I walked into the room that first day and looked around. So many new faces. It was overwhelming. I found a little corner and just sat. Observing. Wondering what on earth I was doing there.
I wanted to belong.
I wanted to be part of the inside joke that the group two rows in front of me were laughing about. I wanted to know who the person was that the girls to my left were discussing. I wanted someone to walk into the room and yell out my name.
But no one knew me.
No one rushed over to sit by me. As I opened my book, and then proceeded to half-fake my way through the day, I kept thinking about belonging. It was something I was desperate for. Something that I had never really given much thought to up until then. At least, not at school.
Because my school consisted of me, my two brothers, and my sister. And when I left the desk in my room that I had done my school on for 12 years and walked into another room filled with desks and strange faces and new-ness, I experienced culture shock. I spent the next few months adjusting to the new culture. The one where your school desk wasn't 3 feet away from your bed. The one where your mom wasn't the Principal.
And the thought of belonging kept coming back to me. Over, and over. And slowly I started to notice something. All of the people in that room were just like me. They wanted to belong. And because of that common thread, we all did belong.