Winter break: it means that everyone comes home from college for the holidays.
The most dreaded thing that can happen during the visit home is the possibility of running into someone from high school — at least it's the biggest fear for those of us who were completely irrelevant to anyone outside of our own friend group in high school.
I like to think that I was popular in high school. I had a close-knit group of friends, but outside of this group, I was friends with a few people in each social group. Well, except the "it" crowd.
Every high school has them — the kids who are popular, pretty to look at and athletic. The girls in this crowd are perfectly tan and wear only what is in style and the guys in this crowd are not only athletic but look like it too.
If you were not chummy with someone in this circle, you were basically irrelevant in the social hierarchy of high school. In a school of nearly 2000 students, it was especially easy to just be a face in the crowd.
What was one of the most baffling things about this circle of friends was their personalities — the majority of the girls were not the nicest and majority of the guys were complete cliche jocks who chased girls.
Yes, there were a select few members of this group who were nice people and who anyone could talk to, but even they were not my type of company to keep in high school.
No matter how rude the girls were or how many sexual comments the guys would make, people looked up to them. There is one girl in particular who stood out in this circle — she might have been the smallest of them, but her attitude made up for her lack of height.
In middle school, I was lucky enough to sit next to her in homeroom every day for two years. I was constantly teased by her and her fellow "it" crowd girls for having extremely bad acne and not having the clothes that they deemed to be in.
For my birthday in the eighth grade, I begged my mom for foundation and concealer as an attempt to cover up my imperfections and put an end to the rude comments. The results were a too dark foundation and a continuation of rude remarks.
In all honesty, I was petrified to walk past her in the hallway my freshman and most of my sophomore year.
My self-confidence was little to none during those years and every comment she made caused it to diminish even more.
Looking back now, I realize none of it was not a big deal in the grand scheme of life and I totally could have kicked her a** anyway.
But at the time, being looked down upon by someone with that high of a social status in high school was the worst thing that could have happened to me at that time.
Imagine my surprise when I walk into the hair salon that I have been going to for years, for the appointment my mom scheduled for me, only to find out that this is the girl who is about to cut and style my hair.
Yeah, "oh sh--" is exactly what I thought too. I was so nervous how this was going to play out.
To my surprise, it was neither awkward or horrible.
She greeted me with a huge grin and a warm welcome. She actually remembered me. We talked about life after graduation and what we had both since been up to. She was impressed at my majors and I was in shock as to how different she was.
I felt as though a huge part of the timid high school girl within me had disappeared.
The labels went away upon our graduation and now we were just humans who just so happened to graduate together. Yes during those years we were the furthest thing from friends, but knowing that what had happened in the past was dead and gone was the biggest sigh of relief I have had in a long time.
High school was fun, don't get me wrong, but it is not college. The college me is everything I was too afraid to be in high school. My fears all steamed from being picked on since middle school by her and her friends.
There was no pointing my finger at her for making me feel small and irrelevant in high school, there was no heartfelt, emotional apology about how she treated me either. It was just a mutual agreement between us that the high school versions of us were not who we wanted to be and that it has all become old history.
Time truly can change a person.