By Gloria Yaxiri Plancarte
Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.
It's hard to be the new kid in school, not knowing anyone, not knowing where to go or who to talk to. You feel lonely and lost, like you don't belong. This is just how my friend felt when he moved here to California from Mexico, and into our school, the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center. Trying to fit in but not stand out, learning a new language and making new friends.
"Everyone listen up! I would like you guys to meet Jose. He is new here at Vaughn and to this state, so be nice and show him around," said Mrs. Espinoza.
No one talked; it was silent. They looked; some stared and whispered to each other. He was wearing loose gray pants and a dirty white polo; his shoes squeaked every time he walked. Everyone would giggle at the sound, but no one would talk to him. I wondered how he felt being here having everyone's eyes on him and being laughed at. I wanted to say hi but was too afraid to be made fun of for talking to "the new kid." Every day he would sit by himself and eat his lunch quietly, not saying a word, just focusing on his food, wishing that school would be over soon. Many of the students would pass by and make rude comments about him. He would just frown and look down at the floor. I wanted to say something but again I was too afraid.
When I got home I talked to my sister about Jose. I told her about him being new and about how the students at school treated him. Then I told her that I wanted to talk to him but was too afraid of what my friends' reactions would be. She said, "If they are true friends they will stick by you no matter what, understand and not judge you, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
The next day I knew exactly what I was going to do. I got my lunch and walked towards Jose with everyone's eyes on me wondering what I was about to do. I sat next to him. He didn't say a word, he just kept eating his food. I decided that I was going to have to start the conversation.
"Hola Jose, me llamo Gloria quires ser mi amigo?" He looked up at me with a huge grin on his face. I couldn't help but smile back. While we talked and ate our food together I realized that he was a very nice guy. We talked about sports, and what we like to do in our free time. We also talked about how different it is living here in California than in Mexico.
As days went on I kept talking to Jose. I noticed that I was losing some friends but some actually came to join us. Jose and I became best friends and still to this day we are best friends. From little kids in fourth grade to young adults in tenth grade, Jose has always been there for me since day one and is still there today. That's why you should never judge someone by the way they look or dress — they could end up changing your whole life.