I was fourth in line and one who always had a lunch box with biscuits and a tetra pack of orange juice. I was one who always signed up for either The Nightingales’ Choir or The Homemakers’ Club for our interest activity on Fridays, and belonged to the Charlie 1 platoon during CAT. I was always up for behind-the-scenes responsibilities for our school plays (I never liked being on stage) — I did backdrops, operated the sound system, covered our classroom with garbage bags, and swept the floor after every rehearsal. I was the typical, unnoticed high school girl.
Then during examinations, for some reason the popular dudes in class suddenly become aware of my existence! One even had a tactic of setting the mood by asking my girl seat mate to exchange seats with him starting subject one, so by the time that we’re on the subject that has the requirement, we’re already close. This would go on for days, and next thing I know it’s not just one subject anymore! There’s also one who had the smart idea of exchanging his scientific calculator with me during Science class, and would tell me to type the answer on his. Brilliant indeed, there’s not much talking and movement required. Another classmate would ask me to write his missed notes every quarter (our teachers would check our notebooks as part of our requirements), and because I love to write, I would, even going the extra mile of imitating his penmanship as if it was him who actually wrote the notes. The “can’t say no” syndrome has been in my system for as long as I can remember, and it needs to be fixed.
However, it was unlikely because I stopped being bright after grade school. My brain got exhausted early in life I suppose, and from then on I never aimed for another medal.
I was content with going to school with accomplished homeworks courtesy of the smartest classmate in our circle, recited memorized poems for the sake of passing, rare battle of the brains participation, and so on. My companions back then were very much like me, we were never royals — in short, we were the bully-able types!
I was quiet (in fact I never spoke when I wasn’t being asked about anything), which is why I couldn’t figure out why this boy wouldn’t stop stepping on me until I cry. The whole batch would tease the both of us for being secretly in love with each other (cue in “the more you hate, the more you love” saying) but a decade later, the presence of those signs are still nowhere to be found. Which confirms that I was just an ugly duckling and that phrase is a total bullshit.
What added to my already loser self is the fact that I had very strict parents. Well not the fact alone but.. okay. This is how bad it was. Once in sophomore year, we had to go on a field trip which was totally optional. Surprisingly, upon our adviser’s first head count, there were just three who were not coming, and I was one of them. My adviser asked us to convince our parents to let us go since we were only three and it would be nice if all of us could come and spend time together outside, as a whole class. Around three days before the trip, the two finally said yes so it was just me. I already told my mom about it on our adviser’s first plead, and I have accepted the fact that I’d be the only one left out (I looked at the bright side by thinking that it would just be a free day for me) so I didn’t bother trying again. After all, I know how firm my mom’s words are. My adviser was so eager she called home and tried to convince my mom. I was so embarrassed I wanted to press the hang-up button on the phone because I knew that conversation wouldn’t go anywhere. When I went to school the day before the trip, I almost didn’t want to talk to anyone because I didn’t want my classmates to bring up the field trip topic. I knew I was the kill joy/destroyer/whatever, because the percentage of our class was at 99, and if only I would go, then it would be 100! How proud our adviser would be if not for me! I wanted to tell to each of their faces to live with me so they would know. On the day of the field trip, my mom surprisingly asked me to get dressed and go to school. I was happy to tell my adviser that I would finally be going, and she asked me to hurry to go to the registrar and pay the fee, while she arranged the seats. The thing was, since I claimed everyday that I wouldn’t be going, there was no seat that was reserved for me. My adviser shared her seat with me, which was so nice of her (I love her up to this day!) but awkward for me because I was supposed to be laughing with my classmates. I swear I wished I just didn’t go! Haha! Well the situation was only until we reached our destination and I was free to sit with my classmates on the way back. Thanks for this unforgettable memory, mom!!
I was also that student who’s always prone to injury. I remembered once in PE class (still in sophomore year) when we were asked to do sprint. Our teacher reminded us to take care while running because some have the tendency to fall on the face when in the moment. I was eager to do it right but just a few steps away from the starting line, guess what, I still fell flat on my face despite the reminder! In senior year, my classmate accidentally cut the skin of my middle finger and left a crater which is still visible until now. I couldn’t recall how or why, but it was most likely because I was bully-able! It wasn’t painful but there was too much blood and it won’t stop from coming out. I remembered we were about to have a general assembly and the whole batch was panicking because the school clinic is situated at the other building. I can still remember the look on my classmate’s face, and although I was worried with how my mom would react, I almost wanted to laugh out loud because someone is finally stressed because of me but not because I caused it. Hahaha!
I honestly look at high school as just a stage, an inevitable phase of life that I couldn’t get away from. But all the booboos and bullying aside, high school played an integral role in making me ready to face an even more challenging stage that is college, which I consider the best part of my life. I’d probably construct a post about that too, when I have time to kill.
I like to give a shout-out to Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim, her post got me inspired to also write about how and who I was in high school! I didn’t belong to a cool Bevs group unlike her though. Hehe!
How about you, who were you in high school? Are you still the same person you were back then?