In the United States, there is approximately 37,100 high schools spread amongst the 50 states. The high schools in Hawaii to New Jersey to Iowa are all different of course. Past those differences each state has, the students all are typically the same.
In each high school we have the group everyone wants to be in because they are "popular," then there is the group of smarter kids, the people who somewhat keep to themselves, and the social butterflies who have friends within every area of the social hierarchy. I am not here to talk about this imaginable hierarchy though. I would like to say a few things to those in high school who needed me in order to feel better about themselves. In every high school, in every group there is a person who depends on others to feel good about themselves, this letter is for those people.
First off, I wish you luck on wherever life is taking you. Leaving high school can be a very scary thing even when you think you are prepared and have waited to graduate since the day you walked into high school. I hope as you pursue college or a job that everything goes smoothly.
I also hope that you learn to be confident in how you can be successful in life. In high school you were successful in your own way of course. This meaning you got the hottest boy in school, you were voted team captain so teammates looked up to you, or simply that everyone gathered around you to closely listen to you tell the story about last weekends party for a fifth time.
I listened with the others; wanting to be your friend even as I stood from behind analyzing how you sometimes treated people so wrongly, but it still didn't change my mind. Those people standing, listening to everything you said gave you confidence to feel successful. I eventually stepped out of the shadows to pave a way for myself in high school. When I did you were right there to show me where exactly I belonged.
No one enjoys being put down, talked about behind their back, or being made to look like a fool and trust me I did not enjoy it either. At first I was confused because I gave you the attention and gifts at Christmas or you birthday like any other friend would but we weren't friends in your eyes only mine.
This was until I stopped being blinded by the fake compliments and saw what was going on. You needed me in a way that was unhealthy for both of us. Publicly taking me down wasn't because I did anything to you but so I could do something for you. Taking away things I earned was to hurt me, not to make things equal or fair.
Kicking me out of a party wasn't because one more body in your driveway would be too much, it was so people saw the power you truly had over others. This may seem like a bitter letter of how I am obviously not over how you affected my life in high school but it is truly the opposite.
I am writing to you to say how I am grateful you treated me as you did. I learned and moved on easily, unlike you who will struggle to leave the person you were in high school behind. I no longer let people walk over me like I let you.
At the time I thought I was doing you a favor by letting it all go so you could have your power in order to feel better about yourself. I didn't want to step out from under your grasp and risk losing all of my friends to you. I'm sorry I let you keep going though because as you continue with your endeavors in life you will always be a mildew.
As you continue to be a mildew, you are continuing to depend on putting others down to feel better about your own personal problems or whatever may be happening in your life. I hope as you grow, you grow out of being a mildew.
I pray that you grow as a person, and that you can find happiness and confidence in yourself without having to take the people around you down. For your sake, I hope you don't have someone giving up their confidence in themselves so you can have some of your own.
Shanon Alder said, “No boundary or barrier surrounds the heart of a person that loves their self and others.” May life be generous to you and may the barrier around your heart come down so you may feel true happiness. I am not upset or bothered about how parts of my high school life were challenged and changed because of you. I wish you the best of luck and I will see you around.
The girl who learned to not give her confidence away