Monday, 2 June 2014

The End of an Era | My High School Story

So today was my last official day of high school before I go on study leave and only have to come in for exams. We received our yearbooks and leavers hoodies and got everyone to sign our old shirts. Even though I know that leaving school means the start of greater things, I can't help but feel a little sentimental when I am reminded that I have left.
My overall experience at high school has been emotional and I hate to be cliche, but it has been a roller coaster for me. Each year has brought different things, some good, some bad, but I wouldn't change any of my experience as it has made me who I am today.
I apologies for the picture overload in this post.

I think it's safe to say I've changed a little over 5 years!

In year 7 I was a chubby, small, chipmunk-faced 11 year old who thought that high school meant I was completely independent and all grown up. I soon realised that that was far from the case. High school meant work, meeting new people and of course cringeworthy hair styles. In year 6 I could easily sit on my hair, it was that long, but in year 7 I stupidly decided to cut it into a bob (thankfully this occurred after picture day!). And of course I could never forget the time I let my friend set me up with a boy who looked like the milky bar kid (and still does to this day), only for us to stand awkwardly next to each other and never speak, boys were a foreign thing to us year 7 girlies you see, and it's easy to tell why that 'relationship' ended after a few short weeks.

The year 7 to 8 transition period when I thought I was too cool to do anything

Nothing particularly eventful happened in year 8 but everyone thought that they now ruled the school because they had successfully made it through one whole year of high school, looking back it is a ridiculous thing to think but it appears that every year, a new set of year 8s go through that phase.

Year 9. What can I say about year 9? For me year 9 was the year that I got noticed by boys, and when I say noticed, I mean they actually started talking to me because I'd returned from my summer holidays with glowing, tanned skin; significantly longer, sandy blonde hair and... I'm sure I'm forgetting something... Oh yes BOOBS! Because I was one of the early(ish) bloomers, I immediately caught the attention of a variety of males and at one point, I apparently had three boys fighting for my affection. I'm sure it wasn't as dramatic as I made it out to be as when I say 'fighting' I mean they were having some sort of competition to see who could give me the longest hug, one of them even sang to me in order to win my heart. But alas, his efforts were in vain as the one I truly loved was taken by none other than the girl I called my best friend (dun, Dun DUN!). It was painful for me so in an attempt to show him what he was missing, I accepted a Facebook relationship request from one of my many suitors and got my hair caught in his glasses during our first painfully awkward kiss. Needless to say that went nowhere and he still seems to hold a grudge against me for ending the relationship, despite him being the one that threw a whiteboard marker at my head as I was walking home.
I also went on my first school trip at the end of the year. We went to Holland and I also attracted the attention of an awkwardly cringy year 10 boy from the school we went on the trip with, as well as a younger boy from my own school.

You can tell why I was such a heartbreaker in year 9.

Year 10, this was the year I learned something about myself and a lot of other people. I'm not going to turn this into a pity post and claim I was bullied, as I don't think I was, but I believe I was the favourite target of a girl I used to be close friends with. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it started when we were doing the annual school show in September. We went into the auditions as good friends and exited the stage on closing night hating each other. My mum thinks it was because I got a microphone in show and she didn't and that this event sparked some sort of jealous anger inside her. This deep set hatred just built and built until January 2013 when she brought in cake to school and decided for whatever reason that she was going to throw it at me in front of most of my year and the year above. She spread rumours about me and told the 'popular kids' my secrets to hopefully become a part of the 'in crowd'. I spent most of that day being consoled in the toilets by a girl in the year above. Despite this horrible event, I wouldn't change it, as it brought me closer to one of my best friends, Hannah, aka: the girl who consoled me in the toilet. Needless to say that year 10 wasn't my favourite year but it made me learn who I could trust and who would bail on me when things got difficult. The girl who threw cake at me has since moved schools, but I haven't had a chance to talk to her about what happened, nor have a had an apology for what she did.
At the end of the year I went on another school music trip to Austria, where I grew closer with my fellow musicians, who helped me forget about the awful year I'd had.

And here I am with one of my closest friends Sarah (left) and my saviour Hannah (right)

This is my favourite picture from the trip, the boys are both in the year below and the girls I am with all moved up to college last year, but I am still in contact with all of them. (Left to right: Andrew, John, Becky, Me, Amy and Jess)

Finally, year 11, probably my best year in high school. It wasn't easy to start with as I had to find a whole new group of friends and was luckily taken in by one of the loveliest, most genuine people I know, my best friend Aniqah. 

Aniqah, a 5"3' ball of energy!

As well as getting to know a lot more people for who they truly are, I had the honour of being one of the leading roles in the school production: Galinda in the musical Wicked. The show was a medley show of five musicals from each decade from the 1960s to 2010, so as well being cast as Galinda (or Glinda, however you prefer it), I was cast as Miss Hannigan in Annie and opened this section in a rather inappropriate, tiny outfit whilst pretending to be drunk to sing the song 'Little Girls'. 

Galinda, the 'Ga' is silent

Annie humour

I have also been on many great trips this year including India, Paris and Poland. All of the trips have given me the opportunity to get to know more people in my school and I will never forget them.

In front of the Taj Mahal with my friend Helen

In Krakow in Poland with members of my history class
At a theme park in Paris with Helen, Jess and Zahra.

Today was emotional as it made me realise the effect that each individual in my school has on me and to appreciate what you have while you have it. It was hard to say farewell to my friends Sian and Jess (seen above), who I have known for 12 years and are going to a different college to me. I have also had two marriage proposals today (joke ones obviously) because I quoted Star Wars for my yearbook comment. 

“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 
'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.” 
- E.B. White, Charlotte's Web.

My drama teacher Miss Keller, who has helped me so much through these past 5 years
My music friends who all have a special place in my heart

All in all I have enjoyed my high school experience as I believe it has made me a better person. I'd also like to thank the people that I have met at my school for making it a worthwhile and keeping me sane. If you'd like to see more pictures or hear more about my time at high school, I will be putting a video up on my YouTube channel sometime soon.

Charlotte x

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 
- A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh