High school problems
April 29, 2012 3:36 PM Subscribe
I am a teenager who needs advice about school and the realities of it from Normal People.
Hi. I'm 16. I have a longish history of depression and anxiety for my age; I've been having panic attacks since I was 11 and have spent the last 3-4 years as a shut-in. The issue grew to the point that I laid in bed and cried all day, every day. I begged my mom to let me be homeschooled (which, if we're being honest, was me laying in bed and crying and occasionally using Khan Academy and iTunes University). A year and a few months ago, I finally found a therapist who I really like and who really gets me and it's great. In October, I was finally put on medication, and it helped tremendously. In January, I dual-enrolled at a community college. All in all, I'm doing a million times better. I have a few friends! I've actually been to a party! I get asked out to lunch! My first day of my first job is tomorrow!
I still feel like I'm missing out, though, so I applied to a magnet high school, to enter as a junior since I lacked the credits or drive to enter as a senior. (I've always been on the track to graduate in 2013. If I do this, I'll graduate from high school in 2014.) It was a super long shot - it's an intensive art school, and I applied to the theatre "major," having never stepped on stage in my life. It's also very academically rigorous; I wasn't really an ideal applicant in that regard, either. But I was accepted. They liked me. I'm still in shock.
I wanted to return to high school because I feel so weird and left behind. In many ways, I think I'm stunted and kind of defective. I loved school. I loved learning. I loved projects. I kind of want to have the option to go to prom, and to have a freaking yearbook, and have that camaraderie with my classmates and teachers. It's a very small, well-regarded school; think <100 kids, one of the best schools in the state. I should be totally thrilled. I think I am totally thrilled, with reservations.
There's the anxiety of being the new kid when these people have been with each other for a while already. There's the weirdness of graduating a year later, of being almost 19 (I'm a July kid) instead of almost 18, and that setting my academic career back. The age issue seems silly, logically, but it hangs in the back of my mind constantly. Logically, I know college happens at different times for people. It is not a regular, rigidly scheduled thing that happens at 18-22. I don't think less of people who don't immediately go to college or don't complete it the first go-round or whatever. But I'll still graduate at almost 23, and it bothers the hell out of me.
Going back to school is scaring me. All I can think is that they'll hate me, I won't be able to hack the AP classes, I'll be the ugliest, least talented person there, I won't make any friends, I'll embarrass myself, etc. It was all I wanted, and I still want it, but now that it's become real, I'm scared shitless. I'll be old. I'll be new. It's making my heart rate rise just typing this out.
Normal People, please bring me back to reality and tell me I'm being stupid. Is the age issue not even really an issue? What is high school even like? Am I being ridiculous? Do you think going back to school is a good idea?
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.