For many of us, growing up really f*cking sucked.
Maybe because of your home life. Maybe because of your school life, sports, boys, girls. Maybe because people think you're a nerd, or maybe because you might not look like what people think you should look like.
Some people? Some people feel invisible.
Now, I'm hear to tell you it gets better. How would I know? Because I was one of those people. When you're living in it, it seems like there will never be a way out or a light at the end of the tunnel. But I promise you, there is.
1. No one looks like they do in high school forever.
When you're young, you have all this media surrounding you. High schoolers these days are constantly being compared to others on social media. Then, on top of that, you have friends or peers making you feel like you have to be a certain way.
Let me let you in on a little secret: It doesn't matter. Being who you are regardless of what you look like, that's what matters. When I was in high school, I had an eating disorder. Not many people knew, just two close friends. I constantly felt like I wasn't good enough, I wasn't pretty enough, I wasn't skinny enough, I wasn't girly enough.
It took me until sophomore year of college to realize I was perfect in my own way and that as long as I loved myself, eventually someone out there would love me, too.
2. College helps you find your place.
Often, kids in high school feel like they don't belong. Sometimes you can be involved in every sports, club or group and still feel like something isn't right.
Are you the kid who spends every weekend at home watching Netflix or playing Xbox alone? If so, then you probably feel exactly like what I'm describing.
Going to college makes people realize it's OK to be that person because no matter what it is you may enjoy doing, there's at least a couple of other people who like doing those things, too.
Not everyone is cut out for the party life, or the massive friend groups, or the sports, and that's OK. A college campus allows you to find who you are and encourages you to be that person.
3. As you get older, people start to understand you more.
The older people get, the more people tend to take them seriously. Sure, when you're between the ages of 18 and 22, people still think of you as being "too young" to understand some things, but there's definitely more freedom in growing up and graduating.
For one, most people are finally out on their own in college, and with that comes some understanding of responsibility. Now, I'm not talking so responsible that you're basically your grandparents, but responsible enough to the point where your parents will now allow you to house sit for them for a week and they'll trust you won't burn the house down.
For me, I've always been an "old soul." I always got along with adults better than kids my own age, I was interested in "adult topics," like gender issues, politics, equality, and most of all, I was adamant on making sure I always had a job.
So for the people out there like me, surprise! Finally graduating high school and participating in real life will make people see you the way you've always seen yourself: as someone who's intelligent and has something to say that cannot be minimized by your age.
4. Being able to do things on your own really changes your life.
This I mean in the most basic way. The first time I ever went to the doctor's office alone, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I need an insurance card? I need to know my family history for my great grandparents? Have I had headaches in the past three months? MAYBE IDK.
It's a very stressful situation, but as time goes on, you get the hang of it. You no longer have to make sure you have a ride; you can make your appointments around your schedule, not your parents' or grandparents' (because let's be serious, my grandparents brought me everywhere). And for girls...this means going to the GYM alone and being able to talk freely!
Now you get to discuss your sex life without lying. You can choose what birth control is best for you, and you can lose your sh*t about a lump you think you found without alarming the whole family.
Being an adult is great! (Not all the time, but most of the time!)
5. You finally get to be who you wanted to be all along.
I know I'm not the only "'OTH' obsessed" person out there, so to sum this up easily, I shall use a quote from Bevin:
Even though this show basically got me through high school, this quote is one of the bests. When you graduate high school, the person you were before no longer exists.
Sure, if you stay in the same town and around the same people, they'll always know who you used to be. But for the people who go to college, this is your chance to start over, your chance to do the things you never got the chance to do before, your chance to dress how you want, and look how you want, and think how you want. You no longer have people constantly making you feel like you're wrong for being who you are.
So trust me: It will get better. From the chubby girl in the back of the hip hop class who hit harder than any other, to the college senior who isn't afraid of people judging her for who she is and what she believes, I am living proof that everything falls into place.
Today it may seem like your whole world is ending, but believe me when I say that you have a WHOLE life ahead of you just waiting to be lived. One day, you'll wake up and feel a little bit better, and then maybe a day, a week, a month, or even years from then, you'll wake up and think to yourself, "This is it. This is what happiness is. I made it."