On March 15th, 1995, an 8 pound beautiful baby girl named Sandy was born to two extremely loving parents. Although a bald baby at the beginning, Sandy had brown wavy hair, dark brown eyes and skin so bronze that it looked as if she was birthed out of a tanning bed. She was a beautiful daddy’s girl with a light in her eyes that nobody could put out. At a young age, Sandy began taking dance classes five days a week, and attended a pristine private school. Her father, a doctor in the city nearby only wanted the best for her and her younger sister Carol.
Sandy and her family lived in Shady Dale, Georgia. Shady Dale is a town where tractors driving in front of you on the main road is normal, and everyone knowing everything about you is typical. There is only one main road and one breakfast restaurant that is only open from 7am to 9am. That being said, this private school was tiny. Sandy’s entire grade ranged from about twelve to twenty students. Having a small class sounds really nice from afar, but in reality, it was torture for Sandy. There was hardly anybody to choose to become friends with and she didn’t seem to like anyone enough to become friends with anyways. Her family was well off, but the families that sent their kids to that school seemed like the elite rich rich.
For example, when she was in fourth grade, she heard a girl next to her gloat about the espresso maker they had gotten her for her bedroom. “What could a 5th grader possibly need with a coffee maker in her room?” Sandy thought to herself. Obviously, she was going to go home and ask her parents for one though, because she needed to fit in. That seemed to be a trend as she grew in the school. Girls would start to wear certain shoes that became the “cool” shoes to wear, so Sandy would go home and ask her dad if they could go out and get some too. “Those shoes are over a hundred dollars!” He would typically say in shock that other parents would spend so much on school shoes. “But dad I have to have them so I can be cool like them,” she would plead, in fear that she would become even more of a geek than she already was.
The one thing she did have though, that the kids in her school didn’t was her passion and skills to dance. Sandy was already in a dance class that was for kids way older than she was. She was a part of what her studio called the junior apprentice, which is pretty high up for a girl who hadn’t even started high school yet. Even after the worst day of school, Sandy knew it would be okay because she had dance class and the girls in those classes were her real friends. “Screw those snobs,” her friend Maya would say every time
Sandy would tell her about the awful kids she went to school with. Maya went to public school and had so many friends, which made Sandy incredibly jealous.
When she was in eighth grade, her parents sat her down and asked her where she was thinking she wanted to go for high school. There were two private high schools nearby that most of the kids would be going to but Sandy didn’t want to keep going to private school anymore, she hated it there and wanted to go to a place where she could be herself and make real friends. “Can I just go to Shady Dale High?,” she asked her parents, without looking them in the eyes. She feared that they would be disappointed that she didn’t want to continue being their perfect private school kid. “If that’s what you want, then we can absolutely enroll you there,” her mom said, grabbing her daughters hand and squeezing it. “Really??” Sandy jumped up with excitement and danced around the room. Laughing, her parents told her that they would go over to the school the next day to work on getting her registered.
“I can’t believe my little love bug is a high schooler,” her mother said the morning of Sandy’s first day. “Mom please don’t make this a big deal, it’s a good that dad’s not here because we both know he would do that secretly crying thing,” Sandy said as she and her mom both laughed in agreement. Sandy is an absolute daddy’s girl and she has absolutely no shame in the matter. In reality, she’s close to both of her parents and best friends with her sister who was still in elementary school. “I do wish that you were driving me though,” Sandy said to her mother who was starting to tear up again. There was no bus that took her to her old school so she got to ride with her parents, which was definitely a luxury that she was going to miss. “The bus will be fine my love,” her mom reassured her, “I will stand with you at the stop for the first couple of times.” Sandy felt herself take a big gulp and hope that her mom was right, but nope. The bus was as scary as she figured it would be and everyone looked at her like she was a new fresh piece of meat the second she stepped on. The area of town that she lived in was right on the border of a town with a lot of different cultures, all of which were on the bus with her. As soon as the bus stopped at the front of the school, Sandy started to feel sick to her stomach and realized that she was much more nervous than she thought she would be. There at the front, stood the principle ready to greet all of the freshman and make them feel even more uncomfortable. “Good morning, Wildcats,” he shouted as they all huddled through the double doors, and into the cafeteria to wait and find out where their homerooms were. Sandy was summoned to go to Mrs. Jones room, even though she had no idea where that even was. Luckily, a couple of girls in the cafeteria with her were in the same homeroom and asked Sandy if she wanted to go on the hunt together.
“I’m Allie,” “I’m Rachel,” “and I’m Madison,” said the girls as they began wandering the halls. “I’m Sandy, it’s nice to meet y'all,” she said while concluding that they probably knew each other before high school. “Are you new to Shady Dale?” Madison asked looking Sandy up and down. “No, I just went to private school before this,” she replied, feeling like a deer in headlights. “Oh, that sucks,” Rachel said, obviously knowing a little about how horrible going to private school was. Sandy couldn’t help but think back on all of the times she sat alone at lunch and tried so hard to squeeze herself into the games the kids were playing at recess. Snapping back to reality, the girls had finally stumbled upon Mrs. Jones room.
Mrs. Jones was a younger teacher, couldn’t possibly be over thirty, with her hair in a bun and a South Carolina Gamecocks hat on. “Come on in newbies,” Mrs. Jones said in a super southern accent, that comforted Sandy for some odd reason.
Once homeroom was over and the knots in her stomach were gone, Sandy got through the rest of her day with ease. She met a bunch of new people that all seemed really nice, embraced the concept that her class size was no longer twenty people, and actually had people to sit with at lunch. Besides the scary bus ride home that she was going to have to figure out eventually, she was certain that she was really going to enjoy high school.