i joined st. christopher's senior school in bahrain, halfway through the school year, i usually prefer this approach because you have an advantage; its not "every new person for themselves", you are assigned a student to orient you to the building, your locker and the bullies. however, my designated guide appeared more insecure than me, perhaps why the teacher gave her the role. my second week began with loss of seat privelidges on the bus "this is saved for someone else", by the time we got to school i realized my prescription must have needed changing as i couldn't see the seat buddy. this gradually devolved into "don't be friends with disa, she has my little ponies and carebears, oh, and a crack in her bedroom wall". interesting criteria, even if it had been true. it was finally during ramadhan that my 11 year old self was reduced to tears, we had to eat our lunch inside the gym for the holy month and i went to join the girls i generally sat with outside, once again my guide told me i could not sit with them, i stressed that i could in fact sit where ever i pleased, grabbed the chair and planted my cheeks. she turned to the sheep and ushered them to another table. i was left staring in disbelief at the sandwich my dad had made me that morning.
i did not make many friends at boarding school, my parents told me to "try harder", however, if trying meant that i had to smoke, drink or develop an eating disorder to fit in, then i preferred my own company. "It could be argued that successive and sustained contact with other people might help to remove some of the tension of isolation, due to alienation, thus opening creative avenues that would have otherwise remained impassable." (wikepedia)
it takes time to build community, and once in place it is hard to let go of and re-build elsewhere.