www.whyville.net Feb 14, 2009 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

High School

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High school sucks: it's a simple fact of life. I mean, I'm sure we've all heard the cliches that these are the best days of your life and you should enjoy them while you can and yadda yadda yadda. But I did not go to high school with Zac Effron who magically bursts into song and the students at my school were not reading from a script by Tina Fey, and so I was convinced that high school sucked. And then I graduated and moved on in the world and I thought, "Hey, I'll look back on those days and realize that they weren't so bad."

Looking back, I have concluded that high school still sucked. And if the constant whinges of, "I have so much homework," and, "My friends and I are fighting," and, "Ohmygod my math teacher is sooooooo lame," are any indication: it still sucks.

There are a lot of problems with high school. To be brief: being a teenager is about the most awkward stage of your life. No one wants to be a teenager because it's this era when you think you're an adult and everyone else thinks you're the scum of the earth. And being a teenager is just so emotional - your hormones are on a constant roller coaster so that everything becomes a life or death situation. You're convinced that your parents have it in for you and are so unreasonable. And you're madly in love with your boyfriend or girlfriend so that when they dump you feel as if you can't go on. In short, you think you know everything, when in reality you know nothing.

When I was in high school, I tried to commit suicide. Twice. And I didn't like to talk about it because it was such a cliche. I had a teacher who used to say, "People who try to commit suicide just want attention. They don't really want to die. The best thing to do is to ignore their cry for attention." Personally, I still think that teenagers full of angst are a cliche but I also think that my former teacher should be fired for giving that advice to his students. Clearly, a person who is suicidal has problems - and they aren't problems that will be solved through ignorance.

To say that I felt inadequate in high school is a gross understatement. I didn't know how to talk to people - I felt isolated. My father has a gambling problem and is an alcoholic - I was ashamed to be related to him. I didn't want to go out partying and I didn't want to be a nerd - I didn't feel like I fit in anywhere. I wasn't comfortable being myself. I had an identity crisis and though it may seem insignificant to everyone else, the problems were very real as far as I was concerned. Belittling them didn't make them go away - it only made me feel foolish for being unable to deal with my life.

I'd like to tell you that I graduated from high school and my problems were solved but that would be a blatant lie. I'm still broke. I still eat my feelings. I still cry when I get stressed out. But that's who I am: I am what I am and it's not perfect but it's all I've got. High school sucks: it's just a big test of your self-esteem. But I've been out of high school for a while, and I haven't tried to commit suicide in a while. I think that's a good sign to say the least. And I'm kind of glad I'm still here, trying to put my thoughts down on paper.

The truth is that high school sucks, I think I've mentioned that. It's not as great as TV makes it seem. If you love high school, that's good news for you, I guess. But if you don't love high school - if you're at the bottom of the snake pit - I want you to know that you're completely normal and it will pass! It's a cliche, to be sure, but high school is full of cliches and you'll survive all of them, too. And in the process you might just figure out who you are and where you fit in. I did. I may not have made a particularly interesting High School Movie, but I found myself along the way and I'm glad I did. I hope one day you find yourself, too.


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