It was the summer right before I began my freshman year of high school, and I remember being told by a bad advice giver who shall not be named that these next four years would be the best four years of my life.
What he/she meant to say was to stop being a hermit weirdo like you were in middle school, but he/she figured it would be nicer to use a cliché instead.
That cliché stayed in my head until the very last day of my senior year, to which I finally came to the realization that this person couldn’t have been more wrong.
Though eventually becoming a realist, I was very optimistic about the years to come when I started high school. I thought it would be just like the movies where a group of girlfriends and I go shopping, attend high school parties, and create a burn book that eventually causes a massive girl fight in the halls of Liberty County High School (I mostly just put that last one in because I really wanted to talk about Mean Girls).
However, my first year of high school was disappointing. I wondered if there was something I missed out on that would have guaranteed me what I had been told prior to high school.
As the years went on, I mostly spent my time stressing over Yearbook and AP classes, avoiding any sporting event and going to shows that my friends played in (this benefited me because I got in for free). I grew more aware that the only people who were actually enjoying high school were the ones who had ultimately reached their pique in life.
This was a wake up call to me, mostly because I didn’t want my time in high school to be as good as it gets for the rest of my life. That’s incredibly lame.
I remember my father telling me, in a brutally honest manner, that high school sucks. Even when you’re thinking you’re having a lot of fun, you’re really not.
My mistake was that I went in expecting too much out of my high school experience. I will never be the kid that dates some beefy athlete or that wins homecoming queen (and quite frankly I am so glad I’m not like that).
I entered my first year of college cautiously. I wasn’t going to expect my first year – or any year – to be like Animal House, nor would I want it to be (it was more like Revenge of the Nerds but with less friends).
Television, music and the internet have, unfortunately, strongly influenced past, present and future generations to believe something should be the way it’s depicted through these outlets, when that is just not true.
If there is anything I have learned, being authentic over conventional landed me the friends, the boyfriend (yes, someone like me can have a boyfriend) and ultimately the personality that have kept me somewhat sane to this day.
So don’t stress it if you’re not popular in high school and/or college. Neither was Mark Zuckerberg.
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