1 Post A Day Challenge – ENTRY #3

I saw Mean Girls 4 times at the very least and I think the reason why it was such a hit is because there was some truth (if not all of it) to its story. Unlike in the States, cliques are not as obvious or should I say prominent here in the Philippines but that doesn’t mean that they’re non-existent.

In elementary school, I wasn’t really a star but I had enough shine to be noticed by teachers and to have a group of friends who I played with outside the 4-corners of the classroom. I was popular in a way because I was smart. I think we were all confident during those days because we could care less what we looked like or who we hang out with. Apparently, I will have to know and meet haters in high school so I was pretty much happy in elementary school. Although, I had classmates who were in the making of becoming future Queen Bees, Heartthrobs, Over Achievers, Jocks, Geeks, and even Stoners. We just didn’t know it yet.

My high school experience was not as fun as I’d hoped. Remember how people tell you that high school is the best part of your life. Well they didn’t go to my school. I wanted it to be the best part of my life too but it wasn’t. Even when I was younger, people saw me as intimidating and if you’re in high school, intimidating is not really the best impression you’d want to leave with people. The popular kids and/or bullies would either want you to be one of them or want to be picking on you because you’re a threat. Why they see confidence or being different as a threat is still a mind boggling puzzle to me. News flash: Kids are mean. Believe it or not, they are. I didn’t really experience physical bullying, more of emotional and mental stuff. The whole high school experience made me a people-pleasing push-over. Eventually, I met some friends who still made it a fun and memorable experience. Maybe it’s just that I didn’t have as much fun as I would have if I wasn’t busy trying every single time to fit in. If I knew then what I know now, high school would have been a blast.

Determined to be an awesome person, college was my redemption. I embraced my inner nerd and felt better about myself so college was definitely better. Way better. But I was still in people pleasing mode so I became a “career” (career – noun. in reference to the Hunger Games, I’m such a fan girl. Urgh). I was popular because I was one of the smartest people in class, I wrote for the school organ, my friends were all pretty – I always thought I was in the wrong group, I was a nerd among beauty queens. They taught me a lot of girly stuff and in return I helped them with school stuff. It was a very interesting dynamic, actually – and I was also President of my org during senior year. I was pretty busy and I took everything seriously, maybe a little too much for my own good. I had a lot of things going on. I was stick thin because I was so stressed out. I had to maintain good grades and I was doing a lot of extra curricular activities that I forgot to have fun. I did have some fun but because I was so serious with everything I wasn’t able to live in the moment. It was all about getting good grades, having the best project outputs, and graduation. In high school I was just a face in the crowd so I was determined to stand out and make something out of myself. I’d like to think that by the end of it all, I managed to do just that.

The point of all of this is simple. We all eventually grow up. The world doesn’t really care if you were homecoming queen or you were a jock or a nerd or the smartest kid in school. Before, whenever I look back I always wished I could do it over and there are still some things I wish I could have done differently. Then again, I realized I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for all those things. I was this promising kid, a former high school push over nerd, an over-achieving college student, and now I’m this unemployed twenty-something living off of a savings fund near its depletion aspiring to be a writer (I’m actually happy, can you actually believe that?!). I realized that we are not defined by cliques or labels, or the people we hang out with, or by impressive resumes, or what we do for a living. We all eventually outgrow them. What matters is who we have become.