Sometimes it hits you like a sudden slap across the face. Other times you can feel it slowly coming on to you; you can sense it about to come over you like a piercing nerve hold across your body. You gradually realize that it is about to completely dictate your thoughts, your worries, your body language, your actions. It is the experience of walking into your average, everyday high school cafeteria. The everyday, cut and dry routine of pick food, buy food, sit with friends, and talk as you let the tensions of the school day melt away for the next forty-three minutes. Often times it’s anything but routine. Every move is precise; and your mind becomes a library of endlessly labored-over minutia is so irrelevant that it prevents you from having a normal high school cafeteria interaction, but more importantly it prevents you from being what you simply want most to be: just a kid. There is always the thought process that keeps telling you “just do it, just sit down with someone and have a normal conversation”; but that always takes a back seat to “find somewhere off in the corner to make yourself scarce, that way you know you won’t make any mistakes and people will still think of you as a ‘nice guy.’” When all is said and done, and this type of lifestyle continues throughout most of your high school career, you start to get a little fed up with putting up a barrier between you and the rest of the world. The constant separation you create wears you down physically, but most of all it robs you of something no kid should be without: the teenage years. When you figure out that a change is in order, and you have no idea what new strategy to turn to, you improvise. Then, one day, you decided to jump off the high dive into the pool instead of getting your toes wet and then running as fast as you can in the opposite direction. I believe that sometimes the best way to handle a situation is to enter one with absolutely no idea what you plant to do next.
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