Insider's Guide to High School The Tattoo

Real friends at a new school

Victoria Rulle of Mendum, New Jersey, right, with Kathryn Middleton. (Kathryn Middleton/YJI)

BLAIRSTOWN, New Jersey, U.S.A. — “I’m going to Blair Academy,” I kept reminding myself the whole summer.
I couldn’t believe that I was going to a boarding school and leaving all my friends and family behind.
I had no intention of going to Blair. I just thought it would be fun to apply and see if I got in, but not actually go there.
But when I got the letter saying that I was accepted to Blair, I jumped and screamed! I was so excited! But then it hit me: do I really want to go to a boarding school all by myself?
I was unsure if I should go or not, so I went to the school many times. Everyone there was really friendly and energetic, and whenever I had a question they were glad to answer it.
My parents said, “It’s like a school full of Kathryns!”
I realized that they were right, and that I could probably make friends easily here, since the people seemed like me.

Kathryn Middleton, left, and Frances Salaveria of Sparta, New Jersey. (Kathryn Middleton/YJI)

For a fall sport, I wanted to play varsity soccer, but in order to do that I had to be in shape.
I got this huge packet of summer workouts, and I did do some of them.
But those workouts made me scared. I decided I didn’t really want to go to Blair anymore. Then my mom said she would do it with me, and so would my dad, so I continued doing the workouts and running each day.
For varsity soccer, they want some of the freshmen and the soccer team to go to Maine for a team prep camp. This way, I could meet some of the girls and show my coach that I really wanted to make the varsity team.
The camp was really intense, and I missed my family a lot. I had no idea how I was going to survive through the school year without them!
But I made it through the camp. I met a lot of freshman girls, and it was nice to know some of them before pre-season.
When I got home, I trained really hard.
It was time to go to Blair. I was scared. I had my whole room packed up into boxes. The drive there seemed forever, I just wanted to get there and unpack, and cry.
Once I got to Blair, I met up with girls from Maine that I’d met before. They all had rooms on the second floor, but for some reason I was the only freshmen on the third floor.
I didn’t have my roommate yet since she was not here for pre-season, so I slept alone.
Every time we went to practice, I had to go down to the second floor to my friends’ rooms to get them, but they never came up to my room. It made me feel excluded, and it seemed like everyone was really good friends with each other except me, since I was on the third floor.
I cried every night while talking to my mom. I missed my friends and family so much! I had no idea how I was going to make it through the whole school year.
Finally it was Sunday, the day before everyone who wasn’t in pre-season arrived. I was so excited to meet all of them. My coach also told me that I made varsity soccer!
I felt proud that all those summer workouts paid off, and things started to get better – a lot better – from there.
On Monday, I went looking for my roommate, Tori Rulle. I asked everyone if they’d seen her. I also greeted every freshman I saw. Then, I finally found Tori.
I went up to her and very excitedly said, “Hi! I’m your roommate!”
She said, “Hi,” and then she left to go sign in. I was really scared that she wouldn’t like me.
Once she was unpacked and everyone was settled in, Tori asked if there was a tour and I said, “I think it’s over; let’s check.”
Together, we went into a room across the hall and asked them if the tour were over.
They didn’t know, so I said very excitedly, “I’ll take you guys on a tour!”
On the tour, I found out that their names were Jenieze Shields and Frances Salaveria. I hung out with them every day, and I was scared of what the pre-season girls thought of me since I wasn’t hanging out with them anymore.
“They probably don’t care anymore,” I told myself. They didn’t.
Now Tori, Jen, Frances are my best friends and we always hang out together. They make me try things that I wouldn’t have done before because I was too scared.
Right now I am in love with Blair Academy and am so excited that I came here. I’m not homesick anymore, and I go home every other weekend.
Blair is how I thought it would be. Everyone is super nice and they all love me for me, unlike in my middle school, where I could never be myself and my friends weren‘t true friends like Tori, Jen, and Frances.

Kathryn Middleton is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

Jenieze Shields of New York City, left, with Kathryn Middleton. (Kathryn Middleton/YJI)

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