For some, it's the most exhilarating high rise of your teenage years. For some, the mere thought makes your face heat up and that lump in your throat begins to form because you're just trying to push through.
High School. It's one of those courses that affect you in ways you were never prepared for. A while bacl, I watched the new series, "13 Reasons Why" in a matter of one day because my eyes were so intensely locked in. Locked in with the relate-ability between the characters and myself.
I get both sides. I was mean. I was so mean my freshman year of school. Why? I don't know. I was in a cold relationship where all I did was build up walls to hide from humanity. But what I do know is that I said many hurtful words and I tore people down daily. I didn't want to be nice because I didn't want to let anybody in. And I still think about all I said at times, because you know, words are the one thing you can't take back.
My sophomore year, oh how the roles shifted. I still wasn't nice. But I swore it felt as if I walked those halls alone. I tried on every different friend group and never found a home. Too many nights were spent with the wrong people trying to mend a broken heart. But it just broke more, each time. I learned that high school boys can be cruel. Emotionless. They can treat a girl as if they own her and not feel an ounce of remorse for it. And I learned that high school girls can be diabolical. One minute you both are laughing and then the next you're pulling the knife out of your own back with no one to be found. Each day in the halls grew darker and became more blurry. I eventually found a home there, and it was in principals office. I deliberately got myself in trouble because the big guy in the office was the only person who was nice to me. I was in trouble, sure. But for a few moments in the office I wasn't alone.
High School. I have thirteen truths I learned.
- Just because the 'popular kids' don't hang out with you, doesn't mean you're not likable. You are so worth it. And I'm sorry if not everyone makes you feel like it.
- The kid who constantly gives you snide looks - ignore them. Lift your head up and give someone a compliment. They are not worth your concern.
- The girl who sits outside by herself at lunch is silently crying out for a simple 'hi.' Smile at her, sit down with her. Talk to her. She needs it more than you know.
- Don't believe everything you hear that happens at a party. There are always two sides to a story, make sure to hear it from the one it's about before you think to say a word.
- The boy that everyone keeps making gay jokes about is inwardly trying so hard to figure himself out. Don't you dare try to define him.
- If you see that girl getting harassed in the halls by the boys on the football team, don't be that person to just sit back and just watch. Say something. Do something. Anything.
- That kid who always seems so angry and as if he is about to rage at any given moment, smile at him. Tell him you appreciate him.
- You have no idea what people are going through, you must be kind. You could be the reason someone decides to keep going, or you be the reason why someone decides to quit.
- Don't try on personalities and conform into what's 'popular', be yourself. Please be yourself.
- If the cute boy only wants to hang out with you past 8pm - run. And do not look back. You deserve more than that.
- People aren't going to remember you for what you said, but for how you made them feel. Have a welcoming smile, don't shut people out.
- Alcohol and pills don't heal your heart. And they don't make you respectable. Take care of yourself my friend, please.
- Don't be that person who other kids are going to think of one day while tears flood their eyes because you harassed them in 3rd period every day.
High schoolers, you MUST be sincere. There are people you walk by everyday who may be contemplating on whether or not that is their last day. There are people who need you. This is life. It was not meant for hate. It was not meant for cliques. It was not meant for towering over someone. It was not meant for taking advantage of. It was not meant for all of this nonsense. You are all in this together.
Jay Asher said, "At the end of the day you don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything. . . affects everything."
Choose to make a difference. A positive difference.