High school was easy for me academically, I didn’t do much studying but still managed to get good grades. I was very involved in clubs and enjoyed being busy.
I was fortunate enough to be part of the People to People organization which is a branch of the Peace Corps where students are nominated to travel to different countries of the world to learn about the culture. I was nominated and chosen as one of 31 students from my entire county to be able to spend 3 weeks in Australia and New Zealand. Talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity!! It was amazing, I was only 14 years old and was traveling with people who were at the end of their high school lives, so I only talked to a few people in my group. I wouldn't have traded being able to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and eating dinner in a Maori temple for anything. I saw some of the most amazing things and I was learning to be on my own.
I had a steady boyfriend for half of junior year and nearly all of senior year. Young love at it’s finest – he was a wrestler and a year younger than me, but I didn’t care. He was gorgeous and he wanted me...for a girl who wore big ole glasses to have a guy like him pay attention to you is amazing. It makes you feel as though you are the most important person in the world.
Being you and naïve allows you to think things are different than they are in reality. He was the first person I slept with and we were so careful about not getting pregnant, but with irregular cycles my whole life it was impossible to be 100% careful. I used to worry after every time we slept together that I was going to turn up pregnant, it was borderline paranoia. Little did I know that it didn’t really matter in the long run.
I ignored the signs that he was really a bad boyfriend for me for a long time - he was immature and didn't take nearly anything seriously. His mother HATED me because since I was older than him she thought I should have been the voice of reason...really at 16??? I don't think so! Who has rational and logical thoughts at 16??
The worst part about high school was insecurity...dear me, was I insecure!!! I felt all the time as though he was going to leave me but I think I hide it from him most of the time (little did I know that I wear my emotions on my sleeve for all to see and probably didn't hide it as well as I thought I did!). However, he was so immature and when girls really started paying attention to him, his hormones took over. Let's be clear, I didn't know until after we broke up (the 2nd time) just how many people he had cheated on me with...a few during the first round and a few during the second round of dating.
Being cheated on changes you, it's as though someone takes out all of your most intimate thoughts and lays them out for the whole world. EVERYONE knew what was happening and didn't tell me. It really took me a long time to deal with the long-lasting effects of being cheated on. Honestly, I think I am still dealing with it today because it changed me to make me question people when I don't like the way I am being treated - something I never would have done before.
My friends got me through all of this - thank goodness for them. I am still friends with several of them today. I do think it's true that some of the best friends you make happens when you are younger.
If you are lucky enough to still be friends with them into adulthood - hold onto those people, they saw you when you were the biggest idiot of any point in your life!