High school is definitely a rollercoaster ride, with the need to constantly keep your grades up, while simultaneously maintaining a social life and trying to have fun before you’re bundled off to college. But hey, it’s graduation season now, the time when high school seniors often reminisce about their favorite moments: the good, the bad and the unexpected. Here are some things we’ll never forget about high school.
I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.
Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.
If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).
I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.
Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.
But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.
Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.
My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.
So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.
I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.
I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.
I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.
If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.
2019 is the year of the comebacks, with the most infamous one being the Jonas Brothers. My prepubescent 12-year-old self is still fangirling. I never thought the day would come where we would get another bop from the jo bros. In honor of this glorious event, I am counting down their best songs to date.
10. "When You Look Me In The Eyes"
This song is on this list only for my mother's sake. She almost fist fought someone during the burning up a tour and went on a rant because they were not going to play this. (They did for the encore)
9. "Year 3000"
This makes the list as number 9 because it was not only the first song that made me fall in love with them, but it also made me want to buy a Kelly Clarkson album.
8. "Play My Music"
Now granted, this was on the camp rock album it still is one of the best songs in their career. Every time they would play this on the Disney channel I would literally jump out of my seat to dance and pretend I was at their concert.
7. "Pom Poms"
The weak attempt at their first comeback due to creative differences gave us this gem. I will always play this at my cousin's soccer game due to the upbeat vibe and positivity it gives.
6. "Hold On"
This brought me to tears at the tender age of 9, with my imaginary boyfriend.
5. "We Got The Party" ft. Hannah Montana
Sweet Mama, this song is great for a summer day.
This second attempt at a comeback was so much better than the first. This song is definitely the song of the summer.
This really put me in my bag and still does in 2019.
Kevin's dance to this made everything.
1. "Burning Up"
This was the first rap I memorized and is the most iconic song of 2008.