Old Book, New Book… and Doubts

So at the end of June, I graduated from high school (yay me). There was the painful 3-hour ceremony, the silly gowns and even sillier hats, and the enormously endless line of graduates. There was a girl who passed out and a girl who screamed, “I did it mom!” on stage, as one might expect at such an event.

I hated it quite cheerily, to be honest, and was happy to just go home and devour an absurd amount of food. Did the ceremony mean anything to me? Not really. Besides making it official, I couldn’t have cared less whether I had a ceremony or not. As far as I was concerned, I had graduated at the end of my last exam. The grad night was superfluous.

But holy crap, I survived.

I didn’t punch a single person, either (though there were both teachers and students who I think fully deserved it). And I didn’t lose my individuality, or my creativity, or my friends–or any of the things my grade nine self was worried about. Okay, so the first two years were full of kicking and screaming, but I got used to it, realized it couldn’t define me, and managed to endure my way through it. There were moments when I perhaps didn’t try very hard on homework or didn’t study enough for tests, and maybe I could’ve gotten a better grade in chem this year if I’d really applied myself, but after the stress and the tears and the resentment, I’m just glad I’m done.

And hey, grade 12 wasn’t even that bad. It was kind of fun.

Will I miss high school? Not likely. I’ll keep in touch with the people there who mean most to me. I’ll keep close to my heart all the experiences that truly influenced me. But there was so much about high school that I didn’t agree with, I think I can safely say that leaving it behind will be no problem.

Except that university comes next.

With the closing of one book comes the opening of another, right? Which is fine and dandy. I closed the book on elementary school and opened the book on high school. I closed the book on high school and am now opening the book on university. But…

See, this is where I don’t know what to say. The frustration I mentioned earlier, yeah, that’s still here. It’s probably been here since the summer started. I feel so tired, so frustrated, so done. Why? What the heck’s wrong with me?

I keep trying to get over it, to figure out what’s wrong, to do something to feel better, but the summer just keeps slipping away and I just keep letting it go. This is not okay. This is not okay. But I don’t know how to make it okay.

And I’m realizing that it’s only getting worse the longer I let it go because I feel like I’m running out of time until the end. Instead of university being the start of a new book, it’s becoming the end of my freedom. I keep thinking of it as the time when all the torment I went through in high school is going to kick up again, only ten times worse, and I have just a bit more than a month to enjoy what freedom I have left.

I’m not getting cold feet, no–I’m still going to go through with university (seven years to be a vet, woo), and I’m going to take it head-on, aggressively, like any warrior would. But I guess I’m just worried about myself. The way my soul feels, right now… this is not okay. This is not an acceptable way to feel for seven long years.

But getting back on track–one Saturday following grad, I had nearly all my family together for a BBQ, celebrating my graduation. Having both my mom and dad’s relatives in one place, seeing them come together as a single community, was wonderful. And when my mom gave a speech, thanking my family for their support, for helping me become who I am today, I couldn’t have agreed with her more.

I am approaching university, something I am prematurely and subconsciously dreading, without any idea of what to expect in reality. But behind and around me are all of the words of support and love that my family has given me, and beyond that, the words of my friends. They have indeed helped me get to where I am, and I know they will continue to do so.

I don’t know where I’m headed, but I know that I will need them, friends and family alike. I will need their words, their love, their belief.

I sincerely hope that university doesn’t start the same as high school did, and I don’t let the same resentment and loathing build up. Even if I do, though, I’ll have to cling to the faith that I can do this. I somehow survived high school, so I can survive university, right?

To all my family and all my friends who have been with me this far, thank you. Thank you for all your support and love, both in past and in future. I will try to lend the same to you in return.

This is what heroes do, isn’t it? When they are afraid, they reach out their hands to the ones they love most. They reach out for help.

What new book has scared you the most?

May you always have support to lift you when you fear that you may fall.

