For some reason it
was very important to me to give the impression that I was confident…when
actually I was not .
One would think that I’d be used to being the new kid in class. By the
time I was a senior in high school, I had attended eight different schools. I learned to take moving in stride, but still, the first day at a new school was always very difficult for me .
No matter where we lived, our family spent most weekends outdoors. So, I
looked at each place we lived as an opportunity to explore the forests,
deserts or whatever else the area had to offer. Still, despite all this
excitement , it was sad to leave friends behind. That was coupled with the
difficult task of finding new friends in a new neighborhood and a new
I was lucky at the last high school I attended in Utah. Right next door
lived two sisters who took me under their wing . They showed me around and
introduced me to a lot of people.
However, at school it was different . Most of the kids had their own
circle of friends and I had a hard time fitting in. I didn’t care really,
because I had made friends in my neighborhood.
But there was one guy, Ray, that I would really have liked to get to know
better. We not only went to the same school, but rode the same bus and
lived about three blocks away from each other . He was cordial and we
greeted each other in passing, but other than that he ignored me.
This continued until one day as I was getting off the bus, Ray hollered,”Hey, wait up.”
He caught up with me and we walked along in silence. I was so thrilled to
be walking with him that I didn’t say a word. There was a big game that
night and I was hoping he was going to ask me to go with him.
Finally, he asked, “Are you going to the game tonight?”
I swallowed hard. “No Ray, I’m not.” I was so sure he was going to ask me
out that I was already thinking about what I was going to wear.
“Good,” he said with a big grin.
For a brief moment, I was elated. Then he ruined everything by adding,
“Then could you babysit my brother?”
“What?” I asked. My voice was squeaky, like it was when I was nervous.
“Mom’s regular sitter had to cancel.” There was a pleading tone to his
voice, as he continued , “Will you babysit? If you don’t I’ll have to miss
I was so disappointed that I could have cried. I was angry and tempted to
tell him off. All sorts of replies went through my mind before I finally I
agreed to babysit his brother. Ray was so grateful that he thanked me about
three times for helping him out.
In the end, babysitting that night turned out to be a good thing. It
seemed as if baby sitters were scarce in our neighborhood, so Ray’s mom
spread the word that I was responsible and could be trusted. Best of all,
especially for he parents, I didn’t mind being asked at the last minute.
From then on I had more baby sitting jobs than I could handle. And although
I had missed going to the big game, Ray and I became friends .
By the time I graduated, Dad was transferred to a new project and so it
was time to move on again.
Of course it hurt to leave the families I babysat for, the little toddlers
I had learned to love and the friends I had made .
But as Paul wrote in Philippians 4 :12 “… I have learned the secret of
being content in any and every situation…” And he adds in verse 13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
So even as I packed up my things, I was already looking forward to places
to explore and new friends to make. But most of all, I was ready to find
out what was waiting around the next bend in the road
Tips to start a new school year
1) Plan Ahead
2) Be Open and Confident
3) Stay Organized
4) Reach Out
5) Show an Interest