Yes, I’m From Texas; No, I Don’t Drive a Horse

No one prepared me for what it was going to be like being new to Westport as a freshman. So I’m going to be honest.

Being a new kid in Westport sucks.

There is no other way to put it, it flat-out sucks. Being a freshman is hard enough, so you can imagine how horrible being a freshman and a new kid is.

But everyone, and I mean everyone, told me that being new to Westport as a freshman would be great, so on the first day of school I wasn’t that worried.

Everyone was wrong.

If you move to Westport as a sophomore, junior, or senior, people at least are more likely to realize that you are new. But since I was a freshman, all the Coleytown kids thought I was from Bedford, and the Bedford kids thought I was from Coleytown.

On the first day of school last year, not wanting to sit alone, I sat with some random kid at lunch. After I told him I was from Houston, Texas, he stood up, called me a “dumb redneck,” and left.

In Houston, everyone made an effort to get to know the new kid. In Westport, people aren’t nearly as outgoing and don’t make nearly as much of an effort to get to know the new kids.

At lunch no one reached out to me. The lack of friendliness people showed me was perceived by me as, who the hell are you and why are you sitting at this table?

It probably took a month or two to finally make a few friends and have people learn who the heck I was. When people found out I had moved to Westport from Houston, all I heard were redneck jokes.

For example, in my Global Themes Facebook group last year, every time I had the word “ain’t” included in one of my statuses, someone would comment, “Haha Bailey said ain’t.”

But I’d like to clear the air: as shocking as this may sound, I don’t own a shotgun, a cowboy hat, or a horse named Bucky. And I’m definitely not a Dallas Cowboys fan. I might have accidentally put the word “y’all” in one of my essays, but that’s it.

And while I didn’t exactly enjoy hearing about the oil rig in my backyard and how my parents drove pick-up trucks, I accepted the fact that I would forever be known as the redneck hillbilly from Texas.

Later in the year, when I lost a bet with a friend, I not only became known as a Texan, but also as the kid who wore a blue morph suit on Spirit Day.

So to all the kids new to Westport who happen to be reading this, don’t get known for something; get involved. Unless you’d rather be known as a morph suit-wearing redneck from Texas; in that case, go for it.

Instead of sitting in your room on Facebook, do something to help you get to know people. It doesn’t matter if that’s sports, Players, or even Inklings.

If you do something you’re interested in, you’ll meet other kids who are interested in the same thing, and you won’t be forced to awkwardly sit at a table listening to a discussion of the latest “Gossip Girl” episode.

I know that sounds really cheesy, and your guidance counselor has probably told you the exact same thing by now (minus the “Gossip Girl” part), but it’s true.

Being a new kid sucks, but you can make your year good or bad. If you sit in your room talking to old friends about how you hate your parents for moving you and how Westport sucks, your year is going to stink.

Even if you hate Westport, try to make the best out of a “bad” situation. You’ll be surprised how good it might just be, even if you are a dumb redneck like me