there is so much more than high school

Senior year of high school. The year where so many memories are made. There are dances to go to, football games to attend, parties to party hard at. That’s what the normal senior would do in high school. But I wasn’t a normal high schooler.

During my junior year of high school, my best friend and I told each other that we were going to go to all the school dances senior year: homecoming, winter formal, and prom. I had only gone to one dance before that, which was winter formal during junior year. I had a good time, but it wasn’t amazing.

Then that summer hit. And it hit hard. My eating disorder took over my life. I secluded myself from a lot of friends, even though I still had one year left of high school.

Within the first month of senior year, one of my friends pulled me aside to tell me she was worried about me. That’s when the therapy appointments started. That’s when I began to seclude myself even more.

Early into the year, I signed with my current college to play basketball. That meant that I didn’t have to worry about getting into a school. You would think that this would help me lighten up and get out there more, but nope. It didn’t.

A month into my recovery, and the first school dance came. It was homecoming. I didn’t want to go, at all. But I told my friend that I would, so I did. I did the usual: got all dressed up, did my make-up, and met up with a group of friends to take pictures. That part was fun. But then we left to go to dinner and the school for the actual dance. I was miserable the entire time. I didn’t want to be there. I thought about leaving early multiple times but I gritted my teeth and stayed. After that night, I didn’t want to go to a dance again. It was a waste of money, and I didn’t have fun.

Along with the homecoming dance, there was the homecoming football game. During the halftime show, each grade performs a dance based off the theme that year. I could have been in the show but, once again, I decided to seclude myself.

After homecoming, there was winter formal. I decided not to go, and my best friend didn’t go either. My best friend and I hung out instead, a way better decision.

Then there was prom. Senior prom. The dance that so many people are excited for. My best friend was going. She begged me to go. But I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to spend all that money on being miserable, once again. So while all my other friends were dancing the night away, I spent it at home. Alone.

So as you can see, my senior year wasn’t that great. I spent my time going from school, to basketball practice, to therapy, and back to basketball practice.

Basically, I spent my senior year being a fly on the wall. Do I regret it? Yeah, a little. But I don’t let it eat at me. High school was only a small part of my life. I always told myself that I was going to better places. And I still believe it. Even though I didn’t make the most out of my high school experience, I still left it with the best friend I could ask for.

Went I went to visit my high school the other day, I realized just how well, stupid, all the drama was. As I said, I wanted to sit with every kid who sat by themselves. I wanted to tell them that none of it matters. Nobody is going to remember who had those $500 jeans or new car. Nobody cares.

Kate had a funny story about high school which I just had to share:
“I had tons of friends and was happy, but the “popular” girls always made fun of me…UNTIL I lost a ton of weight the summer before senior year, and suddenly they all wanted to be my friend? Ugh, makes me want to vomit. Now of course I’ve graduated from one of the best colleges in the country, and most of those girls were college dropouts…I had a great “hah” moment when one of them rung up my coffee at Wawa (sort of a classy version of 7-11) here.”

It wasn’t until midway through senior year that I began to realize all of this. I finally began to be true to myself and was a lot happier. I just wish I would have realized that a whole lot sooner. 

College is a whole different ball game than high school. I love it. Even then, I knew how immature the kids were. I kept my group of friends small, but I knew that I could count on them for anything. While most kids left with crazy weekends, pictures of high school dances, and 1,000 Facebook friends, I left with a best friend. 

Because when it comes right down to it, I know she will be by my side through thick and thin. And that is the best thing that came out of my high school experience.

So here’s the moral of the story: high school sucks, it really does. But don’t let it define who you are. It is only a tiny part of your life. There is still so much to see and do.

How was your high school experience? 


