Feb 29, 2004

It's Different Now

(sorry, this one's going to be serious, instead of funny)

I know. At least, now I do. One of the things I’ve seen over the past couple years is the odd infatuation that some freshmen have with juniors, seniors, and even sophmores. It’s like, if the upperclassman pays attention to them, they’re hooked. And that’s what I couldn’t figure out. Even if the senior was a complete idiot, and the freshman was a total ditz, at least around him, they still got together. Why? I couldn’t figure it out. But now I know. I know, because it happened to me.

It has to do, as most things do, with power. It’s addicting. It’s invigorating. And it comes in many ways, one of the purest being power over another person. That’s what it is. What happened between “Joe” and “May”, the senior and the freshman in that order, was last year, and I was essentially a spectator, because May is one of my better friends (you know who you are, May). She was thrilled, captivated even, about the fact that anyone would like her. Especially a senior like Joe. And you know what they say, love is blind. At least this kind of love. So the slightest bit of attention Joe paid to May, she loved it. And the thing is, she loved it so much she became his slave, almost. He could’ve asked her to do anything and she’d just be enthralled by his voice. In her eyes, his faults had disappeared and his merits were inflated. The way high school works, to freshmen, people of a higher grade level are elevated to almost a god-like status. Joe was invincible and perfect in May’s eyes.

Actually, that much I got last year. What I didn’t understand is why Joe liked May at all. But again, now I know. He got a near-complete power over her. It’s like she was hypnotized; she’d do anything for him. And let me tell you, that power is more addictive than drugs, than alcohol, than anything. It’s because with the other ones, it’s your body. Physically, you can’t do without it. But with this? It’s mental. You can live without it. But the biggest thing is, you don’t even notice it. It just kind of seeps into you and makes you feel good. It’s the reason that certain seniors that I know are basically playing the freshmen girls. Okay, take one of them, for example. After school? He’s surrounded by a cadre of girls, following him everywhere and hanging on to his every word. It’s really kind of disgusting. But then again, if it’s you, you don’t notice it.

Unless…you’re looking out for it. This is how you know. It’s probably someone younger than you, and they look like they just can’t get enough of you. That’s how I knew, when a couple months ago, I was waiting for my ride, and a bunch of freshmen girls that I knew were waiting there too. They can’t talk to you without giggling and acting like complete morons, really.

What happened that finally got me was probably because I wasn’t ready for it. Didn’t really see what I was doing until it was kind of late. And then I really couldn’t do anything about it; it’s complicated, but for privacy’s sake, no details.

And you know what happens if you get caught? It’s going to hurt yourself, whoever’s addicted to you, and in my case, someone else too. That last one’s the worst part. When you’re good enough friends that you’d do anything for her because she’s the nicest person you know, and then you hurt her like that…it makes you feel like crap. As you can probably tell, that happened to me too. You know who you are…I am so, so sorry. Truth be told, I’d rather have sat with you anyways.

But back to May and Joe. They broke up at the end of last year, when Joe graduated and went to college. And then something interesting happened: when we started school again in August, May had really matured. She got burned, and she knows why, too. I’ve got to commend her for that, even though I thought she was an incurable ditz a year ago.

I need to talk about something else, too. It’s high school dating in general. My friend Joy recently posted her (and others’) views on dating in high school; I pretty much agree. It really doesn’t work. You think you’re in love, everyone else’s doing it, and the biggest and stupidest reason of all, it’s a status symbol. Somehow, it’s “cool” to be dating; it automatically kicks you up a notch on that screwed up heirarchy that some people at school live by. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s “true love” or something, go for it. But…how do you know? Do you love the person, or just like them? I’d say that 99% of the time it’s the latter.

I’m sure many of you are thinking: But (insert name here) and (also here) are dating and they’re getting along fine! No, seriously. Getting along fine? Those words, used in conjunction with dating, just don’t work. At least in high school, everyone wants different things. Girls want romance and kisses, guys (usually) just want the girl.

As Joy said, it’s really kind of sad when people celebrate their one month anniversary.

The worst is when you start dating a close friend. Why ruin a perfectly good friendship by going out? Really, though, most relationships don’t work out, and even if they do, almost none make it though their first year in college, if not the first few months. Things change when you go to college; people change. What’s not going to change is the close friendships that you have, but your girlfriend or boyfriend? It’s going to be different, and chances are you’re not going to like it. You’re going to feel tied down in college if you’re dating someone hundreds of miles away. However, when you’ve got a close, close friend that you can tell anything to anywhere in the world, you feel secure, like you’ve got support with you.

Some people want “love” in high school. Me? I know now. I’d rather have friendship.

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