When I was in kindergarten I talked to whomever, I ate lunch with whomever, and anyone that talked to me was my friend. I think that’s how it pretty much worked for everyone. No one had fashion expectations, no one had clicks, and everyone wanted to have fun.
Which means kindergarten was one of the easiest social experiences of my life.
I don’t remember learning much of anything…however, I was one of the few children in my class that didn’t attend preschool—somehow I managed to learn how to recite the alphabet just like everyone else.
School began to get more complicated when people started developing friend groups. People started making friends and “inviting people to their birthday party”, which was one of the biggest deals in the world, and it continues to be so for young children.
When you didn’t get invited, that was the signal to look elsewhere for a friend.
Then it was middle school and no one belonged, but everyone felt like they were part of a certain group and everyone was suddenly aware of the word popular. The words boyfriend and girlfriend also found their way into the common language.
Cooties were old school—everyone was going through the same awkward stage even though everyone tried to ignore it. I didn’t realize it was happening and now I when I go through old pictures I can point it out. It’s obvious. Looking back it's astounding how awkward everyone was.
I wish I had known everyone was as awkward and out of place as me. I would have been less preoccupied with what other people thought, and middle school would have been so much easier.
In high school everyone thought they were cool. I learned some of my hardest lessons about relationships in high school, but everything I learned allowed me to understand myself more.
The last few years of high school I was preoccupied with worrying about my future.
And now I’m here.
In a way I’m back in kindergarten. Although I’m already educated and I know how to read, making friends happens the same way it did 13 years ago. All I have to do is start up a conversation with someone, or sit at a table during lunch and introduce myself.
It’s like I’m 5 all over.
But now I understand how to appreciate life, I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made.
I’m going to make more, because without mistakes we don't learn.
Without learning we don’t grow and without growing, we will never reach the 1st grade.