High School... Just How We Always Imagined It

High School... Just How We Always Imagined It

"High school? Bullsh-t. The cafeteria is called the Nutrition Center, people wear their letter jackets even when it's 98 degrees out. And why do they give out letter jackets to marching band? It's not a sport. We all know it."
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Some people would say that high school is the best four years of your life. Others, myself included, would argue that things could have gone a little better back then. In a perfect world, I'm sure high school would have pretty much gone the same for most of us: we'd be a part of the popular crowd, captain of the sports team, or lead in the school play; we would have perfect grades, summer internships, and we would wish for nothing. Unfortunately, this is not a movie, and we can't always get exactly what we wish for. That said, here's a little bit of valuable advice for all incoming freshman (you know, if this were a movie).


Spontaneous outbreaks of song and dance. Unbeknownst to me, you're actually way more likely to witness the drama club's newest performance in the cafeteria, as opposed to the main stage in the auditorium. Shocking, huh? You might be surprised to find out that every single day, people will break out into super spontaneous (and somehow, perfectly synchronized!?) song and dance. Sometimes in the cafeteria, sometimes in the hallways, and sometimes even in the gym; we don't know exactly how everyone seems to know exactly what words to say, but we do know one thing: we live for the dance numbers and songs, which are always somehow about the newest drama, taking place at that very moment.


Unlimited hallway time. Contrary to popular belief, passing period is actually forty five minutes long, and faculty encourages you to hangout with your friends at your lockers. Teachers attempt to inspire students to spend their time spreading details about this weekend's wild and crazy house party (at an insanely beautiful house that literally no one's parents could afford), and hearing the rumors that your least favorite teacher is about to spring a pop quiz on the class. Staff also motivates students to hold dramatic showdowns between friend groups, and to acknowledge the most popular of the school's cliques, with the most fitting of names (we all remember The Plastics, right?).


Group projects are only with your friends. Group projects are inevitable, but who can really complain when, even though your enemy will probably be in the mix, you're apt to get grouped with all of your friends and your crush. And it will definitely be for your English class. That's basically the only class you'll ever have to go to. And your teacher will be brand new; he'll be right out of college. And he'll be hot. And he'll write on a chalkboard, because those totally still exist.


High school has taught me many things: You almost always make friends in detention. Love triangles are always neatly resolved, Cinderella style, at your prom, which is so flawless that it literally changes your entire life. Seriously, prom queen is the highest honor ever, there will be a super cool band that will play their one (bizarrely popular) song, and there is a 100% chance that the punch will get spiked. The popular girls will offer you a once-in-a-lifetime makeover, which will miraculously make you popular. Money is not an issue... for anyone. Football rivalries are a BIG deal. You'll probably eat lunch in the bathroom at least once, but it will never be on food fight day. And last but not least, the dorky girl ALWAYS gets the guy- the hot guy. You know, the one who just broke up with his super hot head cheerleader girlfriend? Or maybe even that super hot new English teacher. We all know how it works. "You've got your freshman, ROTC guys, preps, JV jocks, Asian nerds, cool Asians, Varsity jocks, unfriendly black hotties, girls who eat their feelings, girls who don't eat anything, desperate wannabees, burnouts, sexually active band geeks... and the greatest people you will ever meet, and the worst." Welcome to high school.

Cover Image Credit: http://seroword.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/the-breakfast-club-netflix.jpg

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I'm That Girl With A Deep Voice, But I'm Not Some Freak Of Nature

I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man.

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My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I joke that rather than getting higher, my voice got lower throughout puberty.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when my family members say "Hi Todd" when they pick up the phone when I call. Todd is my brother. I am a girl.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when I have been asked by other females if they're "in the right bathroom" when I tell them "I'm not in line" or "someone's in here" when there's a knock on the stall.

Keep in mind that in most female bathrooms, there are no urinals present and there is a sign outside the door that says "WOMEN." Quite obviously, they're in the correct bathroom, just thrown off by the octave of my voice.

For the girl who asked me if she was in the right bathroom because she was "caught off guard and thought I was a boy," I'm just wondering...

What part about my long hair, mascara, shorts not down to my knees, presence (small presence, but a presence none the less) of boobs, and just my overall demeanor was not enough validation that you are, in fact, in the correct restroom?

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man. Or, when someone calls me over to talk to their friends so they can see how "offsetting" my voice sounds to them.

My favorite story is when I was in a store, and I asked one of the women there a question about a product.

This woman had the audacity to ask me when I "went through my transformation."

She was suggesting that I was a transgender girl because of the sound of my voice. Please recognize that I respect and wholeheartedly accept the trans- population. Please also recognize that I was born a girl, still am a girl, always will be a girl, and asking someone if they are a different gender than they appear to be is not the best way to make a sale.

