A New Enviroment

When I begun writing my advanced essay my goal was to develop the idea of community.  Writing my first memory piece I was clueless as to what my larger idea was.  Yet once I finished my second and third memory piece I realized I had produced something that had potential.  From there on out it was easy for me to convert my ideas into fluid writing.  I feel like up to that point in the process I was very successful.  Developing my larger idea was difficult.  In the end I had an epiphany but I still feel like I could contribute more to the conclusion.

Being the new kid is overwhelming.  Regardless of the many times I have begun at a new school, it is still difficult for me to comfortably adapt.  The thing is, it’s impossible to magically fit the mold of a new group; I’ve concluded that there will always be an adjustment period, no matter how big or small.  I myself tend to asses the new situation I am entering, occasionally for longer intervals of time. Currently observing the people around me I notice how harmonious they appear, leaving me longing for community. 

When I was asked to think of a memory piece, something interesting, my mind kept circling back to a meaningful moment I experienced last year with my peers from my previous school.  I was in my 7th period class, Theater, and my classmates and I were discussing the events of the day.  My head snaps to the front of the room when the door opens, all conversation ceasing.  Ms.MA calmly walks in and starts collecting her belongings, her face set in determination.  I sit, momentarily dumbfounded, trying to comprehend why my teacher is preparing to go an hour before school ends.  Then Jade asks “Ms.MA, are you ok?” “I’m fine, just everybody grab your stuff you need to leave for the day.” she says in a steady voice.  As I slowly start to pack up, I feel my heartbeat quicken.  What had been said in the meeting she had just arrived from?  Feeling frantic at the scenario coming to mind, I scurry to shove the rest of my books in my bag.  A few minutes later I stand at the head of the room with my classmates, all of us sharing the same expression of concern, whispering quietly.  “Was she fired?” India asks, broadcasting the fear running through my mind.  Before we have time to further discuss Ms.MA cuts off all conversation, “Do we have everyone?” she asks.  I feel myself nod, and we shuffle out the door. The elevator ride is quiet.  Then I notice tears are silently rolling down my teacher’s cheeks.  We crowd around, wrapping her into a big hug.  Choruses of “Are you ok?” and “We will beat up whoever did this!” fill the elevator but she is quiet, muffled by our embrace.   

The emotion of that day lives on in my mind, with the recognition that everything was intensified with my classmates there.  I come to find that I am mourning the community I lost when I transferred.  Yet I must remind myself that though I think of my past family of classmates fondly, the community was not perfect.   There were times prior when I was not proud to be a part of that society.  Being included in a huge community does not make it a healthy community and you can’t always choose the people you wind up with.  However when the right individuals come together to form a group it can be a miracle.  I experienced this kind of connection on a friday in an earlier week of June.  It was about 5:40 when I got out of the car, my stomach in a twist.  Hearing the driver door slam, I turn.  “I’m coming in with you.” my mom says.  I groan but don’t argue seeing as she has already made her way around the car and is holding the gym door open for me.  Hesitantly, I take a step in.  “Come on!” mom says herding me past the threshold. As we make our way further into the gym, I see a few girls using the exercise machines and my nerves heighten.  “I just need to finalize some details with the instructor and then I’ll be out.” my mom is saying as a blonde woman exits a room just ahead, stopping in her tracks when she spots us.  “You must be Anastasia!” she exclaims, delighted.  “That's me.” I manage anxiously, stepping out from behind my mom. “I’m Erin, come on in!” she gestures leading us back into the room from which she had just exited.  While Erin explains some ground rules multiple girls file in and out of the room, introducing themselves as they go and I begin to relax.  Erin is finishing up introductions when a new girl enters the room.  “Ah, here’s Sheila, she’s new as well!” she exclaims.  I face Sheila as Erin goes to greet her mom. “Hi, I’m Anastasia, this is my first time here too.” I offer with a smile. “I’m Sheila” she says shyly, returning the gesture. “I’m going to go.” my mom says, turning toward the door. “Ok, bye.” I say, “I’ll be fine.” And once I say it, I know it’s true.

Connecting the way I did made me realize that the people which you are surrounded by truly make an impact on how you feel about a situation.  Upon joining Kickboxing the people I met were open and welcoming, allowing me to feel comfortable to be myself.  Situations in new communities are not always as rewarding.  When people think of a community, most often they relate the word to a huge group of people.  In actuality a community can be a family of two, a relative, a best friend, a cat or a friendly acquaintance.  Entering a new community it’s hard not to have huge expectations about creating a huge family of friends, but sometimes it can take one companion for someone to feel support and that is all that matters.