I started writing up a Facebook post this morning and got three paragraphs into it before I was like, this would make a better blog post, because I’m really going off the edge here. So, hey! Blog post!
Re: the senior picture thing going around.
I moved out of my dad’s house when I was 16, to go to school in a different city (half because I wanted to go to that school and half to get away from my Stepmonster). Because it was a dual-enrolled community college thing, my senior year of high school was also my first year of college. I had no senior pictures. I had no senior prom. I had no senior sneak-out or cut day, whatever the kids call it now, no senior trip to Disney. I did have a graduation, but it was part of the same graduation that people graduating from college that semester had, and there was only one other person my age in the ceremony.
Instead of senior year, I got my ass up for 8 AM classes every day no matter how much we’d been drinking the night before (and trust me, art school kids can drink a LOT) and all my still-in-regular-high-school friends were always asking me how I did it. How I made myself get up and go to school. How I made dinner for myself and took care of laundry and bills. How I made myself do homework. Uh, living with functional alcoholics I’d been doing most of that shit for myself for ten years already. I think I was in the second grade when I was given an alarm clock and given the responsibility to wake myself and my younger step-sister up to get us out to the bus stop on time.
Anyway. My point? I had an unusual senior year, and I didn’t have a country behind me saying how sorry they were I wasn’t getting the “real” experience. I did get a real experience. It was my experience, and like everything else that’s happened in the last fifty years that’s just one thing that helped shape me into who I became. And if anything, I was relieved. Have y’all been to high school? I couldn’t stand most of those people and was glad I didn’t have to keep pretending to be having the best year of my life with them!
So this post is for that one weird kid in high school who is secretly fucking thrilled to death that they don’t have to deal with the social trappings that come with senior year. I bet you can’t tell your parents that you’re so excited you don’t have to see those people up close and every day. I bet your big regret about not having a prom is that you had a great excuse for why you weren’t going to go and now you don’t get to use it.
And all of this isn’t to say I haven’t loved seeing everyone’s senior pictures; they’re lovely, and I wonder what it was like to dress up and get those taken. You all look so sparkly and new and full of dreams.
But I didn’t have that, and my life hasn’t been an empty wasteland because of it. Hopefully a good portion of today’s senior class will feel the same way.