When I was younger, I was too shy to the point where I could not even make eye contact（接触）with people I didn’t know. If someone greeted me in the hallway, I would lower my head and hurried passed.
Funnily enough, this would not have been such a big deal if I had connected with their values and interests. However, everyone in my school was much wealthier than me, and focused on partying and fashion which were contrary to my interests. Although I had a few acquaintances（熟人）, no one seemed to understand me, unable to share my sometimes dark humor and interest in science fiction.
Halfway through ninth grade, I was once again thrown into a school of strangers. Making friends was difficult, and I sat alone at lunch for the rest of the year. In tenth grade, however, I took part in my school’s theatre program, where I met some of my closest friends. The theatre forced me to overcome my shyness and taught me to speak up for myself. Furthermore, pretending to be someone else gave me a sense of previously unknown confidence.
Although I have a lot going for me right now, I will never forget the struggles I had to overcome when I was younger. This is why, whenever I see someone struggling or standing by themselves, I always invite them to sit with my friends and me. I may not be able to give them my full attention all of the time, but the main point is to let them know someone recognizes their existence and is willing to connect with them.
24. Which of the following is true about the author according to the first two paragraphs?
A. Others couldn’t understand him. B. He argued with others often.
C. He envied the rich very much. D. He had many interesting hobbies.
25. When did the author begin to feel self-confident?
A. In Grade Seven. B. In Grade Eight.
C. In Grade Ninth. D. In Grade Ten.
26. How does the author help those struggling or standing by themselves?
A. By inviting his friends to accompany them.
B. By asking them to sit with his friends and him.
C. By persuading them to overcome their problems.
D. By giving them his full attention all of the time.
27. What does the author intend to tell us?
A. How to get on well with others B. How to make friends with others.
C. How to get rid of shyness gradually. D. How to grow up in a healthy way.