Because I do not have the talent of conversing easily with people I have never met before, the majority of my public school education has been characterized by a delirium of social awkwardness. I don’t possess the gifted ability of small talk; the farthest I can usually get is “How was your weekend?” before the conversation plummets, nosedives and ignites into flames that are fueled by silence. It goes without saying that me trying to make friends is analogous to a multi-car pile up on the highway probably involving causalities.
Many years of grade school were riddled by anxiety, and my outward appearance didn’t lend me much aid. A brunette steel wool flurry of hair, rainbow braces, that Avril Lavigne, pseudo-punk look that no one can take seriously, especially when you’ve got acne comparable to the Gulf oil spill; these are only a few of my physical attributes that plagued me – some incurable, some self-induced. Attending the Academy of Animal Kingdom, I was the gazelle between the teeth of the lion as howler monkeys screeched cheers. Okay, maybe that’s an overstatement, but I have had my lunch taken and my ego eviscerated, and it sucks.
Things didn’t change until I finally had a mindset switch. You can go with the hallmark catchphrase of uniqueness and how different is good, or you can look at it on the other side of the mirror. To be trite, we’re all the same person, broken down into genetics and all that biological hoopla, but different occurrences inflect on us to shape our kismet in it’s own way. But the way in which our lives coexist and weave in and out makes it so that our identity is embedded within each other. On one hand, it’s the loss of identity through repetition, but on the other, it’s the celebration of a collective family within a population.
Therefore, as I reach the tunnel at the end of the light that will be brutal art college, my lasting advice as a wise senior looking back on my past school years is just this; Live your life out unabashed. I now know that whatever feelings I project onto those surrounding me are reflected back, and what better aura to send out there than one of arms wide open to the unashamed.
Alright, that about wraps up my sentimental good bye to high school and my one corny parenthesis for the next four years. I’ll see you guys at graduation.