Patience, Lamberton Middle School

Lamberton Middle School

Whether you’re starting your first day at your job or moving in to a different neighborhood, being new is always nerve wracking. Being with people you know and are comfortable with can change an environment from something to be fearful of to a fun experience. This is why I always try to be welcoming and open to people who are new in my school or the area. 

Everyone should know that welcoming someone doesn’t always mean becoming instant best friends with them. Many people are shy or just aren’t interested in being bombarded with offers of friendship from strangers. The key to being welcoming is being friendly but not pushy and showing that you will be there if they need you. 

When you are new you obviously aren’t used to the area that you are in. When I was assigned the task of helping  the new kid in our school, the first thing that I did was show them around so that they could get used to the area. I asked what their interests were and tried to show them the things that we had to offer that they might enjoy. I chatted with them to try and make them feel more comfortable about the situation.  These are things that you could do for someone you barely know so that they know the basics of a new place but there are other things you could do to help them really feel comfortable once you get to know them.

Everyone has different beliefs and cultures that makes it hard to freely enjoy a place where they might be judged. This is why integrating their cultures or beliefs into the environment and letting them know that they are welcome to freely believe what they wish is integral to welcoming someone. An example of how to do this can be seen within one of my close friends who is religious. This friend is a devout Christian so sometimes she talks about her religion. If I need to, I can politely ask questions or have respectful conversations about it while making sure that she is ok with what I am saying. When she celebrates holidays that are important to her religion I support her. If anything I do or say conflicts with her religion I apologize and make sure not to do it when I’m with her. These things must be done to help someone to feel safe and comfortable in a new environment. If you make them think that their culture is not welcome then you are making them believe that they are not welcome. My friends have helped me learn about how to be respectful and help them adjust when needed.

Some of my best friends today started as the new kids at school. Even if I wasn’t asked to be the person to show them around and help them I still tried to be friendly because eventually those efforts will pay off. The kids that started off as new and timid are now comfortable enough to show their amazing personalities and interests. I’ve asked those kids about what it was like to be new and many of them were appreciative of the people that helped them along the way. I’m happy to help people integrate into our community and show them what this town has to offer.