-Alex

PS: I should introduce you to my Aunt Catherine. She is my, em, eccentric aunt who’s been dying to make an appearance in my blog. She likes to dye her own wool (she’s got sheep) with bark (apparently?) and play the tin whistle. Aunt Catherine–I’m still waiting for you to learn to skip across the yard while playing your tin whistle. I’d give you a whole blog post to yourself if you did that ;)

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6 thoughts on “Old Book, New Book… and Doubts

  1. What an honest post.

    I can’t possibly know what you are feeling at the moment, but I truly don’t think you need to worry about losing your freedom. What does freedom mean to you? Maybe you will have less freedom regarding ‘free time’ at uni, but the older you get, the greater freedom you have. I never went to uni, but many of my friends did, and I never saw them happier. They loved it. The FREEDOM. Dear dear Alex, please do not worry, you will be okay :) Uni is nothing like high school anyway, from what I’ve heard. And even if people are arsewipes, you have greater freedom so as to avoid them.

    It’s hard closing a book, even if you hated every chapter and every word within it. My upper school days were the worst. Truly the worst. I was beyond thrilled to leave school, but I still felt lost. I still cried on the last day. Saying goodbye to anything is so, so hard. I was scared of what my future held; I was scared about what would happen WITHOUT school. School is such a part of everyone’s life for so, so long, and suddenly it’s all gone. It IS scary. Anyone who denies that is lying to themselves. But now is the time for your new book to open, and it will be the best one yet, I am certain.

    It’s funny though, hearing about high school graduations. We don’t ‘graduate’ from school here. We just leave. On my last day, we had a leavers assembly, and we had to wear ‘smart attire’ (how British, jeez).. and we sat there in silence listening to people talk (as all our assemblies ever were). Was kinda sad, though, even so. The teachers got up and spoke of their memories of us from when we first arrived, and our old Head of Year was saying, “Make your lives amazing. For, when you walk out those doors for the last time, it’s all up to you.”

    Indeed, it is up to us to write the story of our life. And since you’re a writer, Alex, surely you can write yourself a good one ;) :)

    • What does freedom mean to me? Ah… I expect it means being able to choose what I do with my time. I’m afraid that having to study and write reports will take away from that… for the first couple years, anyways, when the courses aren’t necessarily what I want to study. *breathes slowly* But yeah, I’ve heard uni’s not that bad… Haha, “arsewipes”. That is a very accurate description for many people I know…

      I can’t even imagine entering a life without school… like, I still have seven years to go, at least, so I won’t have to imagine it for a while. I can understand how it would be daunting. But I find it kind of sad, that you don’t really have graduation over there. I didn’t care much about mine, but I don’t think it would be the same not technically “graduating”.

      Ahha, I hope so :) I’ll try my best, that’s for sure, and I guess I’ll just have to trust myself.

      Thank you for your comment though, and your support <3 It really helps :)

  2. To answer your question, I’m going to have to say high school. After middle school, I had to go to an “international academy” high school, with none of my close friends, and it was daunting, realizing that I would be completely alone on this new endeavor.

    Good luck at university! My older sister was scared before her first year at college, and she tried to do everything she wanted to do on her bucket list. My parents drew the line at sky-diving. After she graduated, my sister continuously told me that although college is daunting, it is not something to be afraid of. She compared it to a wild animal, and said that in order to do well, you must take control of it and not the other way around. I hope that little bit of advice helps!

    • Man, I couldn’t imagine it, having to go to high school without my friends there. That sucks that you had to :/ I guess it’s a reminder to me to never take friendship for granted.

      Thank you :) It does help, yes, thanks :D I guess I’ll just have to roll up my sleeves and wrestle with the beast for a while until it knows just exactly who’s boss around here.

  3. You worry too much. Yes, there will be things ( and people) who will make you ringe and roll your eyes, but and this is a big but, you will have for more opportunities to stretch that powerful intellect of yours. Take what you want and need from it, ignore the naysayers and the bs and you will be fine, n to just survive, but thrive. Keep yourself connected and grounded, let your spirit continue to soar and your artistic self meld with the ride…I have great hopes for you. And if you need to do nothing right now, the do it. Things will come, or not as they are supposed to. Go read the Tao of pooh for fun lol.

    • Aha, I know I do ;) I shall have to face this as a true adventure–scary, possibly dangerous, but an amazing opportunity to explore the world and make my mark. Haha, I will! Thank you for your words of support and encouragement :) It helps a lot.

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