By Anndy Serrano
Deep breaths. Don’t embarrass yourself. Be friendly. Don’t make a scene. These were the things I was thinking when first entering Manhattan Center. I left a school that I couldn’t call a home. I left a school where friends didn’t really mean friends. I left a school that didn’t help me find my passion. I left a school that saw me only as “a student.” I didn’t know if Manhattan Center would be right for me, but I knew it would be better.
I was ecstatic, yet nervous, to start fresh and new. I would start at the bottom again, where no one knew my name and/or my life story. If someone assessed the probability of me finding someone I knew, it would be 3 out of 1600 students; a rare chance to be really honest. Being a transfer student is even harder than being a freshman, because other people have already made friends in the past year, leaving me as the odd one out. The first day at my new school was a day that I can still remember: sunny, 81 degrees, me wearing an American Eagle shirt and camouflage pants with black converse shoes, and a giant smile. I had many questions that day in the humid train station and during the long walk to school. For instance, would my classes be full of sophomores or freshmen? I wondered if I would know my homeroom number, or if I would make friends, but I knew that everything would be okay.
When I entered the school, I was sweating so much that I had a feeling that people would see right through me. I was looking at my phone and I was one minute late. I quickly ran upstairs and got lost very fast. I tried to find a teacher, and luckily I did. This teacher told me my homeroom was in room 348, but I didn’t know where that was located. He then walked with me while I was looking around to see if people were looking at me funny. I arrived, and of course, I sat in the back. They called my name for the usual: MetroCards and schedules. When the bell rang, I quickly went to my next class, and the next, until the end of the day. Of course, I didn’t make friends easily, and I also didn’t talk that much. My first few weeks went like that for a while, a cycle that I thought would never end.
Sometimes people get the illusion that a new school means a new chapter in someone’s life. Well, my chapter felt blank and dull. That is, until someone wrote in my chapter. In my first October as a sophomore, I was in Global History learning about absolute rulers and the “divine-right” rule, which was that God gave them the power to rule any type of land. My teacher instructed us to talk to our group about the worksheet he gave us on the divine right rule. I decided to speak first, and then the others spoke, but then I responded with a joke, and this girl sitting across from me laughed. I chuckled, and I went along with what happened. I didn’t know her name, I didn’t know who she was, and I didn’t know her story. I wanted us to be close, so I decided to start a conversation with her; just a simple conversation. This was when and where I knew I’d made a friend worth keeping. Melissa was her name, and to my surprise, she was also a transfer student. The sun was beaming down on us, and it didn’t even bother me. We became friends really fast, all thanks to the “divine-right” rule discussion.
Throughout my sophomore year, I have met people worth remembering in my new chapter, and others I had to toss in the bin. My friend Melissa taught me that the divine-right rule is justified by the views of the person ruling the kingdom as well as the people looking upon that person, and I take her word for it. Transferring to MCSM helped me embrace a divine right to rule my own life, and I hope others can learn to do this too.