In Kindergarten, I knew everything about everyone—and by everyone I mean my entire class, and by everything I am referring to what snacks they had in their cupboard (My best friends had Welch’s Fruit Snacks and SunnyD stocked).
First grade came as a shock because the 15 kids from kindergarten that I equated with school were dispersed and people that didn’t exist to me just last year were now sitting next to me. I realized that there were other classes with other students and other teachers at Old Post Road and I was only one of about 80 kids in my grade. I acquainted myself with each of those students and by the end of fifth grade I knew all eighty names and faces, but by then I had formed my friend groups based on how one wore their Uggs (folded was clearly cooler).
In middle school, my life revolved around my friends, Aeropostale and One Direction. The group message shared between my friends contained more important text than my history book as being informed about my classmates was essential. Learning second hand information about people became more common than getting to know someone through actual face to face interactions. As Boyden combined with Old Post Road at Bird Middle, there were more people to meet, befriend and talk about. I chose my friends based on who I sat with during French and who I hit with during tennis practice as they were the people who I spent my time with. It was nice to find people with similar interests as me, but the shmorgishborg of kids with all different interests in one class ended.
Now into my senior year of high school, I am still friends with the people I found through these commonalities and we have more to talk about than other people.
I participate in French Club, Art Club and Journalism; a wide range of clubs and activities with a wide range of people in these clubs. However, every day in the hallway I see someone that I swear is new; it shocks me that I could have gone to school with these people for at least three years and I am only noticing them now. The people I grew up with for the past 13 years, although they might be a familiar face, I know nothing more than what elementary school they went to.
How have I become so stuck in interacting with the same people everyday? How have I become so comfortable with only knowing such a small part of the school population?
So this year, my last year, I will make it my mission to meet new people or reacquaint myself with those I last said “hi” to in kindergarten. This is my last chance to take all I can from the people that I have not met yet and to create new bonds with people that have managed to escape my friendship. So hi, I’m Lillie, and I can’t wait to meet you whether it be for the first or fiftieth time. The pleasure is all mine (especially if you have Welch’s or SunnyD in your cupboards).