Thoughts from the Twice-Over New Girl

  As an only child, my mother realized how it important it was for me to be around kids my age as much as possible. She made sure to take me to reading time at the library, Sunday school, dance class, soccer, and T-ball. She'd set up play dates and make friends with other parents, and voila! My mom's friend's kid was now my friend. I would go on play dates with Alaina, Claire, Emily, and Gracie, kids who were in my preschool class. Since that bond was established so early on, I would always have these friends, even if we weren't in the same class. I think that if I hadn't moved away from St. Croix Falls, I would still be friends with these girls because they're honestly really nice people. 
Me & Alaina at our first gig together, Dad drove
I still follow Alaina on Instagram. She's one of my oldest friends and I think that it's so cool to see her prom photos and photos with her little sister. Technology is amazing.
Thoughtful message from one of my best friends, Ashley
Unfortunately, I've had to go through this moving process one too many times. I had spent 7 years in Hortonville when I had to start over again. After completing my freshman year at Hortonville High School, I moved AGAIN. It broke my heart. 

I remember thinking, these are the people I'm supposed to graduate with. God, why would you let me make all of these great friends this year only to take them out of my life? I had put down roots! Moving had never been in the question and suddenly, it was a fact.
Credits to Jen Hohn at No Limits Photography :)
Fall 2016
I didn't know it at the time, but graduating from Hortonville High School was never in the plan. Everything I had worked towards to set me up for a stellar high school experience in the music and theatre department was never going to be. And why? Because it was never intended for me to do those things

Fall 2014
I was meant to move to Marshfield. After spending two emotional roller coaster years here, I realize that Hortonville was not the place for me. 

I look so tired but it was play season
The idea of graduating from Hortonville never felt true or right but I always assumed that it was just going to happen. I thought that my uneasiness was just a reaction to growing up and moving out on my own. 
Solo & Ensemble 2017, one of my favorite photos.
This was such a happy moment
  Moving to Marshfield has opened my eyes and pushed me out into the world. There was not a clique of friends I'd had for years to hide behind anymore. If I wanted friends I had to go make them myself and *this* is where I hit my passionate outcry in this blog post. 

  I know for a fact that I have classmates who have been going to the same school their entire academic career. They go to high school with the same kids they went to preschool or kindergarten with. Some of them are still friends with the kids that their moms set them up on play dates with when they were four. They have never had to truly start over from scratch in a place where they didn't know anything about any of their classmates. They have no idea how shitty it is and how much of an asshole move it is to not be friendly to a new kid, to prejudge them, to label them on first glance, and to ignore them. 

  I get it. New students = change and nobody actually likes change. We are creatures of habit. We worry that our friends will like the new kid more than us. If the new kid shares a similar hobby, we worry that the new kid will be better at our passion than us. Guess what? As threatened as you may feel, the new kid isn't here to ruin your life. The new kid just wants to feel like they fit in somewhere. The new kid just wants to get through the rest of their high school experience as painlessly as possible, just like you. 

The chick behind the camera, Katherine Braun herself
  Since I moved to Hortonville, every year I would approach the new kid and introduce myself and offer to show them around or give them a place to sit at lunch. I can remember doing this pretty much every single year. Last year I met my photographer, Katherine Braun, by doing just that.
June 2017
  I do this because I know how it feels to not know a single face and it is absolute shit. All you want is to skip to the part where you have friends. 
Prom 2017
And you have to work hard for those friends. To move schools and be successful, you've gotta have enough confidence to introduce yourself and hope you hit it off. You don't know any of the labels put on your classmates which is a blessing and a curse. 

Hogwarts Express with the best
It's taken me over a year to solidify some quality friendships and good things come to those who wait. I have true friends who are mature enough to cut through bullshit and I am so unbelievably grateful/thankful that I have these positive people in my life.


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