Growing up I moved around a lot. I went to over seven schools by the time I graduated, so when I started high school, I made my mother promise that I could go to one high school for all four years. She kept her promise. Moving around so much made me outgoing, and taught me to make friends easily, but I always envied the kids that had grown up going to school together.
Back to school always reminds me of shopping. My mom would take me to Mervyns to pick out my school clothes, and I remember how I loved wearing the new crisp and vivid fabrics. I would plan out what I was going to wear for my first week, I was so excited. I also loved buying new school supplies. I still have my old purple trapper keeper and a few of the folders that are decorated with stickers, drawings and statements. I remember decorating my locker with posters of my favorite teen idols: River Phoenix, Corey Haim, and Judd Nelson. I still have a lot of my most treasured items in a bin in the garage. I will go back and look at them from time to time.
Writing YA really gives me the chance to tap back into those feelings, when I thought the whole world revolved around me and what was happening in my life. Everything seemed so important, so relevant, so desperate… I can see the same behavior now in my teenagers.
I’ll admit now that I did not enjoy high school. Not while I was living it, and not now looking back on it. For me, college was when I really came into my own, and I’m sure it has to do with being out on my own and finally being responsible for myself and my own decisions. I would go back to college in a heartbeat, but high school… I’m glad I never have to go back.
I know the experience is different for everyone, but regardless of the differences, we are all filled with the same uncertainty and self-consciousness at some point, just know this: You will get through it, and life will get better. In the grand scheme of things, high school is a very short chapter in your life, so enjoy it!
Stories About Melissa Series
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