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Through the eyes of a high school student

HSSBy Nicole Therese Go

Have you ever felt that pang of nostalgia?

The feeling of being right where you should be, no matter how embarrassing or cringe-worthy your memories of that place are, because that place was home for your high school life?

That feeling still hasn’t sunk in, no matter how many times I’ve been roaming around the campus and saying hellos to the guards. They probably think I’m crazy by now.

I could still remember the day I was literally the new frosh in school. It was pretty intimidating, to be frank. Everywhere I walked, every word I said, and even when I was just taking down notes in class, there was one thing I was absolutely positive about: I was being stared at and scrutinized like the new kid in Hollywood, about to be slaughtered.

It did seem quite scary and downright weird, but I promise that it made me laugh. Everyone would look at me as if I’d grown fangs. But then again, this is high school I’m talking about. These things are too good to be true.

High school’s like living hell for us teenagers.HSL

I bet everyone remembers the days the Regina George of your batch would pick a fight with you (sorry, he’s all yours) just because. Let’s not forget about the times you’d be asked why you switched schools. And the times you’d always be judged and criticized; for wearing a gown to Sportsfest when in fact it was the teacher who asked you to, for having a huge crush on a guy who was bad news for you (why is this so clichéd), and for you simply being you.

You see, high school is where your self-esteem and dreams die.

But high school’s also where you learn to find yourself. In high school, you learn new things about yourself, like your newfound love for photography or wakeboarding or finishing your allowance money in record time. But then, you also remember your first passions, like writing, reading, and traveling.

You know, high school doesn’t suck as much as teen movies portray them to be. (Only worse. I’m just kidding.) You used to never call anyone your best friend because you’re tired of people leaving, but then you met this person and bam! You’re now proud to say she’s your bestie, and you still lose some people on the way, but you find people who you’re proud to say are your really good friends. You also fall in love and get your heart broken by the same person again and again. But most of all, you finally stand up to Regina George, because, y’know, you realized you’re better than what she tells other people. You may not realize it now, but some of these losses and heartaches can lead you to greater heights (I promise), and when you get to the top, make sure you get to enjoy the view.

If I could tell my 13-year-old-and-way-more-awkward self some advice, it’d be this: You’re still going to buy that gown even if it’s only three days away until Sportsfest because your teacher asked you to. You’re still going to have a hard time finding out who you’re going to call bestie and eat lunch with—but don’t worry, you’ll find her. You’re still going to lose people no matter how hard it is to just let go (trust me, it’s better this way). You’re still going to be told that you should be who they want you to be. You’re still going to be asked why you switched schools. And you’re still going to meet that guy who comes tumbling in your life, and he’ll make you change your entire perspective of boys in books and boys in reality.

It’s all so overwhelming, and it’s all going to hurt.

But don’t give up just yet.

If you do give up, you’d never get the chance to make new and long-lasting relationships (with hope). You’d never get to have that rush of anticipation and thrill of accomplishment when you get your acceptance letter for Senior High School. You’d never get to stand up for yourself or love yourself a little more, despite insecurities and your messed up brain talking to you. You’d never get the chance to apologize to your parents, because you’re quite the rebel. You’d never get the chance to write for an amazing company like you’ve always dreamed of, or read all the books you only get to think about. Most of all, you’d never get the chance to find yourself in the midst of chaos in this world we live in. (And you’d never get to fangirl over Shawn Mendes or live out your love for Captain America since you were seven.)

Sixteen, sixteen.

Far too young to know what her Purpose in Life is. But not far too young to accomplish it. (Thank you, Paulo Coelho. You’re a legend.)