Dear High School,
It’s me. Four years later, here I am. Well, maybe not four years exactly. Four years and some days, just under four years, hell, maybe close to five years– you know as well as I do that I’m really bad at math. Bad at math, bad at science, and yet you never cared. Every August your doors opened, and your halls welcomed me like the cold, distant home I never had.
Oh, high school. Where do I begin this letter? You were there during my weeaboo anime phase– when I thought characters with eyes bigger than their faces was the be all end all of existence– my “emo” phase (eyeliner on both lids and smeared to hell), and literally everything in between. You were there every time I wasn’t, from the day I skipped school after being humiliated in front of the boy I then-liked, to the time I skipped to go to Denny’s and get some much needed breakfast during a not needed class. You were as steady as the people inside you never were, and often the only sanctuary I actually had in my life. No matter what smile I had to plaster on, what clothing I had to wear to keep an image up anywhere else– my life within your halls was my own. Thank you for that. You gave me everything, even though you owed me nothing.
And not only were you there during my most embarrassing moments (the apples in the shirt, anyone?), but you helped me blossom and heal from those times. You were the one constant that always made me feel secure, because if I flubbed up, at least I knew my way around without a map. Because even if I did mess up, there was at least one other person in your hallowed halls commiserating with me, someone who managed to feel what I felt, even if there was no name for it. And you were there in my best moments too: my best jokes, my best essays– all the days I felt like I was on top.
Despite all we’ve been through, this is sort of embarrassing to write, you know, a letter thanking you for everything you and your brick walls did for me, but it’s necessary. It’s necessary because, come August, I won’t be walking into those hospital-esque hallways anymore. I won’t be around the same people I’ve been around, taking the same teachers I’ve known for a while, and I won’t be at ease with everything like I was there. So even though being thrust in unfamiliar territory is a thought too terrifying to wrap my head around, I feel more than capable of facing it. Thank you for letting me work out the kinks in my personality. Thank you for never changing, even though I did. Thank you for your unfailing ability to make me feel at ease around anyone and everyone inside you. But most of all, thank you for letting me figure out who I am.
Well, it’s two o’clock. Time to zip up my robe, wait two hours for a thick piece of paper, and never come back. Thanks for everything.