Last Updated on Friday, 24 September 2010 15:19 Posted by Clash Friday, 24 September 2010 15:00
Six times in my first seven years as a student I began the first day of school as the new girl. The stranger. A girl who was uncertain of who she would sit with at lunch or what kind of shoes the cool kids wore.
Each year, the first day of school left knots in my stomach. It was filled with awkward introductions and trying to fit into conversations where I may or may not have a place.For me, the first day of school was filled with being a friend worth having so that somebody would pick me instead of leaving me to float through my first few weeks of the year as an unclaimed loaner.
Many times, the first day of school ended with me crying into my pillow at night because being the new girl was just so hard.
I don't have any horror stories of having to eat my lunch in a bathroom stall or anything like that. But I do remember the fear and insecurity that swarmed my heart at the end of every August and continued into the first week of September. In fact, I still get a resurgence of those emotions when I'm thrust into an awkward social situation in which I don't know anyone.
Because of my years long stint as the new girl I now have eyes that notice other new girls. Something in me gravitates to them. I want to welcome them and let them know they have a friend in me. Anything I can do to take the edge off the awkwardness.
Recently, I was at an event where a woman who was newer to speaking in front of large groups got up and shared. I could tell she was nervous. But she did a great job. A few days later one of her main points was still in the forefront of my mind and I was looking for how I could apply it to my life.
So, I decided to do something about it. I looked the woman up on Facebook and wrote a short note thanking her for sharing and let her know she had impacted me. That was it. Short and sweet.
Within hours she had responded telling me that my note came at just the right time. She'd been plagued with insecurity and my note was just the encouragement she needed.
Through that one Facebook message a friendship grew. We emailed back and forth, spent time together at another conference we both attended and even had lunch together last week.
As I drove home from our lunch date I couldn't help but think that I made a really great friend all because I took time to notice somebody else and how she might be feeling.
The new school year has started and there are plenty of new girls in your midst. Take time to notice them. Reach out to one or two. Be a friend.
You might even end up making a really great friend too.
An author of ten books, Shannon Primicerio teaches teenage girls how to apply the Bible to the drama of real life and read it like it's God's love letter to them. By helping girls establish intimacy with Christ, she puts them on a path that will ensure they will still be walking with Him long after high school and college. Her books and conferences provide:
*Guidance and structure for how to have a daily quiet time
*Strategies for battling peer pressure in areas like dating, purity and friendship
*Insight on how to see yourself as the beautiful treasure you are
*Direction on how to find your purpose and live your passion for the glory of God
You can learn more about Shannon at www.beingagirlbooks.com