Senior column: Not so fairytale

“High school may not be the amazing four years you expect it to be. The work is hard and finding your friends and yourself makes it extremely lonely at times, but that doesn’t mean all of your time in high school is going to be like that.”(Alyssa Cheatham)

High school isn’t the fairytale movies, books and TV shows make you believe it is. That’s a pretty general statement, and I’m sure a lot of us understand that. However, I’ve learned a few tricks that have romanticized my high school career in my own way.

One of the pivotal moments in my happiness was sophomore year when I realized that some of my closest friends were toxic to my mental health and I needed to cut them out. Renee, one of my best friends to this day, had been telling me for weeks that certain people around me had been bad mouthing me behind my back, and finally after getting comments about it from other people, I confronted them. It was hard for me, seeing as I am a people pleaser, but I had to get past my anxiety and do what was best for me.

I also realized my sophomore and junior year that just because you aren’t the best at something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. I’m the third percussionist of my siblings, and my brother was one of those prodigy students who was drumline captain for three years, a wind symphony member for four years, and a GDYO member for most of high school. But percussion is what he wanted to pursue in life. It isn’t what I’ve ever wanted, and I’ve always spent more time on my academics, as well as writing and drawing skills. It was tough to realize that even though I’m not as good as my brother at percussion, and can’t fulfill all these expectations people have for me.

Even if you have a commitment to a group or organization, make sure you spend time doing what you love. Even with percussion, I spent the rest of my elective classes either writing or drawing. Elective classes that may be considered a blow off class by most may become your favorite part of the day. Some of my favorite teachers, and ones I have asked for letters of recommendations, have been those teachers.

Also, getting a group of solid friends who you are comfortable with is so important. I didn’t find my group of people until my senior year. I’ve had friends all throughout high school, and I’m super close to a few of them, but when in group settings I’ve always been sort of an outcast. A group or organization isn’t always going to bring you your people. I was in percussion for all 4 years and even though I’m friends with a lot of band kids I’m not super close to many. Joining the newspaper was the decision that ended up giving me a friend group. We aren’t the friends who only text either. Before quarantine we hung out almost every weekend and even ended up studying for classes together. Now I video call or Netflix with at least 2 or 3 of them almost every night. Aside from them, I only have a few friends I would consider my best friends.

High school may not be the amazing four years you expect it to be. The work is hard and finding your friends and yourself makes it extremely lonely at times, but that doesn’t mean all of your time in high school is going to be like that. You may find your group of close friends freshman year and continue to kick it together for the rest of high school or maybe you’ll be more like me and have a hard time finding your place even if you are involved in organizations. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter how different it is to those movies you oh so wish your teenage years looked like. High school is all about romanticizing your own experiences and making it the best time you can, even if it doesn’t seem fun at the moment.