No one wants to sit alone on the first day of school. A lot of the incoming freshmen that don't know anyone eventually find a group of friends, but usually feel lost and nervous for the first couple weeks.
I'm assuming that the majority of people reading this have friends on their team. I know I do. That's why we, as runners, are lucky. We have friendly faces in the hallways, people to talk to.
That is what's so special about cross country. When you run with the same people everyday, a special bond is formed. I've met so many great friends the past few years from running and I know that we will stay in touch even after high school.
Joining a team sport can be scary at first, especially as a freshman. That's why the older kids (including me) would always try to include everyone right off the bat. We coordinate team bonding activities and weekend runs and invite everyone who wants to come.
If you're a freshmen on the cross country team, the summer mileage is intimidating. It always is at first. But my advice to you is to stick with it. The first day of school is more bearable when you can look forward to the smiles and waves of teammates. You'll have a place to sit at lunch, people to show you around the campus, and something to do after school.
My next piece of advice is to participate in everything your teammates invite you to. Whether it be a season kick off party or a team pedicure (yes, my team has done that before), ALWAYS show up. The more time you can spend with the people who you will be practicing and competing with, the better.
My final piece of advice is to keep a positive attitude, not just about running, but about the school year. Once your positivity goes, everything spirals down with it.
I wish everyone the best of luck this school year! May you all ace your tests, run fast times, and make new friends.