Everybody Needs Friends

John - Soldotna, Alaska
Entered on April 20, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of friendship. I have developed this belief over my 15 years of being on this planet. This belief has been reinforced through the past 5 years of my life because of the constant changing of my placement in schools. Since the first day that I walked into the fifth grade, I have never attended one school for more than one school year. The only exception to this being in the second half of the fifth grade in which I transferred to an Anchorage school, and then also attended the sixth grade at that same school.

In every new school that I have ever transferred to, the routine has always been the same. I have had to walk into the school knowing that I know no one there, and that I will have to try and make friends fast on the first day so that I can be sure to fit in and not be marked as a “loner”. This was fairly simple for me in the fifth and sixth grades because I was always with the same crowd of people. My classes were with the same teacher all day, so I had that entire time to try and get to know everyone in the classroom. However, once I moved on to middle school, making friends became more difficult.

The school day was split into seven different sections, in which I would go to class with different groups of people every 45 – 50 minutes. This made making friends more intricate, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Luckily for me, in both of my middle school years, the schools that I attended separated the students into different “teams” based on their learning ability. All of my “core” classes were attended only with other students from my team. So, even though I was never with the same people all day, I was always with the same group of people. Which made making friends easier than it could have been.

After I completed the eighth grade, I had to move back to Soldotna with my dad, and I began this year of school in a new environment with new people. This school year has been slightly easier to make friends during because of my schools size. Being smaller, numbers wise, I had less people in my class to worry about. These smaller numbers made making friends easier than previous years.

Over these past 5 years, I have really learned what it is like to have no friends in my entire school. During the times when I was friendless, my school day was mostly spent keeping to myself, and only speaking when I was spoken to. Even though I have moved past those times, many of the habits that I had during them have rubbed off on me. Unless I am around friends, and sometimes even when I am, I will display many traits of a “loner”, and act very much like one. I have learned to cherish my friends, and not take them for granted, because in one instant they could be gone, and then I would be alone.