I had never considered myself a shy person. I was always outgoing, had alot of friends, and had no difficulties making new ones. That was in the old school. When my parents told me that we would be moving to a new school, it never occurred to me how differently I would feel. I just assumed that I would be as bold and confident as I had always been. I would soon be in for a surprise.

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The first day in the new classroom the teacher made it a point to introduce me as the new student. All of a sudden, a strange sensation came over me. My hands were sweating and I felt shaky inside. I did not know what these new feelings were or what to do with them. She asked me to stand up and tell about where I came from. At that moment it made no difference that I had once been on the debate team, or that I had been student body President, I froze.

Then I heard the teacher say, “It’s OK, we won’t bite.”

I realized that I had not responded to her question and probably looked ridiculous. Slowly I rose from my seat, my mind racing to find the words. What came out first was not what I had planned.

I said, “ummm, errm eep op, I umm,” not a good beginning for a former speech contest winner.

I took a deep breath and started again, “My name is…”, and from that point forward, it flowed.

I looked around the room and saw nothing but smiling, welcoming faces. I knew that everything was going to be OK in this new place. I would not have to be shy anymore.