Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
Among all the ruin and doomsday activities going in the world right now, my school debuted a hybrid learning plan. When I learned how the student body would be separated, I thought my life was going to end.
Before IWA made their plan public, I had already known from how other high schools separated their student body in an attempt to create a socially distanced environment that whatever IWA did was going to be awry for me. Yes, they would take our temperature on arrival at school.
Yes, there would be one-way traffic in the hallways. But the real kicker was a sentence that would effectively destroy my plans for this school year: “Students with last names A-J are in Group A and will go to school on Mondays and Thursdays, and students with last names K-L are in Group B and will go to school on Tuesdays and Fridays.”
Who knew that my birth-given last name would have so much power in determining my existence? This plan meant that I would not be going to school with my friends. Which meant I would have no fun at school. Which meant that essentially my entire senior year was done for! I felt like this was a kick in the shin when I was already lying prostrate on the cold hard floor! I was really tempted to say that my last name, “Fuller,” had a silent “Z” in front of it.
But as all people do with hardships, even ones as trivial as this one, I adapted. I am working toward getting through it and as a result, I am actually growing from it.
Trust me, though, the first couple days of school were hard. Seeing all the masks on all faces of people who I knew of but did not really connect with was not in my ideal plan for the perfect first of the last day of my school experience at the Academy. I thought I would be bored out of my mind, not having anyone to crack jokes with as I did with my best friend in Pre-Calculus last year. I thought there wouldn’t be anyone to laugh hard with to the point of tears as I did at my lunch table or anyone to have a telepathic moment with me, one where we both knew in our hearts that we would be each other’s partners for a project as soon as a teacher would tell us to find a classmate to work with. These thoughts troubled me, and I thought I would have the same feeling of dread every day I walked into school.
Reflecting on this now, I see how misguided my thinking was in this transition. Although it did not occur to me then, this seemingly terrible situation was actually an opportunity for me to grow, not only personally but also to grow my social network. Not having my gaggle of friends around me encouraged me to pursue new opportunities. Believe it or not, this is the first year in my entire school career that I have chosen clubs based on what I was interested in and wanted to learn more about rather than what I knew my friends would join. This shift in focus will allow me to continue to make more decisions that allow me to learn more about myself and my passions.
I have also become more engaged in class than I have ever been, participating in each class discussion instead of just cracking silent jokes with my friends. Through being separated from my friends, I have actually learned more about myself and tapped more into my inner potential as a student. Additionally, this unwanted but necessary split from my friends gave me the opportunity to pursue relationships with people who I had always been friendly with in classes but had not opened myself up to so we could move past the label of acquaintances.
Being taken out of my comfort zone and into this familiar but nonetheless new environment allowed me to make new, lasting friendships which continue to enhance my senior year. I have a new “squad” of people I know I can turn to when AP Computer Science makes absolutely no sense, to laugh with at lunch and to glance at when something weird happens in class. This is not to say that I have let go of my other group of friends. But I have enhanced my inner circle, having more fulfilling relationships that will truly characterize my senior year as being the best one yet.
Although I know there will be times when I will really miss my friends and long to go back to the “good ole days,” I know there will be equally and maybe even more fulfilling days where I will pursue new, beneficial opportunities and new, special bonds with my classmates.
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