First days of school are cause for celebration and nerves. Even if you’re returning to a familiar school, ghosts of years past can haunt you even as the unknown looms ahead.
The stress is worse when you’re going to a new school where nothing is familiar. That was what 14-year-old Cale Wrenn was facing as he headed off to his first day of high school.
Lunch provided all new problems, and he messaged his older sister to update her on his first day.
“I sat alone at lunch and got lost three times tho,” he wrote. He said nobody would eat lunch with him, and that his peers made fun of his height.
“At lunch, I had sat alone and I was actually getting called short and stuff,” he told KOCO-TV. “I was used to getting picked on for my height and I wasn’t that upset when it happened in high school because I assumed it would.”
“When I got home, I told my sister about all of that and my sister, being my sister, made a huge tweet about it that’s viral right now.”
His sister, Leah, tweeted about him, writing, “Retweet to let my baby brother know that he is cool before I have to pull up to RHS.”
Retweet to let my baby brother know that he is cool before I have to pull up to RHS pic.twitter.com/ybIjzEtIdP
— leah (@LEAHNFJK) August 26, 2019
That tweet went viral, and some other high schoolers at Wrenn’s school saw it and decided to do something about it.
“We decided to catch him off guard at lunch and have lunch with him and show him around the school and make sure he was OK and give him new friends,” said Demontez Canada.
Not only is Canada a senior, he’s also an athlete and plays both basketball and football.
“I was raised to help people,” said another senior, Tyvon Smoot. “My mama didn’t raise me to do nothing so when I see stuff like that, then I need to help because I wouldn’t want anybody to do that to me and it happened to me before when I first moved to North Carolina.”
@LEAHNFJK I told you I was going to be with him at lunch now he got a whole gang !!! And simple reminder is Steve invited your family out to a grizzly game on Saturday at 7 and it’s free please always remind him that he always got a place at my table pic.twitter.com/VpV8URlnSs
— Therealist.tt? (@ThaxtonTimothy) August 27, 2019
Smoot said that he knew what it felt like to be alone, since he used to sit by himself, too.
He said that reaching out and befriending the freshman made him feel “blessed” and like he’d done “something great in life.”
“I’m just glad that he has friends that he can count on, that he can talk to, and that he can know that we’ve got his back,” Smoot concluded.
As for Wrenn, he’s loving his new posse.
“It felt really nice to know that there are people who care,” he said. “The good part about having friends is that you always have somebody to talk to if you ever need anything.”
This might be the beginning of a heartwarming trend, as Wrenn reflects on others who might also be able to use a friend.
“I know I’m not the only person that sits alone at lunch. In different periods there are different freshmen and juniors and sophomores who sit alone at lunch and I just wish we can do something for them, too,” he added.
“It felt kind of weird, it just being me who got reached out to and I wish we could do something for all of the people who sit alone, give them all someone to sit with at lunch.”
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