Frustrated, I told her that she should find a better plastic surgeon and walked out.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be.

And, to make matters worse, I am not your typical "girly-girl."

I die for the New York Rangers, have maybe two dresses in my closet but three shelves full of hand-me-down sweatshirts from my brother and Adidas pants. I do not own a "blouse" nor do I plan on owning one except maybe for business-casual occasions.

Naturally, when a deep voice is paired with a sports-oriented, athletic short-loving, sarcastic girl who couldn't tell you the difference between a stiletto and an average high-heel, I GUESS things can seem "off." However, regardless of the difference you see/hear, no one has the right to make someone feel bad about themselves.

What I always struggled with the most is how (most, moral, common-sense) people will never tell someone they don't know, who may be overweight, that "they're fat" or that they don't like the shirt that they're wearing. Yet, because my voice is not something physically seen, it has become fair game for strangers and acquaintances alike to judge and make comments about.

I used to break down into hysterics when I heard a comment about my voice, whether I was six years old or seventeen years old.

There are times that I still do because I am so fed up and just completely bamboozled by the fact that at the age of twenty, there are still people who just have a blatant disregard for others' feelings and a lack of understanding of what is okay to say and what is not okay to say.

But, just like I ask those people not to judge me, I suppose I can't judge them on their lack of common sense and respect for others.

I'd be lying if I said that the hundreds of thousands of comments I've heard and received targeted at my voice growing up did not play a role in my life. I used to want to be a sports broadcaster. I no longer want to be heard on the radio or seen on TV; snarky comments about my voice being one of the reasons why (among others, like a change of interest and just overall life experiences).

I'd be lying if I said that my struggle with public speaking didn't partially stem from negative feedback about my voice.

I'd be lying if I said that there weren't days I tried to talk as little as possible because I didn't want to be judged and that I am sometimes hesitant to introduce myself to new people because I'm scared my voice will scare them away.

I would also be lying if I said that my voice didn't make me who I am.

I joke constantly about it now, because half the shit that comes out of my mouth mixed with my actions, interests, beliefs, etc., would sound absolutely WHACK if I had a high-pitched "girly" voice.

My voice matches my personality perfectly, and the criticism I have and continue to receive for my "manly" sounding voice has helped shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to love my voice when people have relentlessly tried to make me hate it. I have learned to take the frustration I felt towards my voice and turn it into sympathy for those who have something going on in their life, and therefore feel compelled to make a comment about me, a stranger's voice, to make themselves feel better.

I've learned that to laugh at yourself is to love yourself.

And, I say this not for sympathy. Not for someone to say, "Wait, Syd, I love your voice!"

I say this because I want it to be a reminder for people to watch what they say, and use that noggin before you speak. I say this because I also want to be the voice (haha, get it, 'voice') for those who feel like they've lost theirs.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So no, I would not be a good alto in a choir because I think I'm tone deaf. And, when you call MY phone number, it is very unlikely that it is my brother or dad answering. Just say hello, because 99.9% of the time, if it's ME you're calling, it's ME that's answering.

Dr. Suess said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

Now I'm saying, "A girl is a girl no matter her octave."

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Accomplish Your Goals, Don't Fear Them

You've set goals, now it is time to work towards them.

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Fearing something that has yet to happen wastes time that you could actually use to better yourself.

And that is exactly what I plan on fixing NOW and so should you. Yes, I do fear the act of growing but it won't stop me. Some days, it seems so hard just to keep going. You can have your long-term goals in sight, but yet you are questioning if what you currently have to do in order to get there is worth it.

Then I remember, nothing was achieved in the comfort zone. Everything I want is not where I am currently today. Rather it is located in places I have yet to tap into. I must get there. We must get there. To places that really push us as nothing has before. With this great push will come the tremendous growth that we need. It doesn't matter how long it takes us to get there, we just must keep going.

I am going to end by saying this: it's okay to be scared, but don't let it stop you. You have to find your voice even when it's lost among others no matter how hard it gets or how inconsequential you think your ideas may be.

Work hard to prove to yourself and others that you indeed can do it. Find your passion in life and run with it hard. Working towards your goals no matter what they are, will be hard. Yes, you will have success, but there will also be seasons of doubt. In those seasons, you must find ways to overcome them.

Imagine if you decide to stay where you were right now; would you be happy? Would you be happy and content with what you have accomplished? If not, work on fixing that. The time is now to figure out your hopes and dreams and work towards getting to that point. There are 24 hours in a day and today is the day to start making the change we desire.


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