29 June 2016

The Truth About High School

High school has changed me. High school has changed me a considerable amount over these past four or so years. This journey began back in 2012 and as cliche as this sounds, I remember my first day as clear as the water in the most beautiful lakes on the island of Crete, although, admittedly, this is partly because I met the boy who would surge through my thoughts for a large majority of the next four years of my life.

Steph, in grade 8, was incredibly different from the Steph in grade 7 and the current, senior Steph. Steph, circa 2012, dreaded the two day breaks between the five days fun! I loved rising at ungodly hours and preparing my uniform; The 'Famous 8' I used to call it- Starting from the bottom it included, two freshly polished black lace-up shoes which would please any inspector Sargent, two off-white preppy-looking socks that  fall just under my freshly shaven knees, my pleated checkered Scottish-like skirt and my white golf school shirt, plus my undergarments. I became like an excited electron jumping from one energy level to the next orbital.

I continued this energized hopping for much of high school... that was, until my senior yer hit. To be more exact, it hit me...like a tuck carrying an African male elephant weighing 10 tons and a pile of bricks. However, I can't fully blame school. Sure, I take an extra subject and some very difficult subjects on top of that, but  I wouldn't trade any of them in for the world. On top of academic pressure, friends, and honestly myself, have became so much more focused on the future. I think that either consciously-or subconsciously- we've made demarcations as to which faces and names will be important to us next year and which become a familiar face that we just can't place in 15 or so years time, no matter how hard we try.

When my bi-monthly breakdown occurs (mostly due to school stress and final-year anxiety), my mom always comforts me with a string of just seven words- "All knowledge is gained, and never lost"; I appreciate the fact that I know who Wordsworth was, and can work out whether two circles touch each other by their radii and the distance between their circumference. I respect that I understand forces and the concept of electroplating...well, kind of. I appreciate a sense of acknowledgement towards  the Dadaists and other 20th century artists and how they influenced art and the design world which has done so much to change my perspective on the world.

These past two weeks have been the most mentally draining 14 days weeks of my life- to the extent that the bubbly Steph,pre-senior year, is immersed so deep under a pile of atoms she can't be found (That's not entirely true; I see a waving hand sticking out somewhere).

I'm grateful to high school- and all those who walked just one step of this journey with me- for teaching me how to cope with stress and failure in a safe environment. I'm filled with joy knowing that I've been afforded an opportunity that very, very few ever get to experience.

For the last 1,237 days of my life (approximately) I have risen from my bed and put on that preppy high school uniform, and tomorrow I shall do the same, and again on Friday, for another 120 days and then the reality is that I'm done. The bench which I first learnt how to plait hair on will no longer be apart of my everyday life. 'Jim the Giant', who asked me how I was doing, on a daily basis (whilst handing me the creamiest beef lasagna concocted that day) and who has fed my brain and provided energy to my cells will no longer feed me. The rough, stone-edged 25m swimming pool which imprinted upon my left hand several scars, will no longer bully me through those never-ending butterfly sets.

They say "life's a roller coaster" and I'm currently at the highest point with maximum potential energy- the energy to propel me forwards at maximum transformed kinetic energy awaits. My stomach is filled with fear of the expectant drop which I anticipate, yet the electrons inside my gut, jump around once again, in excitement, like they had on that first day of grade 8 all those many years ago. I'm ready for the ride of my life- I'm ready for my next 'first day'. I'm ready for change.

The truth is, I've cried 11 buckets of tears over my high school career...over just one subject. I've ached from broken friendships and lost connections, yet, I have cried 11 and one more bucket from laughing with just one friend whilst simultaneously had my stomach ache, like I've just succeeded doing 600 sit-ups, from that same intense laughter.

The trek from my school's front gate to my school's back gate, consist of 297 steps. I'm now at step 270 or so. As I turn back and gaze upon the sepia-like hue setting over the white-painted buildings of my school which has imparted bodies of knowledge upon thousands before me, and will educate thousands more to come. I am thankful for all which I have learnt on the fields, in the pool, on the stage, in the cafeteria, and lastly, in the classroom.

High school has sometimes been confusing- sometimes because I was changing and other times because people around me were changing. But, folks, to tell you the truth, if it weren't for all the good, and if it weren't for all the bad, it just wouldn't be highschool.

Till next time-
Steph
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