually wanted to work there for some reason. ^_^

  4. ninetyninepercentgaming

    I started the leaving cert course today, 5th year, so I know how you feel. Moving across the country at ten years old helped turn me into a fairly extroverted teen, so I don’t fear meeting new people that much. Being 6’3 and loud helps 🙂

    1. dlaiden Post author

      Ah, you’ve started already? I always wondered why they don’t start school on the first day of the week here. And haha, I’m like 5″3 or something. Maybe I’ll get lucky and everyone will be four foot nothing. 😉

  5. livesinstone

    I too hate the dreaded first day of awkwardness when going somewhere new. Asking questions when talking to people mostly worked for me. This way, you don’t have to talk about yourself, and showing an interest in people is good at breaking down awkward barriers. Good luck. 🙂

  6. krisweinrich

    I can definitely identify with you on this one. Growing up having an uncommon German surname which kids either couldn’t get right or mangled on purpose was not fun. Those days were a lesson in respect: from then on I always made a consistent effort to pronounce a person’s name right. I can’t help feeling that Americans in particular are extremely lazy at pronouncing unfamiliar or foreign names. They give up so quickly it’s insulting.

    Try not to worry too much about being introverted, just go at your own pace. You’ll make friends and connect with people when you are good and ready. Speaking of, have you ever read “Quiet: The Hidden Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain? You should check it out. Cain gets really in depth on the history of The Extroverted Ideal and how it dupes people into thinking that only extroverts ever make significant impacts on our world. It’s a must read for any introvert. It encourages you to embrace your introversion and, as Hendrix put it, let your freak flag fly.

    Good luck!

  7. kafkaesque777

    Hey….i jumped schools 9 times in my school life and am experiencing some super strange stability in my second year of college( i haven’t gone all “the amazing spiderman ” on myself and started with the jumping yet).I totally sympathize with the “feeling out of touch with whats going around you”thing. The best advice i could give is the best advice i got myself: learn to be at home with yourself. If you’re comfortable around yourself then it will transcend to the awkardness with the social mainframe as well. Anyway best of luck for the new school year and hope you don’t get to know the glass doors too well!

  8. Pingback: Slow Progress | a flock of crows

Feel free to comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s