17 thoughts on “there is so much more than high school

  1. I love this and I love you. I think we’d be twins, my senior year was so similar, it’s creepy!
    I’m so happy you made it through such a rough time and came out better than ever–mentally strong and genuinely happy 🙂

  2. So with you on high school- I didn’t go to dances either. I didn’t go to either prom, my junior one I was sick and then my senior one, I ended up just hanging out with my friend that night (she didn’t go either). I don’t regret not going at all. But yeah, once you grow up, nobody really remembers or cares. I’m 26 so obviously I’ve been out for awhile… since 2003. Now, I talk to a lot of people who I never talked to in high school on facebook- people from totally different cliques but since growing up, we’ve figured out we actually “click” and have the same interests. The sad thing is that people don’t figure that out in high school just because of all the social issues :(.

  3. I love you!!! haha. I can relate a lot to this. I always thought senior year would have been the greatest year, and honestly- it was the worst. During my last year, there were 4 deaths, 3 were suicides so everyone was always emotional and on edge! Not to mention I ended up losing a lot of friendships over the summer for something stupid so I pretty much felt alone the whole year. I hated it so much. I didn’t go to any dances, football games, pep assemblys, etc. None of it. I went, did my work, then left. Senior year was THE WORST. I’m so glad it’s over though. College is so much better, and like you, I walked out of HS with one best friend and that’s enough for me.

    I agree with what you said about all of the stuff we once worried about means nothing now. We worried way to much about the dumbest things! It makes me want to go back in time and smack myself a few times 😛 haha!

  4. love love love this post. . . . .im a junior so i can’t say mine is over yet. but honestly sophomore year was SO HARD FOR ME and this year im doing online school. so i have no idea where my senior year is heading

  5. yay I was looking forward to this post!! hahaha thanks for sharing my lolz with everyone too 😀 I guess my high school experience was a good one, I had my friends, went to prom, was in the dance company etc, and it was fun…but whatever. it’s been almost 5 years since I graduated (wtf?!?) and when I think about the person I am today, I realize that high school played NO part in shaping me! my family life and my college experience are what helped mold me into who I am as a young adult. I do still have one best friend from my high school, but 99% of the people who matter in my life are, again, family and college friends. High school can be great, or it can be hell….but in my opinion, your life doesn’t reeeaaaaally start until you’re out 🙂

  6. This is such a great post! I hated high school, mainly because of my eating disorder but put on a happy face until I had to graduate early to seek treatment. I look back on it now and wish I didnt make it such a big deal. High school is overrated! I love college and knowing I have a healthy future ahead of me!

  7. High school is dumb. During my sophomore year I was called into the counselors office because one of my teachers told them I looked depressed (I had severe depression.) The counselor asked me what she could do to make the next 2 years better. I told her that knowing I wouldn’t have to come back would make the rest of the year bearable. We worked out a home school plan and I graduated 4 months after finishing my sophomore year (with a diploma, not GED.)

    So I never experienced the typical Senior year things, which I don’t regret at all. The only part I wish I could experience is the vast amount of scholarships available to HS seniors. I missed out, there!

  8. I love you for writing this!!! It is so resassuring to hear that other people had a hard time in high school too and that not everyone’s experiences are like high schools in the movies. 😛 I was a major perfectionist in high school so I devoted basically all my time to homework so that I could get 100’s in everything. Even though I had a great group of friends, I definitely didn’t have as much fun as I could have.

    Thank goodness for college to make everything better! 😀

  9. This is such a great post! My senior year of high school was spent sort of the same way. I didn’t go to my prom or sadies or any other dances for that matter. I just didn’t want to. Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t the people who I would have hung out with were not all that great and I knew I didn’t fit in. That’s what I tell my little brother now who is in high school: just stay true to yourself and everything will be okay.

  10. I love this post! I know that high school is only 4 years and ultimately it’s nothing and it sucks. I can’t wait to get out of high school. I have some fun friends I want to keep in touch with and that make high school bearable for now. Middle school is the worst, high school is a tiny bit better, and I assume college and everything else after that is a whole lot better. I’ll have to see.

