The summer before 8th grade my parents got a divorce. It was all fine and dandy until my mom broke it down to me and said we were going to be moving. Different address. Different school. Different friends. As a 12-year-old girl I thought my life was over. I already had my clique of friends and didn’t need anymore.
I begged and pleaded with my mom not to let this happen. I made a promise with myself that I would run away and become one with the wild so I could stay at that school (I obviously didn’t work out the fine details yet). I thought that if I left, my friends were going to forget about me and I would not be invited to our weekly slumber parties. I worried that I would be the girl from Mean Girls that sat in the bathroom by herself and ate lunch.
I was wrong.
I walked into my 8th grade classroom not knowing a single person. I wasn’t open to talking to people because plain and simple, I was scared. Scared of what they were going to think about me or if they’d judge me. I actually ended up falling asleep in second period and getting the first of my many silent lunches that year. Needless to say the first half of my day wasn’t going so well.
Then I walked into my third period, accelerated math. People were already in groups talking about their summer and I was just sitting there thinking “oh great.” Then I overheard two girls talking about 50 Cent. He was my biggest crush since the day he came out with “I’ll take you to the candy shop.” I was so nervous to say anything to the girls because I thought they’d think I was eavesdropping. I went back and forth in my head debating whether to say anything. Finally I blurted out “I LOVE 50 CENT!” The girls burst out laughing and we all continued to discuss our obsession for the rapper until class began. That one comment that I was so hesitant to say ended up with the three of us becoming best friends.
It’s kind of crazy to think about where I would be if I didn’t say that to my now best friends. We went through major milestones together, from graduating high school to starting college. I couldn’t have done it without having them by my side. It actually worked out better for me because I gained friends and still kept the ones from the previous school.
You should always take the chance. Whether it be as small as joining a conversation, or as big as taking a new job opportunity across country. Fear or worry shouldn’t get in the way of ceasing the opportunity for doing or learning something new. That moment that I was scared to talk to new people only lasted until I took the risk. The reward was definitely worth the chance I took. Now I’m not saying that it’s going to work out every time, because trust me, it doesn’t. But how will you ever know if you don’t take a chance?
Donna Jones is from Knoxville, Tenn. , but was raised in Grayson, Ga. She enjoys going on adventures with friends and learning new things. Donna spends most of her days reading online news and sharing her life on Snapchat. She is the Reflector Magazine Print Editor. Follow her on Twitter for questions, comments , or concerns at @_Ladymariaa.