They say high school is always tough. Everyone who has managed to become a better person after four grueling years of secondary education is considered lucky.
Actually, if you come to think of it, no one has managed to get out of it as the same person as when he first entered the school grounds. If one did, then he is even luckier.
Change is always major, always significant, always life-altering after highschool. But before that, everything has its standards, its prejudices and its stereotypes. And you’re expected to take it like a sponge.
The dusty and crowded halls of every public and private high school are constantly flocked by people striking the big bad puberty machine, which basically means raging hormones, identity crises, family issues and mainly everything you have learned from One Tree Hill.
I couldn’t say that my HS went by in a breeze. Of course, it had its major kicks and kinks, manageable highs and lows, just like everyone else’s. But I’m not saying it’s tough, as in maybe Columbine tough. It’s just that HS is supposed to be NOT perfect. If anything, nothing can even come close to describing it.
You see, it’s the only place in the world that have spanned many generations and have remained the same—the one and only place in the world where everybody, and I mean everybody, wanted to belong.
Freshmen year is the toughest. Everyone doesn’t know anyone. It’s worse than consciously learning how to walk for the first time. Everyone’s condescending and scrutinizing eyes you get while you take your seat basically means you don’t get off easy in highschool. It’s not just because Biology and Trigonometry will bite you in the ass.
It’s because your seatmate is a closet transsexual and if you tell the other person sitting next to you, he’ll preach the goddamn Bible verses to keep you from saying nasty things like “gay,” “sex” or “jackass”. Or it’s because you’ll have your notebook stolen and get it the next day with “I love Britney Spears” written all over it and “Shut Up Bitch” on the side. Or it’s because you’ll always have someone copying your test answers and you can’t do anything about it because, well everyone else does it. Plus, suck ups are the worst.
To be or not to be. To do or not to do. Flimsy but tough choices you have to make in HS while you keep your hands off the bottom of your desk because there’s a three-day-old bubblegum stuck in it. And you can’t ask to exchange seats with the person behind you because she’s busy liplocking with the jock while the teacher discusses Charles Darwin and the whole freakin’ Evolution.
I also went to the process of finding cliques that I thought could satisfy my diverse interests. There were the studious groups, the popular groups, the leaders, the athletes, the old-timers, the newbies, and there were of course individuals who managed to veer away from coexisting with other people. Some of them are not exactly loners or agoraphobic. Few of them just blend well with everyone without having to wear bracelets that have BFFs written on them.
But I was lucky enough to have found six unique individuals in a horde of estrogen and testosterone dummies that I’ve shared the struggles, the controversies, the constant battle for attention and appreciation, the gossips and all the made-for-TV drama with.
We didn’t exactly search for one another dramatically just like in a highschool musical. We didn’t exactly hit it off the moment we introduced ourselves in class. But we did find each other.
And I guess, just like any other melodrama, this is just how it’s supposed to end.
Our group got together in sophomore year, when everyone already knows each other and starts forming bonds to try new things and new adventures. Maybe it’s grabbing a spot at the Honor List. Or maybe joining sportsfests. Or maybe hooking up with a teacher after class hours. Or maybe sleeping around. Probably cheating on the finals. Or simply just scoring friendships which you know can last for the long run.
Maybe it was fate that has brought us together. Or maybe we chose to be friends without really knowing it. Maybe it’s because one day we decided to put on a wager that we’ll end up still friends after 8 years. Whatever it is, I think nobody from us lost that day. Everybody went home with fat pockets, smiles on our faces and completely different sets of DNA that have decided to match.
I hate being cheesy about my love for my friends. Especially to friends who have known me for a long time. To have seen me under a microscope and realized that I’m not as clean as everyone think but can still look me straight in the eye. But I am cheesy about these things. So bear with me.
I’ve said too much in the past. And often, I’ve said way too little. But look, we’re still talking, aren’t we? Even in silence. Even in codes. Even when nobody really understands.
8 years. 8 freakin’ years. Who would’ve thought?