  11. For the most part, I really liked high school. I just was always torn between hanging out with friends and going to swim practice. I would get invited to parties a lot but often turned them down because I had morning practice. Then the days I did go and ended up skipping practice I felt really bad about it. I can’t believe how much of my parents’ money I wasted because they were paying me to swim for a club and I would skip because I wanted to stay out late or be stupid and drink. My real friends didn’t care if I skipped out on a party and would have still been my friends anyway… I just wish I’d realized this back in high school. Plus, most of the people I would hang out with at these parties I don’t even talk to anymore nor do I want to. I have three close girlfriends that I hang out with whenever I’m home and I’d rather not waste my time trying to get together with people I never liked in the first place.

  12. Don’t you wish you could drill this message into the heads of all those high school kids that just don’t realize it yet? I know I do. It’s great that you’ve realized that there are bigger, better things in the future. Awesome way to live your life. 🙂

  13. Love this post and your honesty Haley. I am so sorry you had such a bad high school experience but that’s the experience that made you realize who you were – so in a way, it was a beneficial thing to go through for you. Fortunately for me, I had an amazing time in high school and was sad to leave because I had the greatest friends, an amazing boyfriend, good grades, etc. Right away, I surrounded myself with good people and did not worry so much about being the most popular girl in school. Had I not done that, I’de probably be miserable.

    Anyway, so glad you met your best friend and gone through this experience. You are stronger because of it.


  14. Very important post. I hated high school. it was miserable for me. Even now, I don’t like to talk or think about it too much. Sadly, I was still affected by my school time and social anxiety for years after- but it is reassuring to know other people didn’t love it too much either. When you’re older, so much of the stuff seems so petty and the ‘cool’ girls, weren’t really that cool. But I can very safely say- life after high school and even life after uni (college) is way better. Its fun and you can do whatever you want! 🙂

  15. Thank you for sharing this with us… seriously lady, I am glad you opened up about your experience! I can completely understand this, but at the same time I had a very different experience in high school. I LOVED both Junior and Senior year. Junior I had a boyfriend who I really and truly loved, and I became friends with all of his friends and it was just fun all of the time. We broke up, but then senior year came along and I had a huge group of friends I always hung out with and shared every memory together that is part of high school.

    My life was put on hold during college… freshman year I was so miserable where I was (I transferred from there) so the year was rough in itself. I suppose I had a few good months sophomore year at my new school… but it was at the end of that year that the eating disorder started to take over and ever since then, my college experience has been less than stellar. I am out of time now as I am graduating in May, so I plan to make my post college time that much better

  16. I didn’t mind high school…it’s not something I necessarily would want to go back and do again, but I didn’t hate it. The last three months or so of my senior year were just about picture-perfect, though, which I think gave me a solid pair of rose-colored lenses through which I see all of high school now. I agree with what you said about things not mattering, though. While that’s hard to remember at the time because your whole life is consumed by being in high school, things do change after graduation and the person you and your classmates are/the current position you and your classmates hold on the social ladder isn’t permanent. I look back at the popular people from my class (I’m a senior in college now) and most of them are still stuck in my dead-end hometown and haven’t made any new friends since graduation. Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with maintaining your high school friendships, but I do think there’s something to be said for allowing yourself to grow and develop new relationships which few of those people have done.

  17. Okay, I know you posted this like last week, but I never got a chance to read it and I’m glad I finally got to catch up. This was like reading my freshman year… but it continued through all 4 years of high school for me. Being secluded freshman year when I was struggling with my ED set the tone for high school. Of course I ended up finding running and developing a passion, but I never really fit in. My ED aged me so many years that I really just had one true friend I ever really have hung out with. And I’m okay with that. I think college is going to be great for me – my mom has always said that I was never a high school student, I was a college student in high school. Thank goodness I only have 5 months left of it. Sorry for the novel here, but I’ve never really had anyone that I could relate to on that note. Thanks so much for posting this.

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