In high school, for those of you who are home-schooled or have the blissful experience of going to a school such as the liberal arts school of Victorious where very little actual schooling goes on and, in its place, a lot of shenanigans happens that the teachers are ignorant of even though it's happening right in front of their eyes, there is just so much expected from you, both academically and socially. It's incredible the amount of (and I hate using this word because it's over-used so terribly but, what the hell) pressure.
I mean there is just pressure from every side.
- Your teachers demand respect and your full attention, which is quite difficult if you haven't slept in two days because you are doing different projects and logging in 12 hours at a time on Tumblr, as well as your full capacity as a student (and to be fair, these are not unrealistic aims. Without the invention of the Internet, we wouldn't have over half the problems that we do, I'm convinced of that fact. But also without the Internet, we would have a shit load of more problems. It's a never-ending paradox.).
- And then there are your friends, they need your attention and your help with their problems and you really want to be with them at all times because you want to make memories because the media focuses so much on how short life is (more on this ever-annoying plot line in a minute), because my generation seems to be focused on the idea that being alone is taboo and to be avoided at (pretty much) all costs. Girls don't even want to pee alone anymore, and why? Because we're afraid of being judged. Walking into the cafeteria without a person by your side, you can't help but think that others are looking at you and judging you. But think about it, if you were sitting at a table with your friends and saw someone walking in alone, would you even really think about it? You would go back to telling your friends how you "scored" last night (guys) or how your favorite band member got a new tattoo, again.
- Parents add just another level of pressure. They push you to be your best and when they feel you haven't achieved it they give you that look that makes you feel like the worse person on the face of this planet but I have generated a theory as to why this is. Parents push you to be your best because they can't help but think back to when they were your age (cliches are running rampant right now, oh em gee) and how they wished they had turned out better than they actually have (and unless your parents are Mark Zuckerburg and Ellen DeGeneres, they pretty much always wish this) and they want to push you hard enough so that maybe you'll reach your dreams, the ones they could not. (Just a theory, don't go telling your parents they're losers now because they aren't and that's really rude and obnoxious)
- The media adds probably what can be perceived as the most pressure. And, anyone who has talked to me in the past week knows just how obsessed I am with this movie at the moment, Allison from the Breakfast Club phrased it well, "If you don't do it you're a prude but if you do, you're a slut." It's a never-ending battle that never needed to be fought in the first place. (Okay this lecture is somewhat out of place here, but whatever. People nowadays are moving WAY too fast in relationships, aren't they? Or am I a prude? But I see all of these people just all over each other after two weeks and then the relationship just ends after a while and the vicious cycle starts all over again. I don't understand that. I think that taking things slow is necessary for a good, solid relationship to grow. But then again, I'm "Waiting for A" and looking for something big and long-lasting so maybe it is just me. My personality just works that way.) We live in a "Size Zero is Beautiful and Expected of All Girls" society where Twinkies were brought out of retirement because of backlash against dis-continuing them. Something has to change, fast. Too many girls have cried themselves to sleep trying to ignore the growling of their bellies because the media tells them that skinny is beautiful. Let me tell you a secret, guys worth getting to know, like girls with curves. (This comes from a valid source too, my brother actually. We had a discussion about this, and he did say several times that he, and most guys that are actually worth dating or having a relationship with, prefer curvy girls, not stick-skinny ones.) Personally, I am FAR from the skinniest girl out there, I have big swimmer shoulders that make me have to buy t-shirts that are baggy around the middle because they are the only ones that fit my broad shoulders, I have a solid core (no lie) but there's a small layer of blubber over top of them (although you can feel the abs down there, currently working on bringing them out more), my thighs are about the size of a Christmas ham and quite jiggly, my face is fat-ter than I would like that makes taking good quality photos difficult....I could go on. The point I'm trying to make is, I'm comfortable with the way my body is right now. I do go to the gym and work on toning it to be stronger and for my own self confidence, but I have come to the realization that I will never ever be the tiny size-two girl, and you know what, I no longer want to be. Sure I envy the size of the varsity volleyball girl's thighs, but I can work to achieve something similar to that that works for my body. I'm not interested in being the skinniest girl around. I have a big personality, a twig body couldn't handle that.
- We add our own pressure by thinking about all the above sources and how disappointed everyone will be if you fail this test or eat that candy bar. Let me tell you something. The whole entire universe centers around one point and that point, is not you. It's not me either. Brutal honesty hurts doesn't it? Try thinking about it this way: when you're 98 and sitting on the porch rockers in front of the nursing home, are you gong to regret the Kit-Kat you ate in 10th grade at lunch that made you feel like dirt? I seriously doubt it. You want good memories to think about in your last year, so curtail your plans and think too much about what other people think. (Miley Cyrus is a good example of this, watch her "We Can't Stop" video and then read the awful comments below. Does she care? Doubt it, because she was comfortable with what she did.)