Monday, October 17, 2011

senior citizen

After years of climbing the treacherous ladder of high school, I've finally reached the status of senior. I've always imagined senior year as that sort of idyllic heaven at the peak of the mountain, the day spa at the top of the million-step stairwell. Oh adorable, naive me. Starry-eyed little fawn. I was wrong about this, and as I've come to learn quite recently, I was wrong about a lot of things. There's never a moment to slack off and bask in your accomplishments. All you can do is smile, and use that momentum to work even harder. You have to constantly prove yourself.

There's really no time to waste in life. Look at yourself at this very moment; if you're not enjoying what you're doing, you should probably be doing something else. That's not to say life is all about fun, or all about being perfect (definitely not! Make mistakes! Make many mistakes! Don't worry, it's not as difficult as it sounds). In summary, I challenge you to live your life, take chances, say what you've been burning to say, ride the waves of trouble in your life, and become stronger with every stumble.

Sexy transition back to senior...Yes, I'm a senior. And I'm not going to lie, it's great, but not at all in the ways that I expected---
  • First of all, it actually feels like home, and I never thought I would say this. Indian Hills? HOME?! My frosh/soph/jr self would scoff/cringe/guffaw at this! But it's true. In the beginning of the year, I didn't feel the overbearing need to wear my super-sexiest-first-impression outfit possible. I know where every classroom is, where every wing is, where almost every mural is. Going to school as as a senior feels natural, and so much less contrived than other years. Maybe it's Stockholm, but I have a feeling the blue-and-gold jail cell's grown on me.
  • I know the system, and I've learned what's important. I've wasted so much time on trying to be perfect, doing every single homework assignment, wasting weeks and weeks of sleep for full credit points on Genesis. Maybe it's the senioritis talking, but I know now that sleep and experiences are sometimes more important than any assignment (!), and that actually learning is more important than completion (one word: midterms. Loljk here's another word: life); despite what our dictator-socialist education system has engraved in our brains, actually learning what we're taught in school is useful for life. See opportunity cost.
  • I can use the excuse of senioritis for anything. ANYTHING!!! SERIOUSLY it works! If you don't feel like participating in class, say it's that dang senioritis. Teachers will actually be all like tehehehehe and overlook your laziness. More times than not. Sometimes I even use the excuse of senioritis for such acts of lazy as not cleaning my room, not making my own bowl of cereal, and not actually getting up in the morning. The magical properties of senioritis seriously have no bounds.
  • I'm Editor-In-Chief of the school newspaper! I know I've mentioned this in the last post, but it seriously means so much to me. Also, being Chief is awesome. I finally get to run meetings and be the leader of something I really care about. Also, shout out to the amazing staff.
  • I have a pretty solid idea of who I am and where I want to go. This is true, but it by NO MEANS WHATSOEVER means I know where I want to go to college...but it's just helpful in general. I have a strong sense of self, and along with this is knowing that I am ever-changing. It's trippy, but it makes sense, I swear. At least when you're high. (;-))

Oh gosh, I didn't realize how much I had to say until I started writing this. It's getting late, I have a lot to do, but before I do, there's one more thing I want to say. I love senior year, but from where I'm standing, there's so many things I miss.

I miss my hot pink jeans. I grew out of them soph year, and I loved them so much. They were the Sisterhood jeans, I swear, minus the Sisterhood, if they were in a hot pink acid wash. I wore those jeans, and I knew it would be a good day.

I miss the ability to daydream about college. Now that the reality of college applications is so close, there's little time to daydream about college and college life. Also, after seeing so many facts and figures, writing thousands of college essays, and being force-fed so much college advice, the magic sort of wore off a bit.

I miss daydreaming about high school. Admittedly, I was never one of those girls that fantasized about becoming the most popular girl in high school, etc. etc., and I knew that high school would not be at all like it is in the movies. But I used to daydream about the friends I would make, the clubs I would join, and all the memories I'd make. I had a lot of great times in high school, but I wish that I could tell my freshman self to take more chances, to say IDGAF to haters and boundaries, and to not be afraid of failure.

I really miss my brother. He went off to college this year, and I always wondered what the house would be like without him. There's a huge space of quiet now that he always filled with his crazy antics, hilarious stories, and breakdance music. He's quite honestly the best brother, and truest friend, that anyone could hope to have. I don't think I've ever told him this, but he inspires me to take chances and go after my dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem at first. Michael always makes things happen. Do work.

And now for a combo breaker, here's something I'm surprised that I don't miss: being unbroken. I've been through some tough times lately, and many things in my life that I thought were constant were completely turned upside down. No question, one of my biggest faults is that I try to build a shield around myself to save myself from heartbreak. No matter how carefully I've built my fence, I've been heartbroken by one of the only things that I've let inside of my wall.

I'm most definitely not saying that the hurt was the complete fault of one party; it takes two parties tearing in opposite directions to break a heart. But what I have learned is to not place a million pounds of blame on my shoulders, and to move on. True or false, right or wrong, we all float on. In a strange and quite sadistic way, the heartbreak is almost liberating. Now that I've experienced it, felt the hurt, I feel free to take more risks and to be myself. I've learned to be more open, roll with the punches, and to always respect myself, even when I make mistakes.

And now to revelations. I want to mention that I really, really want to write a teen fiction novel. I want to write a novel with the witty, strong, flawed, and relate-able heroine, one that shows that's it's okay to be smart and strange, and that making mistakes is the spice of life, as long as you learn from them. I want to write that novel that teens read five times over, wear to the spine, and cherish in their libraries. I want to inspire teens, and ultimately show them that they're not alone.

I am most definitely not perfect, but I am observant and honest, sometimes to a fault. I hope to write a teen novel that makes someone smile and write a journal of their own someday. Teen novels are so often denounced as "rubbish" by the literary community, but teen novels are some of the best and most affecting pieces in existence. I want to both be the teen author and the "serious" novelist, and I know that I can. Libba Bray has proven that. A girl can have both class and charisma today, and this gives me boundless amounts of hope for the future.