If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that the statement above is telling only half the truth. High school, in some ways, is important. You are exposed to a variety of personalities and with those personalities, a variety of conflict arises. In constant conflict, you learn how to communicate. Or at least, that is what I got from high school. At this moment, I am reminded of a senior quote that one of my peers had said. It went, “you never know how strong you are until you have been tested.” That statement should be more popular than the one that tells us high school is our pinnacle of happiness. My whole schooling experience, I visualize, was like a huge standardized test. Each year flowed past like the turning of packet’s page. Senior year was fittingly the written portion.
It is hard to fathom that I could spend four years in an institution and gather no real life insight from the classes I have taken. I have learned more out of class, if anything. Let’s begin with my first lesson- introductions matter. I came into my school thinking it would mirror the lives of those protagonist I have seen in the movies and television shows. Freshmen year hosted a lot of 8th grade angst that somehow poured over from my transitional summer and rudeness stemming from my unjustified anger.
Sophomore year was the time of realization. I realized that I had wanted to change and here is where lesson two comes about. You are what you perceived yourself as being. Unknown to me, the abuse I had dealt with in my freshmen year had left scares underneath my skin and as my skin shed with renewal, the scares stood prominently. This was the year where my body dysmorphia had sky rocketed and I felt as though I was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. It is strange looking back on it because I don’t think I had ever let any of my issues show.
I had been keen at codeswitching, feeding people what they wanted to hear and see. It was around the middle of the school year when I realized that I could no longer be a chameleon and had to find myself. Better said than done, I suppose. My reputation was determined for me at that point, freshmen year being the “write your name here” portion of the test. For so long I lived with what was given to me, be the person that everyone believed I was and who I was trying to make myself out to be.
Junior year, the major lesson I learned was to embrace my own change. Sophomore year I realized I had a problem and junior year was the time I needed to correct said problem. I became nicer, more respective of my peer’s feelings. I started to embrace my appearance. This is was a new beginning.
And now we are here. Senior year, where I am currently anticipating graduation. I would like to say that everything is fine and dandy, but that would be the greatest lie I have ever told. My body dysmorphia has its flare ups and I have taken on some situational depression, but nothing I can’t handle. A lesson I have learned thus far is that there is no exact happy ending, not in high school. There is only progression.
By Morgan Dezum
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