When I first moved to Oakland, I was only 10 years old. I had just graduated from Cleveland Elementary School, which is in San Francisco. I was born and raised in San Francisco, and everything was there; family, friends, and all that I was used to. I was already making a difficult transition from elementary to middle school, but doing it in a completely different city seemed impossible.
My first day of school was so unreal. Like in the movies, when everyone knows who the new girl is: the outcast, the outsider. Well, I was her, and it was horrible! Everyone was very different from me, their whole lifestyles. The way they dressed, acted, talked was all so advanced. They were dating and going out to parties, while back in San Francisco, my friends and I couldn’t even go to the movies without an adult chaperone. I dressed differently than all of the other girls. They had fake nails, their eyebrows were arched, and their pants were super tight. I just dressed normally, or at least what was normal for a girl my age in San Francisco. I was so different and I didn’t like it. I had never been out of place, ever in my life, and I didn’t really like it. I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me.
Everything was all too overwhelming. I was so overwhelmed that I went to the side of the school and cried. But just like she always has been, my mom was there and let me cry on her shoulder. She told me that everything was all right and that being different from another city was my advantage. She told me that it was okay to be different and I didn’t have to be so mature to fit in, that I could be accepted without being me, or that I didn’t even have to try and fit in. I felt better and went inside.
After that rough start, sixth and seventh grade were a breeze. I made many friends and a few enemies, but hey, that’s middle school. I had two best friends all throughout my two and a half years at MLA. Their names were Juvonna and Eeman. I thought that they were my true best friends, but I soon figured out that they were trying to fit in just as much as I was. One day, all of my friends and I were at second snack having fun and laughing. I don’t exactly remember what happened, but Juvonna’s little sister and I got into an argument, so Juvonna jumped in. Of course she took up for her little sister, so it was those two against me. Even then I didn’t back down, and then Juvonna’s little sister, Jubrille, wanted to fight me. It seemed like everyone traded on me and no one was my friend because everyone was on Jubrilles side; no one wanted to be different and be on my side, because then they would be an outcast too. That’s how things worked at MLA: people did what everyone else was doing, and I can’t even lie, I tried to also. But I was lucky that I had a mom that didn’t let me.
When I got home, I told my mom what had been happening. My mom was so mad that she called Juvonna and Jubrille and told them how mean they were. She wasn’t disrespectful or anything, but she calmly told them not to jump me and that I should fight them individually. I was so mortified. I’d rather be jumped rather than have my mom fight my battles fro me, or at least I thought I would. When I got to school the next morning, everyone was asking me why my mom had yelled at Juvonna and Jubrille. I tried to explain that she hadn’t, but no one believed me and everyone called me scary. I called my mom and told her that Juvonna and Jubrille spread the rumor about her. Even though I refused, my mom ordered me to come home. I was so embarrassed that I went out the back of the school so that no one could see me.
My mom went to the district offices on 21st street and switched my schools. I didn’t go to school for about a month and instead I mainly went to work with my mom. It was fun. I am happy that my mom was there and that she always had my back. I love her for that, and now I see that she was right all along.
7 years ago