High School Never Ends: Unfair Game

Sing it again!

Four years you think for sure
That’s all you’ve got to endure
All the total dicks
All the stuck up chicks
So superficial, so immature
Then when you graduate
You take a look around and you say HEY WAIT!
This is the same as where I just came from!
I thought it was over!
Aww that’s just great!

I had theorized for years that high school was boot camp for life. Some people are assigned to the hot zone, and others end up behind a desk. And most of the time, just like in the military, you don’t end up in the place you signed up for. Usually, the place you end up wasn’t quite as bad as training.

I was mistaken.

High school is actually the kiddie pool for life.

When I was in high school, all I wanted was to graduate and get the eff out of there. In fact, I wanted out so badly that I dropped out at 17, entered the pilot cyber-charter school, and finished out 11th grade that way. The only reason I was coaxed back to my high school was the fact that I could enroll in five music classes and only needed one gym. It was way better than the option of a purely academic senior year.

I missed a record amount of days that year. A whopping sixty-two, when the fail limit was twenty-one. I missed almost three times the maximum amount. I actually missed one day over half of the school year.

(It was a miracle I graduated at all).

Yes, I had a severe case of senioritis. It was more than that. The whole ordeal of high school made me ill. It was a jungle of mini-adults, preying on one another in the attempt to establish social superiority. All for what? To be openly adored and envied by many and secretly despised by everyone that was trampled?

I was easy prey, far down the food chain of the high school food chain. Don’t be mistaken. I was not at the very bottom. I created a new breed of outcast and made it fashionable. It was a fabulous alternative to being hated for being a poser. I flaunted my flaws in hilarious self-loathing. It was quite a show to behold. Best of all, I helped push it so far from popular culture that it was enticing. A geeky, intelligent rebel? Who knew?!

It caught on. This was before emos existed, during the time of goths. I was neither. Sure, I was adorned with black clothes covered in pins. But, I was determined to give a permanent home on the social ladder to every kid that didn’t quite fit the mould. I wanted to challenge every social norm, and show everyone that different was actually better.

Just that alone put me in the line of fire. But what could they possibly gossip about that I hadn’t already broadcasted myself? I was poor as hell! My family was an absolute wreck! It was clear to see that I was a fat band geek. My wild eyes glared at the cliques behind thick lenses. Plainly said, I was a crazy freakshow!

I lied. I smiled when people gossiped about me. I’m too poor to afford new clothes every school year. I’m a whore, because I have sex. I see a crazy doctor and take crazy meds. My mother is a drunk, my brother is a tard, and my father is crazier than me. I don’t actually have friends, I have followers and worshippers. I acted like I fed on it, and turned to preach to my flock to do the same.

Truthfully, I felt like less than garbage. There was a drop of truth in every story. I felt ugly and ostracized. I didn’t like people’s perceptions of me, but I knew I never would. I should at least put on a show! Turn your own self-loathing and insecurities into something inspirational to some and controversial for most. It worked for Howard Stern, right?

Every jock, priss, prom queen, cheerleader, dancer and intellectual took their own shots at me. We were so far removed toward the end that it didn’t really affect me anymore. The shots from the artists, thespians, and fellow musicians hurt the most. You would think there would be at least a little bit of camaraderie. I suppose it is every (wo)man for themselves in the urban jungle.

I didn’t even plan on walking at graduation. My plan was to finish finals and disappear into the ether. But, parents get what parents want. I walked across that stage decorated with honors, and extreme gratitude that all of that was behind me.

Today, I learned that it is still exists, maybe even more so, right ahead of me.

6 thoughts on “High School Never Ends: Unfair Game

  1. I feel for your experiences in high school. I too had a record breaking absence record. And no friends to speak of. Only instead of a band geek I was a debate geek. Looking back, I was definitely bipolar, too many depressions to be counted as just normal. Everyone thought I was a freak, but I guess I was just a little insane instead. And now that I’m out of that, I’ve still encountered cliques, jerks, nice people, just about the general gamut of what I saw in high school, only magnified by like 10 because it’s college and half the people are privileged a**holes

    • I started college in an unassuming tech school. Hence, I had a mostly utopian college experience. Almost all of the population was at my scoioeconomic and educational level or lower. I was actually one of the big fish in the little pond, and not even on purpose.

      I was among the small population of women in the computer tech department. It only gave me a small advantage. I found myself at the center of that department, having casual conversations with teachers, and rubbing elbows with higher ups. I was really good friends with the President’s son. I dated the junior advisor of the technical services department. And as a result, I helped to build and test the beta student intranet and security system.

      I’ll tell you this. It brought me almost nothing but pain, in the end. I graduated with amazing grades and made some very important acquaintences. But the rest of it turned into garbage. I graduated with two degrees in fields I didn’t end up wanting to work in. I dropped $20k on it. And once we graduated, the man I dated was a nobody. He turned out to be a cheating, lying, abusive drunk. It turns out that I wasn’t a whole lot better, if at all.

      So, I came full circle back to the person I intended on growing into in the first place. I guess that also landed me in the same seat.

      I have been going on and on for more than a decade about the 1%. This is a conclusion that some of the 99ers (as I affectionately call them) are just reaching. I am pissed about the dynamic. This is America! It lives in infamy as one of the few places in the world where you can be born without a cent to your name and end up doing better than your parents!

      Not for at least half a decade or more now. I was born into extreme poverty. I have lived in worse poverty without basic needs before. And the only reason why I’m doing as well as I am now is because I am married with a kid. A person born into poverty has practically no opportunities afforded to them. And I don’t want to hear the BS about social programs, because they are tragically flawed in ways I can’t even get into now.

