If we think back, waaay back to one of the first episodes of the podcast we will remember that I was bullied in Elementary school. For me, middle school was my time to find true friends: people who didn’t know my past problems. Luckily Middle School did turn out that way and I ended up meeting some of the coolest people, many of whom I’m still friends with today.
“For me, middle school was my time to find true friends.”
But, before I met those people I made my first friend in middle school. A girl by the name Madison. She sat behind me in my 6th grade Spanish class. We bonded quickly, over things like Harry Potter and the idiocy of 6th graders taking Spanish. I actually still have notes that we would pass back and forth.
I called Madison my best friend. She was my sole companion for 6th grade. We went to the movies together, talked on the phone, went to the mall, I finally felt that I had a true friend.
“We bonded quickly, over things like Harry Potter and the idiocy of 6th graders taking Spanish.”
The warning signs started in the second half of the year and culminated at the beginning of 7th grade. To be honest, it’s hard to pinpoint why or even to remember how things broke down so quickly, but I can attribute it to a couple of things:
- Different lifestyles
- Different schedules
Madison was definitely edgier than I was. Even in middle school she was planning to be an artist; she wore punk style clothing and was just cool. I don’t think anyone would have called her a poser. Me, however… Well it’s different story. You can tell from pictures of me that I was trying to be someone I was not, and I think that had a lot to do with Madison’s influence.
“You can tell from pictures of me that I was trying to be someone I was not.”
By 7th grade we no longer had classes together. We weren’t bonding every day like we had been in Spanish class. I was also taking tougher classes, got my first boyfriend, and was becoming friends with the girls in my show choir class.
Finally, there were instances where we just weren’t communicating. I didn’t have a cell phone (I wasn’t allowed to have one until High School) and she did have one, so our communication was done almost entirely at school or on AIM. There’s a specific instance where we had planned to go to the movies. I thought the plans were nailed down, the time, the movie theatre, everything. Yet, I ended up sitting outside with my mom in the car waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Madison never showed up.
“I ended up sitting outside with my mom in the car waiting, and waiting, and waiting.”
The combination of all these things ended in us breaking off the friendship. The breakup was bad enough that we stopped talking. I wish I remembered exactly why, or what we could have done differently but I think we were just different. I also think that Madison had an issue with the friends I was making in chorus. These were people more like me, these were people I spent more time with.
I hope Madison is well. I wish our friendship had lasted longer than that 6th grade year, but it opened me up to what a friendship could be, and made me realize I could have friends in middle school, and I’m 100% thankful for that.
Mary Akemon is equally as passionate about online communities as she is about Hamilton. A recent graduate from University College London with a masters degree in Museum Studies, Mary is currently located in Florida. In addition to co-hosting Make New Friends, she also co-hosts the podcast Museum Masters.