Being a “new kid” is an all-too-familiar phrase for me. Now while I haven’t been moved a ton, I have had a decent share of new kid experiences. The more obvious include moving homes twice and having to be called a “new kid,” whether kindly or not, between schools. But I think I enjoy some of my less-evident new kid experiences better.

For example, when I was in the sixth grade, my friends wanted me to play four square. I had never heard of nor played this so-called “four square” before. After about 30 seconds of being pressured to play, I agreed to join them and learn what the mystical four square was all about. I may not have made many amazing decisions in my short life, but the choice to play four square was one of my best. What I got from the game were those memories that, when you ponder them, they can’t help but leave a smile on your face. I hold those mornings playing four square near to my heart, as they remind me of a time where I didn’t exactly realize that being the new kid was the best thing ever.

That’s right, I love being the new kid. It’s not just the fact of being able to make up and present a whole new version of yourself to a new crowd but also the fact of a new thing. Being a new kid allows you to learn and grow in ways a stationary person could never dream. If people never did new things, nothing would ever be achieved. In the example of four square, I not only learned how to play a silly kids game, but I also learned to bond with people over a shared interest. I learned how to talk to people I had never seen before. I learned how to keep my cool even when I lost to a person five times in a row.

The experience of being new is unforgettable. It’s a thing you hold onto and use. Being a new kid leads to being a new person. This is one of the only things I can say at 14 years old that I know for certain.

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