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As “social” as I may appear, I’m probably a lot more shy than people think. Small groups of people make me nervous because I feel like all the pressure is on me to talk and keep conversations going. I just usually find them kind of awkward and not comfortable. When you’re in a large group of people, you have a lot more to work with. You can feed off of what other people say and just vibe with different types of people. Smaller groups are more intimate and you’re forced to be yourself more so than you are in a big group. It’s really easier for me to be with a large group of people telling a joke or funny story. Ever since I was a kid I loved performing at family gatherings or making speeches at my school and it never made me nervous. I was also relatively good at making friends.
Whether at karate class, at a party, through mutual friends, or a new school, I was able to adjust and adapt. However, in elementary school there were only four other kids in my grade for the last two years. I’d come home and tell my mom that my entire grade hated me, and she’d say I was being overdramatic…but my entire grade literally hated me sometimes. You obviously couldn’t get away with much, so I spent a lot of time at the principal’s office. I become really close with the secretary there. I’d usually dance for her. It was a jewish school and I was the least religious person there. A lot of the things they told us were teaching us what to think, rather than how to think. Instead of just agreeing, I questioned a lot of what the rabbi’s said, which they didn’t appreciate or expect. I was better fitted for public school so as soon as sixth grade started, in a period of a few months my life completely changed. I was thrown into a completely different school with completely different types of people. I wasn’t used to the freedom I had. I wasn’t used to having clubs or sports (not sports) or extra help. I wasn’t even used to having subjects. In private school, half my day was english and math (mostly english) and the other half was hebrew. Science and social studies was new to me. Despite all these changes, I had to make friends very fast. I went to North camp the summer before my first year and decided to sit with a girl I barely knew from Level’s, a library program. I didn’t know anyone else and I knew I had to start making friends somewhere. If I hadn’t sat there that day, my life would’ve been completely different. That girl is my best friend to this day and one by one we started recruiting people. We formed our own group of friends which is pretty similar to this day. I went from not having any friends to being the main guy in a large group of friends.
Since I wasn’t used to be around more than four people, I was never really concerned with the way I acted or what people thought of me. I was 100% unapologetically myself which is probably why I made so many friends so quick. The naivety of not knowing or caring at the time worked in my favor. I’m lucky to have had the courage to sit with that girl at lunch that day.
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