Odd Ball Out

Transferring Schools

It was the middle of freshman year and I was at war with my mom. Earlier that day, she had gotten a call from iPoly saying that I was number one on the waiting list and I would be able to start on January 22.

“iPoly is such a good school. You’ll have so many opportunities there!” my mom exclaimed.

“I get that it is a good school and everything, but it is MID-SEMESTER! I already made lots of friends at Chino and I found my place here!” I yelled.

After that, the car ride home was silent. All I could think about was the transition. I didn’t want to be the new kid and do everything all over again. I woke up and got ready for school. Today was the day. Today was the day that I would be the new girl at school. Today was the day where I would meet new people. Today was the day where things had changed.

Walking into iPoly was like waiting in line for a roller coaster that you’ve never been on. Sweaty palms, fast heartbeat, and butterflies. As I walked into iPoly, I had experienced so many emotions.

Eyes. All I could think about were the eyes boring into my back. Was I getting judged by the way I was dressed? Were people making assumptions of me? Did anyone know that I was the new girl? I had felt so out of place that morning. I hastily checked my phone. 7:45 AM read the clock. I still had 15 minutes before class started. As I approached room number 1033, I had felt my face start to flush. Before I even had the chance to open the classroom door, someone had already opened it for me.

Smiles. When I was walking into the classroom, the group of students was smiling. Not that kind of forced smile that you do when your parents make you say hi to those relatives that you never want to talk to, but genuine smiles. Surprisingly those smiles made me feel better and not as nervous as before.

Talkative. Everyone was very talkative and bombarded me with questions.

“What’s your name!?”

“What school did you come from!?”

“How did you hear about iPoly!?”

“Did you even want to come here!?”

As I started to answer them, Ms. Pellegrini came into the room. Ms. Pellegrini was not the easiest teacher to approach. She had a poker face, and it was hard to tell if she was having a bad morning, or if that was just her face on a daily. Because of that, I wasn’t sure if everyone was alarmed by her, or if they were just well behaved but everyone ran to their seats, and the room fell silent.

iPoly was not like any other school. It took a while for me to get used to how the teachers had taught here and how everything was maintained. I was already used to the traditional high school experience: class only being 40 minutes, every class being filled with different people, and having late starts on Fridays. This school was different, real different. And I had felt like everyone was used to iPoly, and because it was mid-semester, they themselves had already found their group of friends along with finding their place at school.

My mom would always tell me “Things happen for a reason, and sometimes that change is for the better.”

You see, my mom is one of those parents that wants the best for her daughter, and wants me to go far in life; especially because she had struggled being a teen mom and was not able to go to college. Like any other teenager, I wanted to make my parents proud of me, even if that meant undergoing certain changes in life.

Change. I’ve realized that throughout the whole process of switching schools, the main thing that was holding me back was change. I so used to being scared of change because I have always had bad experiences with it. This had resulted in me not letting myself go out of my comfort zone, being really reserved, and only doing things that I was used to. Moving to another school had made me feel vulnerable because I was somewhere that I was unfamiliar with, and I had nothing that was able to give me a sense of comfort.

Now looking back on it, I fathomed the fact that I went into iPoly close-minded. Since I was forced to go to iPoly by my parents, I had a negative mindset. I didn’t like going to school every day nor did I like feeling out of place. You and I both know that change can be difficult. With that being said, I took it day by day. This was like trying different kinds of food. You’re going to get something different each time and you need to go into it open-minded. You’re either going to like it or you’re not. But after tasting a certain kind of food, your tastebuds sooner or later will adapt to how it tastes and become accustomed to it. Instead of holding myself back from different opportunities, I was ready for the different challenges in life. Even if that meant change. Although change can be hard, moving schools was probably the best thing that I could have ever done. It had helped me break out of my shell and taught me that it is okay to undergo different changes in life. Do not treat change as something to be feared, but rather as an opportunity to overcome your fears.

high school
Serena Magaña
Serena Magaña
Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Serena Magaña
See all posts by Serena Magaña