I’ve never been the type of person who easily turns the other cheek or brushes things off. Of course there’s been more than one instance where I have faked a smile and just moved on but lately, after three years of high school hierarchies and pointless nonsense, I’ve reached the zenith of my breaking point.
Freshman year I went to a school where I knew very few people, hoping for new chances after bad experiences riddled the end of my middle school career. Everyone’s inherently insecure in at least someways no matter what their edited Instagram feeds or snapchat stories say in highschool— I know I had my insecurities, especially freshman year. However, I wasn’t braced for the assault on my hairstyles, personality, or the stupid, pointless conflicts that happened consistently throughout the year. Everyone seemed to be at each others’ throats with aggression, and how stupidity seemed to parallel with popularity took me aback.
Sophomore and junior year people settled into their groups, and I made dozens of friends and had people I was friendly with. I never stayed with one friend group, preferring to drift from group to group and enjoying not being confined. Things seemed to look up. However, I’m not going to narrate my entire high school experience in the tone of the victim because yes, when people “bullied me” or were mean to me, I did fight back. I probably made my life in high school more difficult because when someone was horrible to me, I confronted them; I let them know it hurt my feelings and I expressed my opinion back. If I had been able to just duck my head down, I think I would have had a better social experience. But honestly, I can’t stand bullies, and the most alarming thing to me that I learned in high school is how bullies are enabled.
Bullies aren’t necessarily people who shove you into a locker or call you names— they’re also people who make others feel badly about themselves. It’s funny how people who are disliked remain popular or relevant simply because most people are too insecure or afraid of not being invited to events to stand up to them. So many people go through high school hoping to be liked and not wanting conflict when in reality they let other people walk all over them and make them feel insecure. When the majority stays “silent” outwardly (because lord knows everyone gossips behind closed doors), they are letting bullies rule their life.
One common factor of all high school movies is that the stereotypical clique-y, mean, disliked girls seem to cause the most issues. Unfortunately, this is very relevant. Honestly, the best thing to remember is that people who need to constantly try and make themselves feel important and relevant by getting involved in everyone’s drama and dictating situations that have no significance to them are usually the most insecure.
Although I wish certain aspects of my high school career had been different, I’m happy I didn’t peak in high school. I don’t want these four years to be the best time of my life because in the grand scheme of things, there are so many better things than high school parties in parents’ basements and getting 300 likes on an Instagram picture.