Walking down the dusty halls, the sound of lockers slamming and people talking, reminds me of why I wish I was still in bed. The roar of laughter creeps into my ears, as five boys laugh about who passed gas in math class and whether or not anyone could smell the bodily function that we all seem to find rather amusing. It's sad, really, to think this is the world I encompass every single day of my mediocre, mundane, teenage life.

I have hated the high school world since I walked in freshman year. Not only did the people repulse me, but the surroundings I found myself in were often chaotic, enclosed, and with no chance of escape. I often would lay my head down on my desk for a moment and dream of a far distant land, one where I am free from the chains of this four corner room full of wooden desks, plastic chairs, and computers that only work on special occasions. However my stream of consciousness is quickly guided back to the teacher, who seems to find it funny that I'm too lost to know the answer. I sometimes wonder how some teachers sleep at night, it has to be incredibly hard.

I don't mean to sound cynical, but, well, I am. I guess I had a picture painted in my head before I approached the doors of George Washington High school that was anything but close to reality. I imagined people would be smarter, more open minded, and freedom would ring softly in my ears. Going to private school for three years made me yearn for the freedom that had been taken away by catholic principles and stern teachers. Yet while I approached my first day of freshman year with a bigger-than-life attitude, when I opened the doors to this foreign world, I began to feel small. Not just elfish small, almost microscopic, maybe even invisible. I wish I could say that feeling went away with time, but somehow it just got worse.

Eventually I got used to being insignificant in a world of fashion and status. I actually enjoyed the fact that popular kids wouldn't consider me to be one of the "cool" teens. I found their ideas lame, their problems petty, and their personalities completely empty. Maybe I'm being harsh, but when you find that most of these kids are weed smoking, party going freaks you automatically realize popularity has no perks, and it definitely is not glamorous. However, it doesn't make listening to them whine about their boyfriend's new car or their girlfriends inability to open doors any better.

I have my large group of friends, the few people who have a tight grasp on what they are and what they really want. As much as I love being around them, high school just doesn't improve no matter what. It's a battle you have to fight, a necessary evil, and often a painful experience. It's a weird period in my life. I'm so close to being a woman, and yet I still have the wonder of a child, that my awkwardness only grows continually as I reach my senior year.

"Angela, what is the answer to number seven?" My English teacher announces, as he notices me tapping my pencil incessantly against the hard wood of my desktop. For a moment I do not hear him, or maybe I'm deliberately not hearing him. Then the familiar face of my English partner in crime, giggles at me, and I realize I am humiliating myself. "I..I don't know..," the words stumble out of my mouth like uncertain movements. He gives me that look, that I-expect-better-from-you-Miss-Angela look, and I do not meet his gaze. For if I do, I might feel just an inkling of how he must feel, and that scares me. The bell rings, and I promptly get up to leave class. A girl runs after me and hands me a piece of paper. On it is an invitation to one of the high school sororities parties. I roll my eyes, ball it up, and throw my best jump shot at the trash can in the hall. I have no problem with girls who feel the need to have a sisterhood to feel accepted, but I do not wish to associate with their so-called social parties. I can imagine what it would be like, the smell of Mary Jane floating through the air, guys and girls rubbing parts of their bodies against each other, and a lot of really cheesy rap music. Maybe I'm a nerd, but I'd much rather sit at home and watch Friends reruns.

"Oh my God! Guess what, Angie?" Suddenly I'm beginning to feel nauseated. I can almost hear her squeaky giggle, as she begins to tell me about how "fabulous" her weekend was. It's always fabulous with girls like that. Everything is always so darn great. "I got a new bracelet! Isn't that fabulous?" Or, "I went to see a movie with five guys last night, isn't that fabulous?" And lets not forget, "I got drunk, passed out, and had to go to the hospital. Isn't that fabulous?" It's like they are oblivious. Everything is fabulous, and yet somehow they are still dumb as rocks. So she begins smiling, like a cheesy Britney Spears video, as she tells me about her boyfriend. I zone her out, for the simple fact that if I listen, my sanity will no longer cease to exist. She hits me in the arm, "Isn't that fabulous?" She says. I roll my eyes and nod and her squeaky giggle suddenly fills the hall. And I thought concentration camps were bad...

I haven't had a defining moment in high school, and neither have I figured out how to deal with hours of homework, AP tests, SATS, or unapproachable teachers. I get stressed as easily as I breathe, and no matter how hard I try to relax, there is nothing that soothes my aching need for straight A's. However, I have not got straight A's since freshman year, and I am just beginning my second semester of my junior year. Yet somehow, I still have to prove to myself that I can.

I wish I could write cruel letters to all those who promised my high school years to be fun and entertaining. They are the biggest liars in the history of humankind, and I will forever blame them for the naive notion that maybe, just maybe, I'd enjoy high school. If they walked in my shoes for a few days, they would see what a different world it is. It's a world I would never wish upon anybody. And just when I think I'm winning the battle, I get knocked right on my keister.

I'll never understand high school, or the people in it. I've learned that I am blessed for the views I do have, the brain I have been given, and the hope that I take with me every single day. I will never be able to get down to a level where I have to be something else to feel good about my life. That is the one thing I respect about myself, and about the lessons I have learned from high school. I will constantly be bombarded by giggly girls with stories to tell, and invitations to really awful parties, and the feeling of being so small in a world of so many strangers. I will constantly have to prove myself on tests, and let my failures go without letting my dreams falter. When I leave these doors, I'll leave behind me the experience, the pain, and the stress of the four years I had to endure here. I won't look back, for if I do, I might never truly be able to make it in the world. I will leave this battlefield, the one I've learned to accept, and know that I have survived. I may be a little bruised, and definitely a little changed, but hopefully I will come out of this relatively unharmed. And trust me, I will not, ever in my life, go to a high school reunion. In fact, you can quote me on that.