Buyer beware: stop reading right now if you are not in the mood to read an extremely lengthy diatribe about the first-world problems of a senior in high school. I should also add that I love learning and I have always had teachers that I have greatly appreciated and learned a great deal from -- it's the other people in high school that I can't stand. With that out of the way, let us proceed.
I just can't figure it out: Is it me, misanthropy or just high school? All I know is that I am halfway done with senior year and I am -- to use a phrase coined by the Internet -- "so done that I just can't even anymore."
I suppose that in order to tackle the three aforementioned questions, I should start by telling you a little bit about myself. I am an accidental hipster. Let me explain -- I was wearing ugly sweaters and sweater vests in middle school before they became all the rage thanks to Tumblr and Pintrest. Fun.'s "Aim and Ignite" -- also known as the album nobody knows Fun. even has because they're too busy jamming out to "Some Nights" in all of its pitchy auto-tune glory -- was the soundtrack to my freshman year of high school. Oh, and please don't even get me started on the concept of "dressing classy," I was wearing a suit and tie (or as I and the rest of the non-tool population like to call it, business attire) when people still thought that "dressing classy" was throwing on something from a store that you can smell from the other side of the mall (*cough* Hollister *cough*). But I digress. The point is that the things that my peers do, listen to, etc. today are things that made me a bit of an outcast or "weird" at the start of high school. Tacky is the new trendy, underground is now ubiquitous, and silk ties are no longer for just for all of us on the speech and debate team; they're sexy. How, and moreover, when, did that happen? Where is the justice in that?
Sure, one could argue that perhaps it's my irrational irritation with the injustice of the high school social hierarchy that has made me a bitter senior, but if that's true, it certainly isn't the only factor. The people are just as much to blame as I am... aren't they? I know that I am not the only one out there tired of the one-dimensional people of high school that ought to have their own American "Degrassi" spin-off because they fit the stereotypes to a T. Let's see, you've got the couple that clearly can't stand each other but are in a relationship anyway. You've got the couple that has broken up a thousand times (and gotten back together the same amount of times). Oh, and my personal favorite, the couple that is way too affectionate with one another from their "idk how i would live without u <33" two-week anniversary posts to their blocking the hallways while they -- for lack of a more tasteful term -- compete for the tongue-wrestling world title. You've got the guy who hits on every girl and finds himself irresistibly attractive but somehow never seems to have a date to the school dances. You've got the overly-zealous Christians who love to harass everyone with their youth group meetings and encourage everyone -- especially all those lovely non-Christians and LGBT kids who all need Jesus -- to come, and of course you've got the crowd of kids that are turning 18 next week but still genuinely laugh at "your mom" jokes and take "Call of Duty" way too seriously. Oh, and my personal favorites: the people that start fights before the first bell has even rung. Need I go on? The truth is, I could write a novel about all the different high school stereotypes from every teen movie or TV show ever made that actually are completely 100 percent true. Stefan Brogren and Ryan Murphy aren't making these characters out of nothing or over-exaggerating them, because they really exist in every single high school in the country.
So call me a misanthrope, tell me I'm antisocial and just don't want to get to know anyone well enough so I resort to just knowing and judging people at face value. You would be sort of right, about the face value part anyway. See, I've met a lot of people outside of high school -- who were my age or younger too, mind you -- that I desperately wish went to my high school. Last summer I went to a journalism summer camp where I met some of the greatest people ever. I couldn't run out of good things to say about all of them if I tried. I came back from a Model U.N. conference a week ago where I met people that I liked better in two days than some people that I've known for two years. For me, what people present at face value is exactly how I look at them. If you're interesting and intriguing then I want to get to know you better, and conversely, if you're a jerk or a narcissist -- or something along those lines -- I don't care what you're like when "people get to know you," all I know is that you're a jerk or a narcissist. But the problem is, and you'll have to take this with a grain of salt, that my world is lacking the interesting and intriguing people.
So is it me and my resentfulness for never truly making myself something more than a wallflower in high school? Is it the fact that I'm tired of being one of only a few Macs in a school full of PCs who are all running Windows 2000? Or is it a little bit of both and all just what a lot of people face in high school? They really ought to print a book about this being a common experience if that's the case -- I could have used a warning. They say you can't choose your family but you can choose your friends, and that's true, but what's even truer is this: You just can't choose who you go to high school with. Trust me; I know that I'm probably somebody that a lot of people dislike as much as I dislike them. Unlike Taylor Swift, I know that I'm probably part of the problem, too. I probably come off as haughty and pretentious and with a biting sarcasm that is a little too sharp for my own good. After all, I did write this post, didn't I? It doesn't get much more pretentious than describing yourself as a retina-display enabled device among technology that can't even muster up enough power to play Angry Birds, does it?
But is that why people say college is so great? Because despite all of the late nights and soul-crushing work, you at least get to do it among people who want to be there and who share similar interests -- in career anyways -- to you? Is it because you finally get to be among people after your own heart? If so, graduation cannot come fast enough. Until then, I'll just have to muddle through 173 more days... fun.