I don’t think its a secret that high school sucks.

There are definitely people who have had worse high school experiences than I did. While mine was not pleasurable to say the least, I can look back and say that it made me a better person. I would not be myself if I had not lived through the last four years.

Prom 2019
Dress: Ellie Wilde

I spent a lot of high school wishing the time away, and I honestly regret that choice. The heartbreak and hard fought lessons I learned along the way were terrible and though it seemed like the only way to get through then was to work toward the future, I missed out on a lot of the now.

In some ways I feel a lot like the two main characters in Booksmart. So much of my high school experience was about college. To be fair, a good deal of this was external pressure, but the rest came from me. It’s hard to look back and know that, in some cases, you caused your own hurt.

Honors Music trip to Disney World
Shirt: Old Navy Monogram Necklace: Etsy

My middle school self is almost unrecognizable in comparison to who I am today. I have vastly different opinions, a better grasp on my mental health, and have way more confidence than before, but in some ways I still feel like that fourteen year old girl. Much like in my freshman year, I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. I can reinvent myself once more, and in some ways, that is terrifying. What if I mess up?

In a lot of ways, high school taught me to be vulnerable. Sure, I could say I learned that from theatre blah blah blah being on stage blah blah blah performing, but in reality it was in relationships where I learned to put myself out there.

I am a very guarded person. Putting myself out there makes me uncomfortable and even after countless auditions, I still fear rejection. For better or for worse, I constantly feel the need to be prepared for any situation that arises. Over the last four years I was forced to see how being too prepared can sometimes do more harm.

Graduation!
Dress: Lauren James (no longer sold) similar

Moving on is not black and white. While I know I’m going to college next year, it hasn’t quite set in that I am not going back to high school. I’ll get little sporadic bursts of realization and just have to process for a minute. Sometimes my OCD gets the best of me and I have to consciously work at being better with change.

Just like in high school, I know college will turn me into a completely different person. It has already begun to do so, and I am ready.

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