Now that high school is o/ver
For many people, high school isn't the best time. Your hormones are raging and your skin is horrible. But aside from the physical changes there is so much pressure to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. It's a time of big decisions and even bigger changes. As you try to work out answers to complicated stuff you have never thought of before, chances are your friends are also changing.
My year seven high school photo shows me with orange hair that was supposed to be blonde. I had dyed it myself using an at home mousse. My year nine photo had to be destroyed and they gave me free pictures the year after because my eyes were closed. At that stage I had braces and all my teeth were super gappy. My year twelve one, though much better visually, reveals me for what I was and continue to be...a pasty nerd.
But here's the thing I didn't realise back then. It doesn't matter what you were like in high school. It doesn't matter how many friends you had. Chances are, your friends will change after you leave school anyway. People move away, discover new interests and make new friends. It doesn't matter if you were cool or not. I wasn't cool. But nowadays I think I'm super cool. And it's not because I'm popular, or because I have the latest stuff. It's because I know and value myself for who I am. And it doesn't matter if so and so likes you or not. No one wanted to date me in high school and I was devastated. I thought that it would be that way for the rest of my life. But it's not. And it was never going to be.
If I could go back now and be one of those kids I teach five days a week I would tell myself to let my freak flag fly. The 'cool table' is whichever one I'm sitting at. I would remind myself that high school boys are a waste of my time and that they probably won't start to mature until they are about 26...if your lucky. And finally, I would tell myself not to worry about the bullies. They will get what's coming to them one day. All that matters is how I treat others.
Seeing the kids that I teach struggling with the same things that I did is hard. I only hope that I can be a role model for them, someone to talk to, someone who understands.