|Rachel getting slushied|
Last night Glee's touched on LGBT teen bullying and later that night MTV featured it's special "It Gets Better" where they followed three LGBT teens who were looking for acceptance from friends and family and society. I don't know about you, but high school wasn't a fun experience. I didn't fit into any of the social groups (although I look back at that with fondness now) and remember the stress of thinking your world was over if you got one bad grade. I'm not claiming to understand what these LGBT teens are going through today. As Glee pointed out, with Facebook and Twitter the ease of bullying has increased and is even more rapid. However, I thought it might be helpful to share how I got through high school in case any of you reading this are feeling like it's never going to get better.
During my short time in high school, I did manage to make one friend. His name is William and we are still friends to this day (you may remember him from this post). I had a major crush on him and flirted with him (okay, okay threw myself at him) but he showed no interest. After constant rejection I worked up the nerve to ask him what was wrong with me that he didn't find me attractive and he chuckled and responded "Kim, I'm gay." I breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn't a hideous creature and we quickly bonded over being outcasts in this bubble known as high school. He was a major crutch for me that I was lucky to have. I always knew I'd have a date to any of the school dances because gay students weren't allowed to bring same sex dates. We would usually find a hiding spot to eat our lunch rather than feel humiliated sitting alone together at the tables. He definitely helped keep me sane through it all but there was also another guy who helped shed some light...
My high school crush, Brendan a.k.a's the school's pot dealer (I always liked the bad boys) actually turned out to be a great confidant to me. While we never had lunch together or went to a dance together (le sigh) but he would answer my deepest, darkest questions during our AIM chats (remember those days?!). I would often wonder why guys would show interest in a particular girl. I didn't see the appeal but he would explain that they were giving sexual favors. My little naive mind was horrified! I quickly turned to the opposite view and was ecstatic guys weren't showing interest in me because no way I was doing that! Heck, I didn't even have my first kiss until I was 17-years old. Once I had that knowledge dropped on me... I looked at being popular and liked by boys in a whole new light.
I'm giving my two cents for those who don't feel like they fit in to any group. Sure, you can be super popular in high school and go on to do tremendous things. But you can also be unpopular and be capable of the same. The point I'm trying to drive home is that who you are in high school is not who you have to be for the rest of your life. You have the power to be anything you want to be and no person should tell you otherwise.
If I can send any message to teens it would be this: HIGH SCHOOL IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. High school is only 4 years, which is a VERY small fraction of our potential 90+ years of life (yes, people are living that long nowadays). What helped me survived was knowing that there was life after high school. I knew that once I graduated I'd be making my mark on the fashion world in New York (and I did!). I say having a broader perspective on life and not feeling like this little minuscule period of time is larger than it is will definitely help you get through the tough times.
How did you survive high school?