Sunday 5th June
11.15am Heathrow Airport can be pretty lonely when you’re by yourself. I haven’t met anyone from Camp Rockbear yet, so I’m just sat on my own. I hope I’m put next to someone from my camp on the plane, I should’ve asked that at the orientation in Manchester. Nothing very interesting has happened so far – mum and dad left me, bit sad to say bye. I’ll write when I have a friend, hopefully soon.
11:42am I’m really nervous. I’m too scared to approach anyone – wish I’d arranged to meet someone through those emails I sent a few months ago. I keep seeing people my age by themselves wandering around, they must be for camp, but I’m too scared to ask. Eugh, I hate being such a weed. I’ve wanted to come to camp for ages and now that I’m on my way, I’m terrified. I remember telling mum I’d applied last December.
It just looked so much fun and I wanted to work abroad for the summer – camp seemed like the cheapest thing to do. Last year all my friends from home and me just got jobs in the local town during the summer holidays, she thought I’d just do that again. But I went to the recruitment fair in January and got chatting to the camp director. He offered me a job as a DJ and that was that. I’m so excited to be in America for the summer and getting to just listen to music and play on the decks all day. Rockbear is one of the biggest camps in New York, actually in America I think. It’s also one of the most expensive – at about $1000+ a week, wow.
12:09pm It feels like the first day of university again. I don’t like making friends when you have to make friends. I’m alright chatting to people when it’s not expected, like in clubs and bars or just in random situations, but when I have to be friends with someone I find it difficult to know what to say. And I’m shit at approaching them. I really don’t want to be like this. I don’t know what I think will happen – they’re not going to be horrible are they? No one ever has been. I’m rambling. I’m trying to look busy writing so no one comes up to me. God I’m pathetic. I have nothing to write, but I’m writing because I’m too scared someone will catch my eye and talk to me, even though I want them to. The nerves have sent me crazy.
12:32pm Ok, I’ve moved to the departures lounge and here are all the people I saw wandering around on their own. I can see all the yellow CCUSA luggage tags on their bags now, so they’re definitely going to camp and New York for the overnight orientation at Columbia University. I think it’s just to fill us in a bit more about camp life before we get the bus to our camps. I’ve still got loads
I wonder which one Emily is? She was one of the few that replied to the email I sent out to the Rockbear email address list we were given. She didn’t seem too keen on making friends beforehand though, so I didn’t bother emailing back. I was trying to be cool, dammit.
12:45pm Everyone looks scared. I think I’ll just carry on writing, I’m too anxious to look up. It’s actually pretty funny really. I bet everyone here said, ‘meeting new people’ was one of their main reasons for coming to camp, but no one is actually talking to each other. Just realised we have got designated seats on our tickets, so I’m hoping they’ve put people from the same camps together. Argh, they’ve just announced the flight is going to be delayed. Really got nothing to write, I’m nervously rambling again. Right, I’m going to put my pen away, grow some balls and look up. Here goes…
1:48pm On the plane now and I still haven’t spoken to anyone. I saw a few people chat to each other here and there. I’m thinking it was to ask which camp they were going to, and then when they found it wasn’t the same one, they just didn’t bother talking anymore. This is obviously me making up paranoid stories in my head. I’m sat on the end of the row next to some old people – pretty sure they’re not going to Rockbear. There are some girls my age who I noticed had CCUSA luggage tags on their bags in front of me all talking to each other, I wish I was sat with them. I bet I would talk if I was with them. Argh, I’ll just watch a film instead.
2.07pm Hmmm, got my earphones in, but not on. Just heard them say Camp Rockbear. They’re all going to make friends without me. How can I join in? Right, big moment…
2:32pm Yay, spoke to them! The girl in front of me is one of the girls I’d emailed before, she’s doing circus trapeze at the camp, sounds pretty cool. I told her I was the DJ – I always feel a bit of an idiot when I say that – she thought that was cool too though. It was difficult to talk because I had to sit up and talk over the top of the seat with the oldies next to me giving me dirty looks. I found out the girl sat next to her was Emily though. Ah, so happy I’ve chatted a bit to them – I won’t feel so lonely and paranoid when we get to camp now. Relief!
11:16pm I’m in New York! On the bus from JFK airport to Columbia University I managed to make some more friends. They’re from all over the world: Scotland, Australia, Manchester, Birmingham, Isle
of Man, Dublin, Sheffield. Ok, maybe not the world, but still exciting.
Emily’s working on the climbing wall and is actually from Brisbane in Australia, but she’s studying Town Planning at Sheffield University and lives just up the road from me. I asked her if Australia was really like Neighbours. Haha, the only bit of Australian culture I know, along with Home and Away of course.
Hope she doesn’t think I’m a twat – I really need to think before I speak.
When we got to Columbia University there was a woman there from CCUSA to welcome us. She gave us all a CCUSA-emblazoned green t-shirt each and said we needed to get in groups of sixes to share one of the student flats for the night. I managed to shimmy myself over to stand next to Emily and the other girls off the plane, so we went together up to flat 108. The flat has three rooms, each with two single beds, and we share the kitchen area, bathroom and lounge. We were meant to pair up and share a room, but there were only five of us so I volunteered to go by myself. Why did I do this? It would have been the perfect opportunity to make a friend. People scare me; I’m going to be rubbish at camp. I really don’t know why I signed up for this. I bet I’m just going to spend the whole summer in my bunk with no friends.
We just watched a bit of Family Guy and then went to bed. Now I’m in my two-bed room sat by myself listening to the girls in the next room talking and laughing.