We’re 9 days into NaBloPoMo already, wow! Today’s theme is High School, because who doesn’t want to relive those glory days?
What is the one thing you’ve done that you are most proud of? You know, excluding marriage and kids and all that obligatory stuff?
I think my proudest moment came in high school. I started off attending my local public school in my home state in the American southwest. And I hated it. There was this girl, Katie, who I was friends with already through extracurricular soccer. She was pretty much the only person I knew when I showed up Day 1 of Freshman year, so I think we became better friends than we should have been. She introduced me to these two other girls, and we became this little alternative clique. You know, dark eye make-up, wanna-be skater clothes, ditching class, drinking on the weekends.
And I was so uncomfortable, because that wasn’t me. But how do you switch social groups in high school? I felt really stuck, and I was depressed because I just wasn’t having the high school experience that I wanted.
So I did something drastic. Junior year, I enrolled in a prep boarding school in New England. I picked myself up and moved clear across the country; away from my parents, my siblings, my friends, every one and everything I ever knew, all because I really wanted to start over.
And it was everything I wanted it to be. I took full advantage of the opportunity: I made the varsity soccer team, joined the a capella group, and even auditioned for the hand-bell choir! (But I didn’t actually join the hand-bell choir because that’s social suicide.)
Even though I was the weird new Junior from really far away, other students welcomed me with open arms, and I made a really nice group of diverse friends. I won’t go so far as to say I was majorly popular, because that would be a bold-faced lie. But I never felt lonely or dissatisfied with the people I surrounded myself with.
I also really loved living in New England. It was a welcome change from the desert where I grew up, even if I didn’t know how to dress for the cold. (Flip flops in the snow, anyone?)
Of course, moving across the country came at a high cost. Quite literally, because boarding school was not cheap. I have to acknowledge how incredibly lucky I was to be able to take advantage of the opportunity. It was certainly a financial stretch for my parents to send me for those two years, but they made it work so I could realize my dream. Beyond the financial cost, the move was also emotionally taxing: I missed my family A LOT. But I absolutely do not regret doing it, and I am still so proud of myself for taking control of my life when it wasn’t going my way. I think that’s a pretty bad-assed thing for a 15-year-old to do.
Until next time,