You are representing the school at the newcomers assembly and have been asked to give a speech inspiring year sevens to belong, as a year twelve student (based on your own experiences).

Essay by [w]ilson.[s]High School, 12th gradeA, May 2009

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As John O'Donohue famously quoted; "Our bodies know they belong; it is our minds that make our lives so homeless..." This statement could be interpreted in several ways in life itself. In school even. Starting school is the first step. As we all know, the first step is always the hardest. Beginning your experiences at secondary education as a small fish in a big pond, as opposed to your previous experiences as a big fish in a small pond, can seem quite intimidating. I don't disagree with that. But as John said, one will always belong; it is simply an issue of mind over matter. And if you all managed to get into this school, then there is no doubt whatsoever in your mental strength and capabilities.

It's natural to feel isolated. Despite what everyone has told you; "Oh, you'll be fine. You'll find heaps of friends there, don't worry", you know that there will always be a possibility that perhaps you're a bit different.

Maybe its not you, but them, you reason to yourself. Whatever the rationale, the problem is still there. You will have to show up to school, and fit in with everyone else. I should know, for I've done it the hard way as well.

Erma Bombeck once said "Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?" Guess why that is? Maybe it's because the first person . . . stands out. They have to summon up the courage to leave their comfort zones, to enter another realm altogether. And that's probably why no one ever collects the first bag. In fact, high school is all about leaving your feelings of security behind. You have to go for it. You have to rise above others first, and...