Guest Post by Amanda Springob
Before I started high school, I had an image about what my life there would be like:
There would be glamorous, statuesque figures who listened to weird, mysterious music. The hallways would be crowded with perfectly dressed kids who went to football games, rode in convertibles with their hands in the air, whispered secrets between classes, held boomboxes over their heads on their crushes’ lawns with power anthems to proclaim their love, and handsome boys who played hooky and danced on parade floats.
Girls would treat the classroom like a runway, and Saturday detention would be the perfect atmosphere for making lifelong friends.
In my mind, high school was this end-all, be-all experience— just like in the movies. I half-expected Troy Bolton to serenade me as I walked through the doors my first day of freshman year.
That image was shattered when I started high school and quickly realized that it was not everything John Hughes’ movies promised it would be.
Instead of those easy, breezy, beautiful figures— there were loud, awkward, oily, regular people just sort of standing around.
Instead of convertibles, we had rust-covered cars. There were no Bowie cassettes playing on repeat as we drove— it was Top 40 and One Direction.
Where was the excitement? The laughter? The thrill of being a teenager?
Weren’t these supposed to be the best days of my life?
When I was young, I thought something was wrong with me. I thought I had messed up because my teenage experience wasn’t how it was supposed to be. I thought that living in a small town made me doomed to live a life Molly Ringwald would have rolled her eyes at.
No one in their right mind would want to watch my movie.
But now as my college career is coming to a close, I can see that I was so wrong.
The fact that my teenage experience wasn’t like the movies didn’t make it insignificant— it made it real.
Looking back, I wish I would’ve learned to find joy in simplicity. I wish I would have taken time to notice the comfort of knowing every single face you see in town. I wish I would have run to people because they were kind and supportive, and not because of their rank on a social ladder. I wish I would have seen that there can be joy in the smallest things, even just eating pizza with my mom on a Tuesday night.
I wish when I was a teen, that I would have known that just because life isn’t scripted, edited, and formatted to fit your TV screen— that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful.
Be thankful for every experience that is thrown at you, no matter how awful and annoying it might seem on the surface. Be grateful to live in a small town, a huge city, suburbia, Nowheresville—or wherever you are.
You don’t need to live in a glamorous place to have a fulfilling life.
Slow down, look around, and appreciate the moment you’re in. Someday, when the credits are rolling and your movie is ending, you’ll be glad you did.
“There’s a lot of beauty in everyday life. Isn’t that kind of the point?” – Greg Daniels, Screenwriter