It is a truth universally acknowledged that making new friends is just like finding the end of a rainbow; it is hard and seems impossible. Often times you feel like a lost piece of puzzle, not being able to find your place.

That is how I felt as I walked into my new school for the first time. Uncertain, nervous and lonely, I hung my head low, not making eye contact with anyone. I terribly missed my old friends circle, for without them, I was the odd one out.

My head hurt with the thought of making new friends all over again and as I saw the group of girls and boys, preoccupied with some work, I got lost, once again, in my labyrinth of thoughts.

What will my new friends be like? Will we like each other? Will I even make a friend?

These were the questions that pondered my head, like a wrecking ball, as I walked over to a swarm of girls sitting in a tight group on the floor.

Not knowing in my new school, I felt inhumane and it seemed like everyone was watching me, as if every head was turned towards me, waiting for me to make a wrong move.

I could have sworn that I heard snickers behind my back as I nervously chirped a low “Hi!”, waving my hand at the group.

Expecting them to start laughing and making fun of me, I was taken aback when they waved back and invited me to sit with them.

As if a switch had been turned off, all the anxiety, nerves and apprehensive thoughts that had been drowning me, were replaced by some sort of euphoria. A feeling of acceptance and excitement rushed over me as I happily chatted with the six girls, telling them more about myself.

Looking back at how anxious I was upon entering my new school for the first time, I now feel naïve for I had been losing my sleep over something so small. Being myself and being polite had worked out for me just fine. Being confident proved to be the key that fit perfectly into the lock on the door of friendship. The same door that I, previously, had been too scared to even knock on.

What I summed up from my experience at making new friends was that even if things seem to run a rough course in the beginning, eventually, everything will sort itself out. I also learned not to be intimidated by anyone, for all those who you give power over yourself are normal human beings, just like you.

I remember thinking in the morning, when I was too nervous and scared to walk into my new school, if by the end of the day I would have any friends at all, let alone six. But each new day holds a surprise. And if I have learned anything today, it is to welcome whatever that surprise is, with open arms and to accept the sorrows and joys that fill our hearts, the same place where love resides and where new friends are welcomed.

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, January 5th, 2022

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