The Communicator

The Communicator

The Communicator

How to Make Friends


He had spent years trying to make new friends, failing and even giving up, so as Henry Lipp, senior, stepped out of the car on what seemed to be another boring school day and stepped into the halls of CHS, he was surprised to find that the school matched his ideals. Lipp had spent most of middle school alone because of ADHD and was ready for a change, away from all the loneliness. He would make friends.

“I never really made any friends in school. I think that’s also because I don’t know if it was about me, or what age I was, or how I moved around classes a lot,” Lipp said. “It was hard making friends just like yourself quickly. So I just stopped trying to.”

Lipp has had trouble getting close to people for most of his life. ADHD in particular made him question whether he was friends with people or just acquaintances. Even after making his mind up and gathering the courage to meet with his classmates, only some things went his way. In sixth grade, Lipp unwillingly had to take a class reminiscent of a study hall for kids with similar problems as his. And with a class of only three people, he didn’t expect any bad blood coming for him.

One day while typing away at a computer in the dimly lit back corner of a room, he was confronted by one of the students taking the class, and before long, the argument turned for worse.

“I don’t remember us hating each other and we just never talked to each other. I can’t remember the specifics about why we were arguing, but they just suddenly said something to hurt me was along the lines of ‘It’s no wonder you have no friends’,” Lipp said. “And as someone who was anti-social but wanted friends and was having such a hard time doing that, I kind of broke down just an ugly cry. The teacher took me away but that’s not where the story ends.”

After calming down in a little side room inside the office with a window facing the rest of the classrooms, the kid being mean came back with their friends and teased Lipp through the window with a cartoonish tongue-out and open-hand with thumbs in their ears. And even though they stopped later after an enraged teacher screamed at them, Lipp’s confidence was still at an all-time low. He was ready to leave and go home.

“I was at my locker and I was just grabbing stuff to get going. And then, the friend of the bully said something along the lines of ‘you should stop being mean to my friend,’ he kind of also announced that to like the other two kids beside me it just felt like another attack and trying to paint me as the bad guy,” Lipp said. “I don’t know if I was doing anything wrong, maybe I was, but just didn’t want to be talked to. That was a really bad day. After they left, I just hit my head against the locker and cried a bit.”

Thankfully after that devastating experience, Lipp never reencountered them. Still, it wreaked havoc upon his mental state for a while. For the rest of the years at the school, he still had fun taking part in Tappan Play which he participated in every year, watching movies at the end of the eighth grade and great teachers whom he remembers fondly.

“Mr. Kearney was another really friendly teacher. He gave a really hard high five, so now whenever me and my family are high-fiving each other I try and do it the hardest possible while saying ‘Kearney Style!’,” Lipp said.

However, unfortunately, Lipp wasn’t able to connect with anyone new for the rest of middle school. It was only in eighth grade that he realized that he should try a little harder to get to know these classmates before it was too late. But it only ended up in him giving up halfway into the school year. So going into high school, Lipp had a plan. A mantra to not making the same mistakes from middle school, and once and for all, make friends.

As the end to eighth grade approached, Lipp had to choose between high schools. He didn’t originally plan on going to CHS and instead, planned to attend Pioneer. After jumping from school to school, touring each to see which would fit, he ended up thinking fondly about CHS’s policies. With such a small school, he would have no problem recognizing people in his classes, therefore letting him be able to get closer to those around him. Lipp figured that this wouldn’t happen at Pioneer, as the school was too big and had too many classes to coincidentally be in the same class again with students he’d met.

And of course, after making it into the lottery and committing to go to CHS, fate had other plans. Covid-19 kicked in full gear, thwarting any plans and rendering them as virtually impossible.

“I didn’t make friends. I didn’t know people. That’s what I expected there.” Lipp said.

After a full year and a half stuck staring at the bright screens of laptops and listening to the stuttering audio of Zoom meetings, Lipp was more than excited to once again start school in person.

“My whole mantra that year was also to find friends but you’re actually a freshman,” Lipp said. “You do not have a first year. You can just kind of forget it existed because you don’t even remember anything from it. So just consider yourself a freshman.”

Lipp expected nothing, but much to his surprise, classmates at the school were much more open to talk, and soon, he found his place where he belonged. Reminiscing about one of his classmates speaking very fondly of CET, he decided to give it a shot in his junior year.

“People just kind of started talking to me, which was very interesting. I usually approach others. So when they just suddenly approached me and started talking to me, I was really happy,” Lipp said. “Also, I joined during Cabaret and Cabaret was probably the best play you could ever play. It was the best play I’ve worked with so far. It was just amazing. I’m still amazed by it. It was beautiful.”

Since coming to CHS, Lipp has been able to experience and expand on a whole world of new ideas, such as his love for creative writing and Dungeons and Dragons, which he frequently plays with friends in his spare time. He’s currently planning on writing an indefinite fantasy novel which he hopes to start publishing online and pursuing his passion for writing in college.

Perhaps it was just a change of school, but to him, it was everything he’d hoped for. Throughout all the trials and tribulations, this is where he ended up. This is his story.

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About the Contributor
Wilson Zheng
Wilson Zheng, Journalist
Wilson is a sophomore and entering his second semester on staff. When he's not at school doing work in the library, you can find him playing video games and melodies on his piano. Wilson is looking forward to advancing as both a writer and photographer this year.

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