First friends: Memories of first high school bonds


Used with permission from Namita Sherlekar.

Jady Wei

Through the years of high school, students often discover that friendship is an invaluable aspect of their MVHS journey. As the 2014-2015 school year commences, students reflect on making their very first friend in high school.

Senior Namita Sherlekar

Used with permission from Namita Sherlekar.
Used with permission from Namita Sherlekar.


For senior Namita Sherlekar, making a new friend in high school marked a significant change in her personality. Before attending MVHS, Sherlekar would rarely approach or speak to someone with whom she was not familiar.

“I had never really been outgoing, and I wouldn’t try to randomly make a friend,” Sherlekar said. “Usually, I was only talkative with my really close friends and family.”

As she entered her first high school class, however, Sherlekar attempted something on a whim. She decided to walk toward a new girl, whom she had never met before, and sat down beside her.

“My best friend had just moved to India, and I hadn’t seen her for two years. I met Aishwarya Sankar, and I just figured I would try to make friends with her,” Sherlekar said.

Sherlekar thought of high school as a milestone event, a fitting time to try something different. It was also her opportunity to develop a more social disposition. Soon, she realized that talking to new people cultivated a sense of intimacy and encouraged a passion for seeking more friends.

Being able to overcome her formerly withdrawn persona not only leaves an indelible memory for Sherlekar, but also serves as a hopeful pointer for the future.

“It makes me feel hopeful that I am still friends with her,” Sherlekar said. “It makes me think that even after high school ends and I’m in college, I can still be friends with the people around me now.”

Senior Akshara Sundararajan

Used with permission from Akshara Sundararajan.
Used with permission from Akshara Sundararajan.

Senior Akshara Sundararajan underwent a different experience her first day of MVHS. In November of her junior year, she travelled thousands of miles from her former home in Massachusetts to California. As a new student, Sundararajan not only needed to acclimate to the different school environment but also to the cultural change of the west coast.

“This is definitely really different from where I used to live,” Sundararajan said. “My old school was much much smaller in population. It had only approximately 700 students. I also noticed the competition and diversity here.”

Sundararajan was overwhelmed with nostalgia and longing for home as she walked on the unfamiliar MVHS campus her first day as a student. The only class she was looking forward to was choir.

“I remember my first class [at MVHS] was Bella Voce — the one class I knew I could fit in,” Sundararajan said. “When I first came, I didn’t know how I could be a part of such a big school family.”

Fortunately, choir not only rendered her a sense of ease but also led to her first friend at MVHS.

“The first person I actually met and talked to was Ketaki [Malaviya] in my choir class. She walked up to me and introduced herself,” Sundararajan said. “Afterward, she was always there to help me during the beginning weeks.”

For Sundararajan, a first friend gave her the first feeling of being at home once again.