Highschool- one of the most polarizing topics of discussion. Some people loved it. Some people despised it. When you ask the question “How did you like highschool?” You’re gonna hear one of two things; either they admired it greatly or had a pent up rage about the idea of it. There really is no in between.
I always tell people I just simply didn’t care for it. I personally was really glad when it was over with, because I really started to fade away in senior year. I distanced so much that at one point in the final month of school I was basically just a body at school. I stopped hanging out with people, I stopped caring, and I just finally got bored of it. I began doing more and more with my family, which further decreased my willpower to even show up. By the time the final week rolled around, I’m sure a subset of my graduating class thought I had done some early-graduation program and was gone.
That was the story of my highschool career, if it’s much of a “story”. I got less and less outgoing as the time moved on, I got more and more reserved, even more silent then I was to start 9th grade.
And, I really started resenting the whole thing. The more and more I realized just how real judgement was, the more and more I started seriously resenting some things. Let’s rant.
Cliques. First off, FUCK the idea of a “clique”- what? Okay, I understand some people get along with certain types of people naturally- example; basketball guys seek out other basketball guys, gamers wanna find some people to add on PS4, and artists want to relate to some of their peers. I’m not complaining about that at all- I think you know what I mean when I say I hate cliques. A clique is was fosters the judgemental vibe that is associated with highschool. I witnessed this stuff first hand, and while I wasn’t always subject of exclusion, I definitely saw it. Some people just wouldn’t allow other to become their friends, as if they were too good for them.
Don’t believe me? I’ll share a story of one of my friends- I’m not gonna give his name, so I’ll call him “Mark”. Mark was pretty popular when he arrived to our middle school in 7th grade- he played basketball, football, he was tall, funny, and generally people loved joking with him. Mark was the subject of a broken home, however, and he had a tendency to be kinda “out there”. He never got attention at home, I theorized, so at school he really wanted it. I really like Mark, keep in mind. As time went by, Mark became a social outcast; so bad that he went to a sister highschool to start anew. Yep- I’m not kidding when I tell you that this guy was so belittled by his peers for not doing what they did- partying, fitting in, trying to be cool- that he felt the need to leave the school just to feel socially acceptable. And what’s worse, the more I hungout with him, the more I was outcasted by association. I noticed a lot of people stopped chilling with Mark because of this reason. It seemed to me that they were embarrassed to be seen with him. Well, I consider this to be what really annoyed me about highschool.
Tenth grade was my least favorite. A backstory; I actually was pretty “popular” up until tenth grade- I played basketball all up until this year, which gave me a comfortable niche with the basketball guys, I went out and did stuff, I kept friends, I tried to be nice to people, I was a people pleaser. I guess 10th grade is where I just was done with it all. Done with seeing people be outcasted, excluded, and lost essentially. I kicked it with a lot of great people in tenth grade; but just not people who were a part of that “in” crowd. And the reason was, is that I felt way more “at home” with them. They always seemed to be the coolest, they didn’t go along to get along, and didn’t care what people thought or were maybe just oblivious to it.
Well, I wasn’t oblivious to it. I was all too aware of it. It sounds vague-“fitting in”- but anyone who’s gone through high school knows what I’m talking about. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You know you’ve seen the jock of the class take a picture of that guy who always shows up in camo, sits in front of the class, plays fantasy card games at Wendy’s with his friends on Friday nights. They’re joking, they say, but they’re really laughing at him. He’s weird! ….But so are you, person who’s laughing and taking a picture of him, because you’re taking a picture of him. You creep.
I was weird, however, and the main reason I stopped fitting in more and more as time progressed in high school is partly because of introversion, social anxiety, and choice. I also tried way too hard at times- I always wanted to make people laugh. I actually made a joke of myself by doing this, by not taking myself too seriously. I still think it’s what you should do-try and be a positive influence- but unfortunately, people don’t really take you seriously if you’re always trying to crack jokes and never try to put on an image.
It got to a point in 11th grade where I knew some people were two faced. To be fair, 16, 17 year olds are gonna do this- no one is really mature at that age. They make mistakes, they mistreat people, etc. One of my biggest pet peeves, however, is when a person is two different people- your best friend in private, but acts like they really could care less about you around a group of people. Some people wanna keep an image sooo bad that they will actually alter how they act towards someone depending on who’s watching. I have a friend who did this all the time in highschool- he was super friendly, emotional when he’d come over, we’d talk about life, things that matter to us, go on walks at night, but yet one day, for instance, when it came time to play some volleyball with friends, he’d all of a sudden ignore my jokes. I even found out he called me an asshole once- all because I made some “tasteless jokes” about a girl during volleyball (I joked and said “Why are you serving a volleyball? Shouldn’t you be serving something in a kitchen?- she laughed about it- it was a joke, after all). Anyways, I later found out he was crushing on the girl. So, to appease her, he threw me under the bus to make her feel like he was the guy for her, because he cared about her feelings. Now, I have forgiven this friend and still love him to this day. But, fucks sake, if I wouldn’t do that to one of my good friends- so it’s hard to understand why he’d do that to me.
So, I’m glad that mess is over with- I’m glad highschool is over with. I still follow most of my highschool friends on social media, and I know some of them will never like me- because of perceptions. Perceptions they have on me, perceptions they have on my friend group, and their own sense of pride. I guess this is the problem when you’re a sensitive guy who listens to Coldplay. Kidding.
Moral of the story, though, is that even though you should never care what people think, highschool forces you to. It’s what makes that machine run; judgement, figuring out who you are while other people are already determining that for you, and going through some rough patches. You may have fit in, you may have not, but that idea- the idea that images and cliques were the fuel that made highschool run- is an idea I really don’t care for. That’s my take on it.
Now, I’ve got the Bioshock collection for Xbox one downloading, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go kill some splicers in an underwater world for the 2234th time.
Thanks for reading,
Luca DeJesu, 12:57 AM