High School is Quicksand

I will have been at this school for nine years and it’s starting to make me feel unshiny.

Like a blanket that’s been washed too many times and isn’t soft anymore or a word that’s been said too much and has lost it’s meaning.

After my second year here, I surpassed my record of how long I’ve stayed at a school. To most people, two years is not a long time to stick to something. For me, it felt like an eternity and a half. Add on another seven years to that, and I feel like I’ve been stuck in the same place for way too long.

I’m an indecisive person, and I have trouble with commitment. I pay for a year yoga membership and end up quitting after two weeks. I can never decide on a favorite TV show because one week it’s Grey’s Anatomy and the other it’s New Girl. I switch from one friend to the next because I get tired of the same advice.

I watch my friends go to the Arctic and win debate championships, and sometimes I feel like because I’ve been in a monotonous routine at the same school for the last nine years of my life, they’re moving forward and I’m stuck. That terrifies me.

Every year we are assigned new lockers. Someone else switches sides, friend B moves down three. A high school locker room is commotion. It’s people shutting doors and screaming answers and someone else carving their name into the metal, claiming their ever changing property. Oddly, I always end up with the same locker every year even though every one changes lockers each year. There’s always so much noise, so many people trying to find their books or their friends, and I’m always in the same place.

You spend a lot of time with yourself when you’re stuck. A lot of time thinking about moments, ideas, emotions. Everything becomes real when there’s no one to talk to but your own thoughts. Everyone else is literally too far away, someone is in Bermuda and another is in New York. Sometimes though, people are right next to me, but it still feels like they’re across the world.

Maybe it’s because everyone is falling in and out of love and I feel alone. Maybe it’s because everyone has something to be or feel or want, and I’m still empty. Maybe it’s because I can’t talk to someone about being stuck if they’re not stuck too.

I can say a million things to convince myself that everything is okay, but at some point, giving in is inevitable. Whether it’s when I watch everyone go to Morocco on a Duke of Edinburgh trip or when my average stays stuck in the same place year after year. It’s when I realize my complete lack of movement is sending me backwards instead of keeping me safe.

That’s the hard part about growing up; it feels a lot like being in quicksand. Quicksand is called quicksand because you have to get out of it fast when you fall in, not because the time it takes to be completely enveloped is actually anywhere close to quick. Survival and A Thousand Ways to Die tell you that in order to keep from sinking further into the sand, you must cease all movement.

When I think about how much work I have and how I can’t get under a 95% on my History essay because God forbid my teacher doesn’t think I’m brilliant and that there’s no way I can finish this French homework before my mother comes in and yells at me to go to sleep, the only solution I came come up with is just to stop.

If I think about it more I’ll sink a little further, and if I start one thing I’ll have to do them all. I also know that if I completely stop, I’ll get absolutely nowhere. I won’t go down, but I also won’t go up. Life is just one big vat of quicksand; I can’t move too much, or I’ll drown, and I can’t stop because I’ll get nowhere.

Wikianswers says “the best method to get unstuck is to not get stuck in the first place.”

 

Emily Peotto

Emily Peotto is an aspiring writer who likes to talk a lot, sing loudly, and psychoanalyze her friends. She wants to write about things that matter, and she wants to figure out what matters. A special thank you to the people that brought her here today (you know who you are).

3 thoughts on “High School is Quicksand

    1. Emily PeottoEmily Peotto Reply

      She is very much alive (and replying to you right now!) but she’s not too sure why she’s stuck; the one question she hasn’t found the answer to yet. Maybe I made a wrong turn, a wrong decision, or maybe I just didn’t put in enough effort; didn’t fight as much as I could’ve. But I’ve found a lot of beauty in being stuck, I’ve found a place to stand and from that I have found friends who will stand with me. I think, though, I am building my world to be great, and in ten years, I won’t be as stuck. I hope you’re building yours too. Thank you for the lovely comment, all the best xx

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