As with most people, high school was a much better experience than middle school. The freedom they tell you that you get in middle school, you actually get in high school. There’s a lot more paths you can take when it comes to classes, and of course, there’s all the clubs and sports you can join and explore. Just a side note, my advice to anyone in school or college is always going to be get involved. Sure you can meet people in classes, and there’s always the friends you grew up with, but expanding your horizons is always a good thing, especially when it comes to meeting new people. Plus, clubs and sports naturally help you feel included which helps a lot when you’re starting something new, but more on that later….
My entire life, I had been a gymnast. My parents put me in classes when I was around three, and as I progressed in the sport, my team became like my family. I loved the sport, I loved the people, and I’ll admit, I loved showing off in front of people (haha!). Around high school, though, my teammates became very different people (as you do when you grow up), and suddenly the place and sport that had once felt like home, became like strangers to me. I really couldn’t bear the difference, and I ended up quitting right before high school.
In some ways, I think it was a good thing. It freed me up to join clubs in high school. Of course, I was still playing in the band during school, but I tried out and ended up making Color guard (for those of you who don’t know, color guard is the group of people spinning flags in front of the marching band. Do they have marching band in other countries? We usually performed during American football games, so I’m not really sure….). In the end, it allowed me to meet people I probably would not have met otherwise and helped me to branch out and make some new friends. Although I still had some serious self-confidence and anxiety issues, it also gave me some of my confidence back because I felt a part of something again.
The end of high school rolled around much too quickly (although it certainly didn’t seem like it at the time), and I had to start thinking about college. I must admit, my main goal for choosing a college was getting as far away from the people I went to school with as possible. Everyone knew me as one of the shy girls who always got good grades and never seemed to do anything wrong. Also, I felt like while I was there I would never be able to escape that damaged person I was in middle school. She just seemed to follow me around and shape peoples opinions of who I was and was going to be.
So instead of embracing that middle school version of myself as a part of me and my past and molding her into the person I wanted her to become, I tried my best to run from her. The problem was, you can’t just run away from your past. In some way or another it has to be dealt with and put to rest before you can truly move on. Something I learned the hard way my Freshman year of college.