Did you remain at the same school(s) or transfer to a number of different schools growing up? How did your early educational experiences impact your self-esteem and confidence?
I've lived in three states and attended a bunch of different schools. I was born in Connecticut and went to Flander's until midway through second grade. Then we moved to Florida, and I went to North Palm Beach for a few months while my parents house-hunted. Most ghetto school I ever attended, might I add. Then they bought a house, and I spent the rest of the year at Limestone Creek. I met a girl my age in the neighborhood, and she was in the gifted program at Lighthouse, which was in another district, but they let kids from other districts into the program. So I went there for third and most of fourth grade. Then we moved to Pennsylvania, and I went to Mother of Sorrows. Now, it was my decision to go to Catholic school, even though I was never Catholic and wasn't interested in Christianity in general (however, I've always found theology and mythology fascinating). Why? Because I was incurably obsessed with the movie "Sister Act," and I was hoping there would be nuns. But there were no nuns. Alas. Anyway, I went there through sixth grade, and then I got tired of dealing with the principal and the whole shoving-religion-down-your-throat thing, so I went to Franklin from seventh grade until I graduated. And then I went to Allegheny. I think I'm pretty much done with my formal education, though I'm interested in taking classes here and there, and I'm considering taking some online classes in programming.
It's had a pretty big effect on my social development, I think. I jumped around a lot when I was in elementary school, so I didn't really have a chance to develop many strong, lifelong friendships. My sister went to Franklin from kindergarten through high school, and she's still good friends with many of the kids she played with 15 years ago. For one thing, I'm really shy and weird and have a hard time making friends. It also kind of sucks when you've finally made friends and are starting to feel good about yourself, and then you have to leave it all behind and start over. So it's kind of made me detach myself from others emotionally, and I tend to avoid getting close because I worry about being torn away from them. But I did make a few good friends early on, and I still keep in touch with many of my friends from high school and college. But it's hard to stay close to people when you rarely see them, so the people I define as my close friends change every few years. I don't really have a strong core group of friends I see regularly or a lifelong "BFF."
Still, the friends I have now are awesome, even though I don't see most of them more than once or twice a year (if ever). And I do have a few local friends I see regularly, which is nice. I've even started gaming with my neighbors, which is cool, and I've been meeting more people in my barony. So my social life isn't quite dead, and it's starting to spring back a little. I still feel a certain detachment though. Then again, I tend to prefer companionship to a strong emotional bond anyway... I usually freak out when people try to get too close. I'd rather just goof off with people than sit around having deep, meaningful conversations. It's more fun that way.
I named the little guy Hagrid. He's going to the vet today to make sure he's ok. The shelter lady called a little while ago and said that his sick siblings were feeling better, and it's ok that he's congested, because the sick ones had no symptoms, and congestion is often a side effect of being in a new environment. But I'm also taking him because one of his eyes is red around the edge of the third eyelid, and maybe they can clip his nails while they're at it. (I have a hard time clipping kitty nails by myself, because they squirm like crazy, and I always worry that the clippers will slip and hurt them.) He's warming up to me and lets me pet him as much as I want, and today he started hanging out by the door, so maybe I'll gradually start introducing him to the others if the vets says it's ok.