That's what I said at the final dorm senior dinner just last week, but there was a "but" to it.
"But this year has made me change my mind." That's true. But there's a but to that, too.
I'm going to talk about a few quotes here by some famous people that represent the general population opinion on high school, and some of you might disagree, but it's probably because you're a high school student or one of those people who peaked in high school (which is a little sad, and I won't say no offense because I know that's kind of offensive, but true).
“High school isn't a very important place. When you're going you think it's a big deal, but when it's over nobody really thinks it was great unless they're beered up.” - Stephen King, Carrie
“I hated high school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you.” - Stephen King
As you can see, both of these quotes are from one of the most famous modern-day authors, Stephen King. Now, you could argue that this guy writes horror stories that keep people awake at night, cowering in fear, he was probably just a freak in high school so of course he didn't enjoy it! He must be biased! Yeah, okay, but let's also consider the fact that he's published over 50 novels and 200 short stories, more than half adapted to relatively successful films (The Shining is the most well-known one), so how could a high school experience even compare to that kind of success, even if you were one of the popular kids?
Now, he says, "if you liked being a teenager, there's something wrong with you." Which I agree with, even though I'm still a teenager. I mean, your teen years are when you're growing and confused and still trying to figure the world out––who likes that? And even when you're 18 and considered a legal adult, you're still trying to figure out what the hell being an adult means. There's bound to be drama there. Being in your 20s or even 30s are probably the glory years, we just don't know it yet. Which brings me to the next quote: "A lot of kids think high school represents the best years of their lives, but others recognize that it's mostly irrelevant bullshit, and that life doesn't even begin until afterward." - Paula Stokes, Liars
We're in those years right now, and we haven't experienced anything greater, so of course we kids are going to think that these are the best years of our lives, but the truth is, the best part of life begins with the end. "I open at the close," - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even J.K. Rowling knew, she emended the message right in her series, conveniently in the last school year, when Harry's one life really does just begin, because it's finally his own, not Voldemort's (if you haven't seen the movies or read the books, you probably don't understand this reference).
The truth is, people who feel left out in high school, which is pretty much everyone, thinks like Deb Caletti here: "The hope was, people like me got to finally find our place in college or in the actual world. People who understood this told you that high school wasn't the actual world, that it was more like a temporary alternate reality you were forced to believe in for four years. A video game you played, where you could never get to the next level no matter how hard you tried."
High school is growing up, it's learning, and maybe it's a huge joke. There are people out there who will pretend to be your friend, and there are people who are actually your friend, and you usually figure that out after high school, which only emphasizes how "unreal" high school is. I'm pretty much bashing on high school, aren't I?
Look, you're experiences in high school aren't irrelevant. They've helped you form into the shape you are now, but high school isn't everything––it isn't the end, it isn't the beginning, it's the awkward middle stage that no one really wants to experience all over again.
I guess the goal is to make sure that high school isn't the highlight of your life, because if it is, that kind of sucks, because it could be so much better. I know people talked shit behind my back, but I don't really care because it's not like those people are my friends. I admit, even I feel sketchy about certain friends I had. There's one person I'm thinking of in particular, and when I think about it, I really don't trust them at all, even if they think I do. I kind of regret letting my uncle help with their car, because I don't know if they even deserve that. Not that I'm being fake or anything. Just trying to be friendly, but I wouldn't care if I never talked to them again. That's another way you can tell who your real friends are. I feel bad for that person. I think they're lost, and frankly, I don't think I even know who the hell they are anymore, or maybe I never did. There's a few people like that, actually. Fuck them, though, right?
We can start all over, and not with the same people, but with new ones, and hopefully we'll make better choices this time 'round. Hopefully some of us will mature a little (emphasis on the hopefully).
"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, you should've behaved better."
Remember that. Sometimes I forget it, too.
Your fellow writer,