Appeared on Cowbird.com November 2013
By Dana Bahrawy
Being the new kid is never easy. Especially in your freshman year of high school. But as I walked through the double doors at Hingham High School as a 14 year old, I felt at home.
I went in knowing nobody, moving to the town of about 20,000 in the summer of 2007. Moving in to my soon-to-be stepfather's house at the time, it was me, my mother Susan, my now stepfather Jon and his two kids, Joscelyn and Bradford. My two siblings, Alex and Katherine, stayed in Sandwich with my father, Jens, and attended Sandwich High School.
This was a decision I could have made as well. I could have stayed with my dad and been a freshman at SHS with all the best friends I grew up with. But there was something in my gut telling me what I wanted- change.
And so as I walked through those double doors, I was scared. But I was also eager- eager for change. The first thing I saw was a big white and red banner saying "Welcome Back!". A number of upperclassmen with red "Seniors '08" shirts welcomed me with candy and a warm greeting. I had a feeling this was the right choice.
Growing up, I always wanted school spirit. Sandwich wasn't quite spirited when it came to its high school, so when I saw everyone dressed in red and white it brought a smile to my face. I envisioned myself playing basketball in front of a packed house, while the whole gym was cheering. So I walked over to the gym to check it out.
There were a few kids shooting around, while others sat in the bleachers to chat. By high school standards, the gym was small. There were bleachers behind both baskets, which is uncommon for a high school gym. All the walls were covered in banners for all types of sports. I felt a certain homeliness to the court.
Everyone seemed to be happy to be back at high school. That warmed my heart and immediately made me feel like I made the right choice. I knew it was going to take some time, but I truly felt at home.
And so four years later, on a cold May afternoon, I received my diploma while dressed in an all red robe with a red cap. It was an accomplishment that felt amazing.
On that day I reflected on my decision to attend a whole new high school without knowing anyone. I made some of the best friends I could ever imagine while playing sports in front of an extremely spirited fan base. I met my girlfriend that I could not imagine living without. I told myself that I made the right decision, and that I would never regret it. It turns out that change truly can be a positive thing.