To My Friends From High School

To My Friends From High School

To whom I owe the most gratitude.

Danielle Steimel

Dear some of the people with the brightest minds I know,

Growing up, I had always imagined what it would be like to have friends who I could tell secrets to or have sleepovers with on a Saturday night. I wanted to be like the other girls who were playing hopscotch and running around playing tag. I wanted to be a part of a group of people that accepted me. As the years went by, I went through friends like matches because they didn’t care about me or they used me or I didn’t provide them the golden ticket into the “in crowd.” There were only two who stuck around all that time, and I am grateful for them every day.

But one day, I left that place, and I found you.

Like I said, I had never been a part of a group before, so I was very intimidated to sit with you guys by the lockers before the bell rang. I remember thinking, “You should try to talk to them. You’re new here. Make friends.” Then, I found out that you were in higher classes than I was, and I instantly felt inferior. Why on earth would you want to talk to someone who is in a math class below you? It’s not that you were pretentious like that. I was just making excuses because I was very scared of everyone and everything. I walked past you every day freshman year, but I don’t think you noticed. I guess that’s my one regret in high school: not talking to all of you sooner.

I met each of you one by one it seemed. Either we were in the same extra-curriculars or we had a class together. I found that I had a lot more in common with you than I thought. I liked that you didn't want to go to insane parties and drink with all the popular kids or follow the latest trends. I liked that we could be band/orchestra geeks together and make the best puns. Then, the strangest things started happening. I would get letters in the mail. They were invitations to sleepovers and birthday parties. I was added to a GroupMe. I got to go to movie nights. My phone blew up with text messages. I remember my parents being so ecstatic because I was finally busy on the weekends. They were so happy that they didn’t even set a curfew for me. How about that?

The next thing I know, we are taking homecoming pictures and then the ACT. We are looking at all different colleges spread out across the map. We are organizing an ugly Christmas sweater party and shopping for prom dresses. Five seconds ago, we were talking about how much we hated AP English and then we were throwing our caps up in the air. It was over. Just like that.

I don’t know what I would have done if you guys weren’t there for me in high school. High school was very hard for me, especially academically. You helped me catch up in my studies so I could be where everyone else was. You forced me to work hard despite any and all setbacks. You helped me see what was truly important. Instead of making fun of me for driving a pick-up truck to school, you thought it was the coolest thing and asked for a ride. You sat with me at lunch in front of actual people, and you weren’t embarrassed to do it. You have accepted me for who I am even though I’ve never seen Hamilton and that I don’t really like hummus all that much. You put up with me when I was honest with you or when I told a joke that made you hate yourself for laughing. If you hadn’t done even the simplest of things, I would not have gotten into my dream college, and I would not have been very happy.

I know that a lot has happened to us since graduation. I know that we have grown apart a little bit which is only natural. We all have grown up a little bit more too, and it’s safe to say we’ve all changed a bit. Maybe we don’t talk every day, or I haven’t seen some of you in months, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think of you and hope that you’re doing well. Please make the right decisions, by “right” I mean the right ones for you. Please take care of yourselves. I never had any doubt in my mind that you would do great things. You shouldn’t either.

And the rest is history.


Your fellow Charlie’s angel

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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