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Photo ofNivia Lopez-Escobar

I was in fifth grade when my parents told me we were moving to a new town. At the time, I didn’t know that moving towns meant moving schools, so I was happy about it. Then my mom told me that I had to move schools, and I got really upset. I had a lot of friends and amazing teachers and saying goodbye is not easy, but I decided to accept the fact and move on. 

A few days passed, and I transferred to a new school where a girl I already knew from church went, so I was pretty glad. About three weeks later, I found out that I had to leave the school because my house was too far away from the district. I was sad, but at least I didn’t get to go to school for a few days. Once again, I transferred to a new and closer school. 

Most of the time I felt lonely and left out because there was a group of girls who claimed to be my friends, but never hung out with me, and, when they did, they ignored me. One girl would always talk to me and was the only real friend I had throughout the school year. When sixth grade started, I was really excited to see the friend I made, but she looked different and had a different personality. She had made new friends and stopped talking to me, and I was really upset.

Later, I made a few new friends, and we all were in a group. I was labeled as “the shy one,” and it was true since I was a pretty quiet girl. In seventh grade, one of my best friends moved away, and we stopped talking after that. Our group went downhill from there. Most of them stopped coming to our table, and it would get really awkward when they sat at another one with new people. 

I still had a few friends thankfully, and we would always talk. After school closed for Covid, my friends and I stayed in constant contact during the first few weeks, but slowly started drifting away. It was hard not talking to anyone because I would get bored, waiting for a text notification from my friends.

When eighth grade began, everyone was virtual in the first semester. The second semester, I went to school, and I expected my friends to come running towards me after almost a whole year of not seeing each other, but they didn’t. We barely talked at all, and It made me feel like I was in fifth grade again, lonely. After time passed, I became social again and made new friends. Even the ones whom I knew in sixth grade from my group started talking to me and each other again. At the moment, I am in eighth grade, almost at the end of the school year, feeling great and definitely happy with my new friends and my old ones.

© Nivia Lopez-Escobar. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.