Going into my third and final high school, from 16 to 18 years old to study my A-Levels, I was getting better and crying much less frequently. The “new start” at this new school was considerably more successful than the previous one and I actually liked this new place and wasn’t terrified to go there every day. Not crying on my first day helped as well. The other students weren’t too embarrassed to be around me, which was a step up. I still wasn’t very confident and found it hard speaking much to people, and certainly impossible to really speak with girls (well to be honest, I wasn’t really confident speaking with anybody I didn’t really know, let alone just the girls).
I think I was kind of seen as a strange, quiet nerdy type of person, but I still got on with people in general. I think that ultimately the three years I spent at boarding school did help me in the end; seeing and experiencing how nasty kids could be to each other, without recourse to parents on a regular basis, and developing a little bit of “immunity” to it all I suppose. I guess it was also just me growing a bit more mature with time, or maybe just learning self-control to just ignore what people said, or go with what they said… ie, if somebody said something that I might have previously hurt me, I would laugh and joke at myself with them (something I learned more to do at boarding school as well), so the effect of their joke was kind of lost. A little self-deprecating maybe, but it seemed to work.
I might have been a bit eager to make friends at the start, though. In the first few weeks there was a guy who was also new at the school and we seemed to get on very well. He lived near me and he came back via my place once after school. I confided in him about the lies that I told at my previous school, trusting that he would keep to himself. Of course he didn’t, and I found out pretty quickly that he had told other people. I think he was almost as insecure as I was about making friends and he used that to try and make himself the talking point and get attention. A learning point about being silly and naive, but I was pretty hurt by it.