As much as I do not want to admit I’ve been out of high school for 10 years, it’s also nice to reflect on my life. I especially like to reflect on the parts of my life that were not-so-great, so I can see how much I’ve grown.
High school was not good for me. I had friends who got into bad things, and I felt left out because I didn’t get into those bad things. I had a bad relationship with my family at the time. I didn’t like school, I didn’t like trying.
I was looking back at some photos from my high school years and it was honestly hard to do. Because on top of all that, I was also dating someone at the time who was much older than me and influenced my young life in a way that I was they wouldn’t have. A lot of the photos I have include him, or were taken by him, or he was there for. And it makes me feel sad because I can’t look back at a big chunk of my life and think about how happy I was because most of the time I wasn’t and in the times I thought I was happy, I was being misguided.
Of course, I still hold some memories close to my heart. I don’t have any friends left from high school, I keep in touch with some on social media but there are none that I can still call a friend. Even so, there are some people who don’t have any terribly bad memories attached to them so I cling to those things and those memories.
Like the time a group of friends and I skipped our Snowland dance and walked around in the snow outside in our neighborhood.
Like my Ancient Civ teacher who stuck up for me when I couldn’t stick up for myself and provided me a safe place to hang out in school.
Like my friends from a different school on my travel soccer team who took me under their wing.
Like my high school crush playing me First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes in my basement on his guitar.
Like the boy from my study hall who took me to prom when no one else would because of my aforementioned much older boyfriend.
Like my job at the movie theater and all of the people there who were funny, who were kind, who were my friends.
Like the giant crush me and 2 friends had on our English teacher that we would gossip about all day.
Like the history teacher who always made it a point to say hi to me and the humanities teacher who turned my senior year around.
Like my middle school English teacher coming to see me at my high school graduation.
Like making a friend in my gym class after finding out we were both going to the same college.
Like the summer my friend drove us around in his car and brought us to low key high school parties.
Like the time my AP Euro teacher pretended my answer in Jeopardy was better than the smartest girl in the classes answer (it wasn’t).
Small moments, people you only know for a little while, they all make such a huge impact. Despite the negative outlook I have on high school, there were still people and times where I was pushed to keep going. I was pushed to keep growing to the point where I was able to find myself in college, get out of bad situations, and live the life I lead today.
So if you’re in high school and you’re reading this, I hope you’ll be one of those people and small moments that helps someone make it to the next day. I hope you’ll be kind.
If you’re a teacher and you read this, I hope you know how much of an imprint you leave on people. I highly doubt most of my teachers remember me, but I sure do remember them.
And if you read this and currently feel like things will never get better, I would like to tell you that they do as long as you hold on to the small things.