      My mother is a homemaker and my father is a disabled veteran. My parents didn’t have friends that were doctors, lawyers, or professors. They were construction workers and part-time retail employees. My mother’s father worked on the railroad, and her mother stayed at home to raise her children. I am the only person in my direct lineage that graduated with a four-year degree. A lot of good it’s doing me.

      Truthfully, i have never lived on my own. I never made enough money to hold my own. I worked my ass off in a physically laborious part-time job twice. I did it once just after I graduated with my Associates, and again a year after my son was born. I lived without heat for a winter and didn’t even have the basic necessities to cook. Most of the time, I’d only eat about once a day, if that. When I worked there after my son was born, we were comfortable. We struggled, but not nearly as bad as we did individually before we were together at all.

      This is the first time in my life that I can say I’m doing okay. We are steadily employed, and making just enough money to cover everything. I am in the best shape of my life physically and mentally. I’m finally free of cancer. I have struggled through so many things that other people would never even scrape.

      I’ve always been grateful for my struggle. It seemed logical. I would have to work a little bit harder than other people. I have a lot of significant disadvantages. And it’s probably bipolar disorder that gave me the mental fortitude to keep plowing through.

      But this is bullshit. It has been since high school that I was actually preyed upon because of my disadvantages. I probably stand in a better place than other adults. Probably better than the man who is suing us, and the woman that was in the car. And definitely better than the son of the lawyer (the passenger). Why? Because I worked hard to get here. I didn’t undercut or step on anyone else. I didn’t expect anyone else to carry me, although I did find a rope or two along the way.

      Again, 1% supremicy through capitalism is attempting to claim a victory it didn’t earn. The whole reason our economy is crumbling is because of the 1%. They throw temper tantrums that inspire things like the bailouts and bully others until they get what they think they are entitled to. I had to earn it. Why don’t you? Oh, I forgot. Your mommy and / or your daddy spoiled you rotten, caught you everytime you took a spill, and molly-coddled the hell out of you! And they will continue doing that until they die. Then, those very undereducated (because that can be bought too), lazy, priveldged individuals will go on to take on the estate / business that is “too large to fail” and run it into the ground! And the cycle continues.

      Fuck this. I intend on pulling myself up by the bootstraps, pulling on my big girl panties, and strapping one on. People can hide behind lawyers all they want, but they will never be rich or affluent enough to hide from themselves and the very truth. I will fight, and I will either prove that people can’t bully others and always win. Or I will prove that the justice system is corrupt and needs an overhaul by the 99ers too. Either way, I hope this brings everyone that has their greedy hand in the honey pot nothing but the pain they have brought to us.

  2. Your experiences make me feel lucky for going to my high school. I went to a magnet school. I don’t know what that’s like other places, but in my town, it essentially meant that the students were all of the people who didn’t quite fit into the “normal” high schools. There were still cliques: preppies, Goths, drama kids, etc. But not really jocks, as our school didn’t have most of the “big” sports. Basically, everyone at my school was weird. I remember some of my peers in middle school gossiping about how that was the high school for freaks, ha. (Now middle school was truly a terrible time, much like you describe your high school being.) There were different circles, but people had friends in circles besides their own. Generally, we all got along.

    I do agree with you about some people’s natures, though. Many think that people become more “mature” when they’re older. I don’t think so. I think they just become more devious at hiding their natures. The cliques are still there, but they pretend like they’re not.

    • Hence, I dropped out in 11th. I wouldn’t have gone back if it wasn’t in my best academic interest.

      I was a showband containing nearly 100 members. We were closer than many other groups of students. When you see the same people for two hours a day, every day for four years, you really get to know them. Then, you live with them for a total of three weeks out of the year. The chorus was like that too. It’s like family.

      But, just like family, there were sects. There were the priveldged because their parents held an office, or they kissed some serious – then, there were the kids that held office. I was at the top of my section, but I never made anyone else miserable as a result. I did everything I could to make them better musicians and prepare everyone to have the chance to take my spot when I graduated.

      Again, I earned that spot. I was skilled with my instruments. To this very day, I can pick up any woodwind instrument and play. Much to my director’s shagrin, I earned it (she didn’t like me. I admit, I was unruly and mouthy).

      That’s what pisses me off the most. The third to the last chair clarinetist was allowed to do whatever she pleased because her parents held an office. Why do these things happen? Most of the population is busy kissing ass while they make a grab for someone’s coat tails. The others are afraid to challenge people who are wealthy and / or affluent because of the cautionary tales.

      I am a cautionary tale. I refuse to plead and concede. I live my life, my way. And I live it with an uncompromising moral code. I answer to no one but myself, my husband, and occasionally my boss (but she’s a great woman). And because of that, I have made a lot of people pretty angry.

      “Oh my god! Someone who can and will think for themself!!!”

  3. I was called everything from Niki Madonna, to a whore, to a devil worshiper. Daily for six years. One kid walked up t me in a gym full of lunch hour kids and offered me a dollar bill for a sex act. Then one girl spat in my face and the guidance counselor suggested I might “just want to try to blend in more.”
    I quit at sixteen. I have never regretted it once.
    I would have been just one more teen suicide if I hadn’t escaped.
    If they want to torture prisoners, they should send them to high school.

    • Yeah, but they have to make an adult one. That would involved cubicles. Or a grocery store.

      Oh hell, it would probably work out just fine if they made the jail a co-ed, self-contained environment. And we could televise it as survivor.

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