Growing Up: Reflections by a High School Student
By Angelina Frances
Bringgg! My alarm screams, beckoning my eyelids to open and my feet to hit my cold wooden floor. However, my bed grips me, a warm hold that enwraps my entire body. My mind flickers to all the obstacles I will be expected to overcome today, and remaining in the safe haven of my bed seems all the more appetizing. Despite my deep desire, I finally rise to meet the morning, my will power strong. I trudge to the bathroom and brush my teeth. Up, down, side, top, up, tongue, spit, repeat. I meet my own gaze in the mirror and I’m appalled to see a mountain on my chin. There it sits, mocking me, a zit the size of Africa. My self control is once more tested as I fight all urges to cut open my face, to pick and pry until it bleeds out. After examining it until I feel even worse, I return to my room to pick out my garments for the day. I pull out my phone, dig through notifications, and check the weather report. I do this every morning in order to obtain an attractive outfit that is also appropriate for the weather that day holds. I pull out my favorite leggings, jumping up and down until they feel properly snug in all of the right places. Then, I pull an olive green sweater over my head, the soft wool brushing over my face. I scuff my way back to the bathroom to look at my potential outfit only to be disgusted. How did I ever think that those two pieces could work together when they clash so very badly? I rip them off and find myself back in front of my closet. After twenty minutes and all of my hangers on the ground, I dig my way out of a swamp of clothing and run downstairs to scarf down some cereal before I have to leave for early period.
Once again I pull out my phone and check all of my social media. I have a series of Snapchats from my friends awaiting me and over half a dozen texts to respond to. Then, I pull up my Instagram to see how many likes my latest post got. Eeks! That’s less than usual...I wonder if there was something about the picture my followers didn’t like...? Slightly dampened, I pull on my backpack and head to the car. My father takes forever to get out of the house and my already bad mood worsens. After many attempts at prodding him to hurry up, to show more of a sense of urgency, I find myself snapping at him, biting his head off. As we finally head towards the school, I feel a frown pull at my lips. When did I get so bitter? With one last glance in the mirror, and at my horrendous blemish that seems to almost appear bigger despite the powder I applied, I run to my first class of the day. Physical Education at 7 am isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but it could be worse. At least it’s a breezy class. Okay so I have had a bad morning. That doesn’t mean I can’t turn it around. Right? Wrong. I get to Chemistry, one of the only freshman in the class, to be enlightened on the fact that we have a pop quiz. Although it is my favorite subject and I know the material, a wave of anxiety splashes over me as I fill out my exam. After practically getting a stress rash over it, I am relieved to turn it in and check my grades shortly after. Good job, Angelina. All A’s. But you’re barely hanging on. Do you know how much smarter some kids are? More talented kids there are? Sure, you’re doing fine. But fine isn’t good enough. I slam my computer shut in frustration with my grades, with my teachers, with myself. I shove the laptop into my backpack which holds a plethora of papers that start to overflow.
Organize that later. After my theatre program CoSA but before study group.
In some miracle, I make it to lunch time. My friends rush over to me, comment on anything they can, laugh with each other, discuss, judge, hug. I love them, but my brain is overflowing too much right now to even really hear what they are saying. We gather on the field to eat. When did lunch turn into sitting on grass? Where are the tetherball poles? Or the wall ball courts? I sit down and bite into my salad. I wish it were animal crackers... Brinnggggg! I pack up my lunch bag and bid farewell to my friends. When did my life become so controlled by alarms and bells? The rest of the school day feels like a prison sentence, an eternity, a never-ending stream of lectures and notes. Now, despite the fact I’ve already attended enough classes to well fill out a regular school day, I find myself realizing, as I do everyday, I have three and a half more hours of class left. Wooo! CoSA! I swing by my locker real quickly to pick up my music for vocals, my ballet shoes, my tap shoes, my notebook. I miss Girl Scouts...and trips to the museum... and whatever happened to playdates? Now, hanging out is either going to Starbucks or Panera. I want to go to the zoo....
My feet point as hard as they can in dance, my head spins with lines of Shakespeare, and my throat aches from singing as I finally exit the school gates. The sun is already starting to dip below the horizon. Thanks daylight savings! Upon getting home, I feast from my fridge and lay down for five minutes. I can rest my eyes for just a couple of minutessss.... I wake up fortyfive minutes later, still tired, as well as angry at myself for wasting so much time. I get straight to work, busting out my math and chemistry homework faster than I assumed I could. You go!
See? You got this! I finish my remaining homework, and then go to study group. Finally exhausted and defeated, I get home and take a shower, washing away my day. I crawl into bed, my hair wet, with a large glass of water and a book; how I conclude every day. My mind wanders from my book. When did it become no longer okay to wear whatever the heck I wanted? And acne...? I wash my face more than anyone else I know! And honestly, I need to stop spending so much time on my phone...I wonder how that chemistry quiz went? And when did I turn into the kind of person to snap at people? Well...it was early in the morning and I was still half asleep....but still! And since when does school start at 7 am? And WHY. AM. I. SO. TIRED. ALL. THE. TIME? Torn away from my thoughts, I regain my spot in the book and get enveloped in the plot for a little while longer. Finally, after I am hydrated and sleepy, I set my alarm for the next day.#