Reaching Out

Ebby - Missouri City, Texas
Entered on October 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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“Ew! Disgusting! Why are you talking to him/her?” It is a common thing I hear at school. My friends always ask why I talk to the least desirable person to socialize with. Most of the time, everyone wants to talk to their best friend, the popular kid, or the class clown, but there is always one boy or girl who sits alone and is hesitant and taciturn. It is not that they do not want to talk to anybody, but it is because they feel left out and does not know anybody. That is why I believe in friendship through reaching out to others.

By sitting down next to someone new and just asking “Hi” and a few other questions, two people can get to know each other really well and may even find some similarities among themselves. In my freshman year, in one of my classes, there was always a girl sitting near the back, never talking to anybody. Everybody always stereotyped her because of her isolation and how quiet she was; I, too, am guilty of this charge. One day I decided upon myself to just go and talk to her. I went and started with a “Hey…what [is] your name,” and our conversation made progress from there. After talking to her for a little bit, I learned she was a teen who was going through a rough time in her life and did not have anybody at home or school to talk to. I offered her friendship, and now we talk almost every day about almost anything. She is a really good friend that I can trust with anything, without question, and can get an honest opinion from.

Now whenever I am in class, and see a new face that I do not know, I just go, with a friendly smile, and say “hi” and try to start a conversation. Sometimes my friends tell me I talk to the most random people and usually I respond with a “why not?” Maybe this person may also be too shy and scared to come and talk, so the least I can do would be to go and talk to them. Once you do, you may find a special quality or characteristic inside them which you can probably learn or even benefit from. You never know, until you go and meet them.

We are all guilty of stereotyping more than once in our lifetime. It is not because we do it out of habit but because we choose to. The next time you walk in somewhere and see someone sitting alone and quiet, before stereotyping and choosing not to talk to them, go over and say hi and try to talk to them. Make them feel they have a friend and someone to talk to. You may find something new and interesting which may possibly benefit both you and your new friend.