My Dad was in the military when I was growing up. As such, we moved a few times, which meant my Brother and I got to go through the joys of being the "new kid at school" more than once.
I get really uncomfortable around strangers and new people. I know that's something a lot of people can relate to, but at least in my case, I chalk a lot of that up to moving around so much as a kid. I moved after kindergarten, again after grade 1, before grade 8, and right after High School as well. Every move came with trying to make new friends and starting out not knowing anybody. And that's hard for anyone, but especially a kid.
I was very fortunate to make some really good friends at each stop along the way, but starting over sucked. As an adult, starting a new job or hobby where I have to be "the new kid" all over again is one of my biggest sources of anxiety in life. It's not even a concern that people won't like me; I don't really care about that. It's just that uncomfortable, unfamiliar feeling. I like walking into a room and knowing the people in there. We don't have to be friends, it's just 10 times easier to relax when you know the lay of the land in a social situation.
When I started going to comedy open mics, not knowing the other comics was WAY worse than the fear of bombing. Nobody was rude or anything, but everyone had their friends that they sat with and talked to. Walking into a show and seeing everyone sitting in groups, and not knowing which group to sit with flashed me back to those first days of school all over again. I almost quit very quickly, entirely because I didn't want to have to go through the experience of being the new guy again. Luckily, a few of the guys reached out pretty early, and I figured out who was who and stuck with it.
I don't really have a clever way of wrapping this blog up. I just wanted to vent about being the new kid in a group. Everyone goes through it, whether it's at school, or a job, or playing sports, or whatever. It sucks so hard. But, I think it also helps you appreciate that comfortable feeling that comes with making a few friends and working your way into a circle of people.
So if there's a new kid wherever you are, try saying "hi". It might not seem like much to you, but it might mean the world to them...
Have a good one.