Life as a new student


Grace Na

Transfer student and senior Mayah Cerecer, was overwhelmed with emotions as the faces around her started becoming distorted.

On August 17 I was on my way home; finally leaving my soon-to-be school’s office at Bonita Vista High (BVH). The secretary’s words resonated in my mind, “you start tomorrow. My imagination began to run wild; what if I’m the lonely kid, what if my friends preferred my online personality, what if everyone hates me? The only thing I could do at that moment was call my friend. Hearing her voice, feeling her smile behind the phone made all my doubts and fears dissipate, even if it was only for a few seconds.

Everything from the past few years had come to an end: the phone calls, the emails and the seemingly endless days of waiting to attend BVH. Despite the fact that I would be reunited with my friends, my previously unfathomable dream finally becoming a reality, my doubts began to trickle back. Those fears started to

taint my expectations for the school that was going to become my second home. Tainting the vision I had for the people I would soon be standing next to when it was time to reach the next chapter of my life.

Though I already knew reality coupled with unrealistic expectations could be anyone’s downfall. At that point, the only thing I could do was to try to expect the unexpected. 

Be that as it may, public high schools are many things, but predictable isn’t one of them. It’s not like how they describe it in movies. There are no love confessions, nor any popular girls out to get you. It’s just strangers surrounding you everyday. 

In spite of everything, seeing the reality of my circumstances allowed me to build a sense of stability.”

— Mayah Cerecer

I would soon notice that the strangers amounted to about 1,500 students, I mean 1,500 strangers. This was a significant shift for me since I came from a school of only 400 students. 

With a large number of students at BVH, everyone would pass me so swiftly in the halls, unbothered by my presence. It was the unimportance of me being there that set an uneasiness across the unfamiliar area. To the point where multiple times a day, my breath got caught in my throat and the faces surrounding me became distorted and disfigured.

It was the first time in my life that I had felt trapped, the first time I would look into a sea of strangers and not recognize any faces. The more I looked at them, the more it felt like there were actual wounds on my body, going deeper as the day went on. The “wounds” made it hard for me to carry on because it wasn’t something I could simply go to the nurse for, it was something I had to deal with on my own. 

Throughout the rest of the day, there was a constant clash between my relentless expectations of highschool and the reality of being the “new student.” It wasn’t until I got home and looked at myself in the mirror that I realized I wore no scars, no battle wounds. The “real” public school life had caused me no physical pain.

It didn’t matter that my first day was a disaster, because now I realize it was an experience I had to go through to learn a valuable lesson. It made me differentiate illusion from the truth. In spite of everything, seeing the reality of my circumstances allowed me to build a sense of stability.

For the rest of the school year I would pick up the pieces, and make use of what was given to me.