Lately I feel like a different person. I don’t feel like myself. I think I’ve gone crazy. Every time I’m faced with the option of doing something stupid or reckless, I just think, “Why the hell not? I’m young. I’ve never done wrong before. I think I deserve to break the rules.” But that’s not an excuse. At all.

I see all these movies and TV shows, where these “normal” teenagers are out till the break of dawn, partying and laughing and going on spontaneous adventures and having the time of their lives, making those so-called “memories” which are supposed to make your teenage years some of the best. I never did that in high school. Sure, I stayed up until the break of dawn – but I was studying. I stayed home on Friday nights and watched movies because by the time the week was over I was so worn down that I didn’t have the energy to go out. None of my friends did.

But it seems like as soon as we graduated, as soon as we were officially freed of our obligations to AP classes and tests and homework and extracurriculars, we decided we had done enough and missed out on enough to be stupid for one summer. And it was fun, for a little bit, at least.

But I just feel so rushed. All the time. I feel like I haven’t had enough life experience to be going to college. I’ve never been kissed. I’ve never liked a guy who has liked me back. I’ve never told a guy I liked him. I’ve never experienced real heartbreak or gotten insanely drunk or been involved in any kind of major drama – the closest thing I can think of was applying for leadership positions in my junior year.

And I was okay with that. I used to laugh at people who dabbled in such useless and pointless drama – I didn’t have the time or patience to deal with any additional stress. But I feel like I was too apathetic, too nonchalant, too withdrawn from everyone else. I thought I was being smart, but you know what they say: you will never get to be old and wise if you were never young and stupid.

So I’ve been trying to compensate for all these experiences I missed out on, just to get them out of the way before I leave. I don’t want to be wide-eyed and naive when I get to college, which I’m not, but it’s only through vicarious experiences that I feel like I can say I have some notion of what “real life” is like. But I feel like I’ve just gone off the deep end. I’m trying too hard to have my life be like those movies and TV shows, when I know in reality, no one has a life like that.

I need to stop and enjoy this time. This innocence. This freedom from stress. With the people I love. When the time comes, all those experiences I feel like I was supposed to have had by now will happen. But until then, I need to slow it down.


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