The Bruin Voice

Emma’s Dilemma: Denial

Emma Garcia, Online Editor-in-Chief

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I think I’m in denial about leaving high school. Of course, it’s hard to tell if you’re, you know, ACTUALLY in denial. Mostly because denial is not admitting that something is happening and basically lying to yourself, but I’m fairly sure I am. Almost entirely sure, for a matter of fact.

As much as I don’t want to be here anymore, I also know that I will miss being in high school. Especially since I know that as time goes on, the rough edges of my bad days will soften and the slightly less rough edges of my good days will soften even more and I will be left with a huge blob of nostalgia. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when I will have my mid-life crisis and buy a ridiculous yellow Porsche.

But I will admit that high school was not all bad. Some of it was good, fun even. Sure, no one really enjoys going to school at seven in the freaking morning, but there’s something nice about being in the same boat as everyone else. Even on a bad day, when it’s raining and there’s no gutters to keep raindrops from soaking your head and you have a test and you have an essay due that you didn’t finish and your teacher’s an asshole, at least you’re united with everyone else.

Then again, maybe that’s not a good thing. I think I just paraphrased Atterberry’s reasoning for not letting us decorate our caps and gowns. He reminded us that “we were the class of 2016, not the individuals of 2016,” somehow destroying any sense of individuality this school has taught us the past four years. If I’m being completely honest, I never would have decorated my cap anyway, I’m not good at that kind of stuff.

Anyway, I think I’m just going to set aside my confession that I enjoyed being one of many instead of just one. But I also think you can blame that feeling on the college admissions system. They put so much pressure on us individualizing ourselves that I am not prepared to actually be an individual. I don’t think I’ll be any good at it.

The best thing to make me feel better about this whole ordeal is to make a list. Lists make me feel good about everything. A list will also help me make this list longer, which makes me feel less lame. After all, this is my last blog post and I don’t want it to be shorter than a page. My french fry post was shorter than a page but it was a lot funnier than this one. I did try to write an appropriately funny post these last couple weeks that would go up before this one, but it just didn’t happen. The only result was five or so half completed posts I gave up on.

Oh and one thing about the lists: they are in no particular order so no one should get offended at the way I arranged them.

On to the first list! (Which is very superficial by the way, since I am in denial and cannot be trusted to actually be thoughtful or insightful.)

The Top 10 Things I Will Miss From High School:

  1. A printer I can use for free
  2. Computers I can use for free
  3. An easy schedule to remember because it never changes
  4. Cheap cafeteria food
  5. School being really close to my house
  6. Free textbooks
  7. Everything else that’s free that I can’t remember right now because I literally take it for granted
  8. The paper
  9. Seeing my friends eight hours a day, five days a week
  10. Playing Halo in Calc (because Mr. V is the one teacher that understands that there’s not much he can teach us after the AP tests)

See? It’s horribly superficial. For me to write something less superficial and something a therapist wouldn’t say I wrote “to just distract myself,” I would have to write the lists in the middle of the night. And we all know if I did that I would just end up crying for an hour and fall asleep feeling deflated. That doesn’t really fit into my schedule since I’m still expected to go to school every day (which is ridiculous because we haven’t done anything meaningful in months).

On to the second list! (Which is just as superficial, if not more so, as the first.)

The Top 10 Things I Will NOT Miss From High School:

  1. AP Government and Economics
  2. AP Literature (so long, Huckleberry Finn!)
  3. PE (seeing people in their PE clothes when I am not in PE clothes, and never will be again, makes me more grateful than anything else in the world)
  4. Cheap cafeteria food (sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s the equivalent of someone chewing up good food and spitting it out)
  5. Never having a signal (I’m still pretty sure the school somehow found a way to block the cell towers)
  6. The theater (before this year I would have had the theater as my top thing that I WOULD miss, but now it has become one of the things I’ll be happy to be free from)
  7. The one minute bell
  8. People who walk slow in the hallways
  9. Couples who make out right in front of the classroom I need to go into
  10. People who play their music on their speakers in the hallway and people who sing to themselves super loudly when it’s quiet (just put your headphones in, everyone)

I think it really says something about my classes, me, and my general motivation to do work when the first three things I list are classes.

So there are my lists, which only further confirm my denial. But I think there’s not much I can do about that now. I’ll just have a horrible freak out either the night before graduation, at graduation practice, or at graduation itself. I would be worried about making a fool of myself but I know plenty of people who will make even bigger fools of themselves before graduation so I’m not that worried.

I’ve never been very good at closing these posts. And it’s even harder to write this now since I know that this is the last one I will ever write (at least for this paper). I think the best ending would be to just end in the middle of a sentence, it would at least be more poetic, but I don’t think I have the resolve for that sort of thing. So instead of coming up with my own last words, I will steal the last words of a TV show.

To be honest, I found this quote by just Googling “famous last words of a TV show” and this was the first one that came up, but I also think that the universe chose the exact right one to show up first. If anything, this is the quote that describes this blog and possibly my life. And it doesn’t hurt that the quote comes from one of my favorite TV shows.

So here is the final quote from the TV show “The Office,” spoken by Pam Beesley (played by Jenna Fischer):

“There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”

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Emma’s Dilemma: Denial