Next year I'll be a senior in high school. My junior year has been memorable for many reasons. There have been some high highs and some really low lows, but mostly, it has been a period of discovery and change.
I can't share all of the things that happened, but I can say that many of them have shaped my perspective. I look at the world with different eyes. I feel like I've been sleeping my whole life have just now woken up.
I've always lived in a protected bubble (I still do). I'm homeschooled, I live in a small town, my parents are Chrisitans (so am I), and there are many things that I haven't experienced because of that. That doesn't make my life good or bad. It all depends on how you look at it. In my opinion, I'm very fortunate to have such good parents who love me so much and only want the best for me.
However, I have had to deal with some of the repercussions of being homeschooled. Homeschooling fosters social awkwardness and loneliness that is hard to overcome. While it has many benefits, it has some disadvantages, mostly psychologically.
No one can understand what it can do to you until they experience it themselves. A lot of homeschoolers have siblings at home with them, also being homeschooled. I do not. My only brother went to school a few years ago and I remained homeschooled (by choice). This was probably the right path, but also a hard one.
When you are alone, your biggest struggle is your mind. It can become your worst enemy. This creates a problem because, when you are homeschooled, you have to try harder to establish connections socially, you have to be confident. How can you be confident when you're tearing yourself apart? You can't.
That's where I was... for a long time. The problem was that there were other issues going on around me, making my problems seem small. It was really easy to push them away, to deny their existence. That was the worst thing that I could have done.
There was nowhere to turn. No one I felt that I could confide in, because I couldn't even admit to myself what the problem was. I was depressed. The most freeing thing I did was admitting to myself that I was depressed. Saying it out loud. Sobbing, my body shaking, letting it all out to my mom, more than once. I had kept it bottled up inside for so long, I didn't realize how much it weighed me down. I was exhausted mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
I can't say that I'm depressed now. I can say that my perspective has changed. I look at things more cynically, yet I am always looking for ways to improve myself. I know that this year has been the start of the journey that is life. I'm so thrilled to be growing and changing. Even if change hurts.
Life had been consistent until this past year. People came into my life, but they usually didn't go out. Not so in my junior year. Some of my most important relationships struggled or practically ceased to exist. This came at the time when my emotions took a downward plunge. This was the time that I needed my friends the most
On the flip side, I have met a lot of new people this year. Some that are already very special to me. I have felt more like a highschooler than ever before, and I guess that's really all I wanted. I didn't want to sacrifice anymore, To throw myself down at the altar of perfection. Sacrificing some of my youth to achieve it. I just wanted to be like everyone else. Trying to reach perfection is exhausting, and there's almost no way you can win.
However, two of the best experiences of my life happened. I became the Harvest Days Queen. This is quite possibly my favorite day in my life up to this point. I don't know if I've ever been more happy. I will never ever forget how I felt that day.
Also, I was a part of the musical Oliver! that was put on by my Acting Academy. It was huge affirmation to me to get the part that I did. Acting at the Academy really stretches me because it requires me to think quickly and to not be afraid of what other people think of me. Those are two things that I am absolutely terrible at. However, I had so much fun with the show and I have memories that will last a lifetime.
I also had to navigate relationships with guys. I hadn't ever really had guy friends or a boy friend. It was like I was starting at the very beginnig at 16 years old. I learned how to flirt. I learned how to be friends with a guy. And I learned how to say no, making the hard choice in order to stay true to what I thought was best and not what others told me was best.
I feel like senior year is my chance to apply all of the things that I've learned. To begin living to the fullest. I'll try my hardest to be true to myself, to not care what others think about me, and to grow as a person. I just want to do senior year right. I'm ready.