I know this is such a cliché thing to say but it seems like just yesterday I was still
sitting at home on a Sunday night, fixing my things for school and for the
first time, I was scared and yet extremely excited at the same time. As I
tucked myself into bed, so many thoughts were running through my head like,
“will my hair be ok and will it be enough to make a statement?” or if I was
going to be a completely new person when I woke up and if I was going to be
remembered in the end for something I did or for something I never bothered to
do. I fell asleep that night with puzzling questions buzzing in my head and
woke the next day not as Jean Louise I. Chua, the teachers pet turned
rebellious 6th grade GSPA Treasurer but as Jean Louise I. Chua, the
high school freshman.

school seemed like such a big deal to everyone. No one really cared that it was
just one step closer to getting to college. High school to us was finally the
time when us kids got to feel like grown ups. It seemed like this completely
new dimension where we got to go to malls, parties, night outs, the beach and
have fun, go on drinking sprees, meet boys, hook up, break up and get back
together with them, dress up like it was nobody’s business and just live or at
least feel like we were alive.

         No one
cared about sitting down in class, taking down notes, passing projects, dealing
with terror teachers and trying to learn lessons in school cuz at the start, no
one saw high school as one big learning experience. Yet ironically, that’s
exactly what high school turned out to be except most of the learning wasn’t
done inside the classrooms.

guess when you enter high school you start having these little midlife crises
[except of course, we’re not in our mid lives yet. HAHA] and you start
wondering who you are or who you want to be or who you want others to think you
are. What becomes important are the people you surround yourself with, the
things you do when the whole world is watching and other petty little things
that we soon figure out are really pointless and stupid later on in the journey
that we all know very well as high school.

         I came
across a quote a long time ago that was situated in a regular classroom. The
teacher asked the class how to spell the word high school and like any other
day, a student raised her hand to answer but instead of spelling the word high
school, she spelt the word DRAMA. Because that’s really what high school is
full of- drama. People- people who we used to play with in kindergarten, people
who we used to run around without a care in the world with suddenly turn into
the populars or the geeks or the wannabee’s or the losers and then suddenly
right before our very eyes, there’s a world of stereotypes and clicks and a world
where a popular would never be caught dead talking or being seen with a loser
and that’s just that.

every click, we our had fights- crazy ones, our own sets of laughs, tears,
hugs, kisses- some meant and often times wasted but most of all, we had
memories- memories that will last a lifetime. Memories that can never be
changed or forgotten and if there’re two things that are worth going back to
high school for they would definitely be for the memories and for the lessons
we all unconsciously learned along the way.

         And as
the days, weeks, months and years have passed, a lot has changed but at the
same time, sometimes if feels like nothing has at all. The social barriers are
still there and sometimes I think they always will be but once in a while, that
wall goes down and it doesn’t matter what click we belong to and it just feels
really good to forget that we’re labeled as posers, geeks or wannabee’s and
just be normal people and what’s better than that, friends.

most important thing I’ve learned from this 4 year roller coaster this that,
the only thing I’m supposed to do is live- live the only way I know how.  I know who my friends are now and it took me
a while to figure that out but somehow, I did and I wouldn’t change them for
the world. With them, I know that I don’t have to worry about what other
people’s prospective of me are because it really just doesn’t matter and I can
always count on them head on to tell me the truth no matter how dirty and ugly
it can be.

only thing I can give myself is the beauty of life and living it to the fullest
because problems and drama will come and go and that’s just the nature of
things but life and opportunities only come once and when these things are
dangling right in front of you, the least you could do is grab unto it.

are so many things in life we wish we could take back and undo. Sometimes I
wish I wasn’t in such a hurry to grow up because seeing life through my kiddy
eyes makes everything seem so much better than it already is. At times, I also
wish that I had made wiser decisions but they have already been made and I have
already suffered the consequences of them all and that’s all I’m left with now.
But I do believe that everything happens for a reason and I guess that’s what’s
important – not that there’s a reason but that it happened because the things
we all go through really do just make us stronger and push us to keep going.

         I’m a
senior now and it won’t be long ‘til I’ll be singing that last song that’s all
about saying goodbye and ending chapters of our lives in order to start new
ones. In a few months, I’ll be walking through a new set of doors, I’ll be
walking down a new hall, saying hi to different people and in a few months, I
won’t be Jean Louise I. Chua- Perez, the high school retard who loved hanging
out with friends and being wacky. This time, I’ll be Jean Louise I. Chua-
Perez, the college freshman [this time more equipped than ever. HAHA.]

there are three words I could describe high school with they would be good, bad
and real. Because high school was good, it was bad but it was definitely real.
The friendship, the laughter, the tears and the memories were real and I sure
as hell am going to miss it.

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