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High School Hell: Enduring Rather Than Thriving

Essay By: Bill Rayburn

Why is high school often a graveyard of free thought and ideas? Didn't most of us hate it? (approx. 300 words)

Submitted:Apr 4, 2012    Reads: 83    Comments: 2    Likes: 1   

High School Hell

I hated high school.

If it wasn't for sports, and my dad, I would have dropped out given the chance. The learning wasn't challenging, and the fences that had to be jumped and cleared to spark and build a friendship were, to be honest, beyond my pay grade at that age.

There was much more of a forced socializing environment at St. Charles during grades 1-8, though I still remained on the fringe. In high school, where the responsibility of interacting with your classmates was much more voluntary, I retreated. For four years.

I was lonely, bored, and envious at the same time of the "it" crowd. Now, I'm not trying to go all pig blood Carrie here. I had no fantasies of mass destruction. I simply chose to inhabit my own insular world as opposed to taking the risks necessary to extend myself. I had no support group at home to crawl back to if things went shitty, so I took as few risks as possible.

No one has really confessed in such a raw fashion to their fears as I am now doing. But reading between the lines, I see fellow isolationists, skirting the first dozen or so ripples made on the Don social pond where the pebble was dropped, choosing instead to sit on the rim of the fishbowl and observe rather than roll up their sleeves and risk what little confidence we had to jump in the fray.

I felt totally alone at San Carlos High School. My memories, however, are undergoing a renaissance. The shape of them is changing. I wasn't alone. There were legions of kids battling many of the same fears and demons and insecurities.

I wish I'd known that then.


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