Live Through This

All in Good Time

I spent most of my time in high school thinking I was “doing youth wrong.”

Illustration by Dylan

Illustration by Dylan

My favorite high-school-party memory involves the first boy I ever kissed throwing up on me. We were 18, he was drunk, I was sober, and I was trying to comfort him as he stumbled around in our mutual friend’s backyard, the alcohol making him sick and silly. I was sitting on a bench; he came up and started telling me how happy he was that we were friends, because, in his words, I was “poetic, like Britney Spears.” Then he threw up on my shoes. It was perfect in its absurdity, and the memory has always stayed with me.

The People Who Bring You High School in movies or on television would have you believe that everyone just sprints through all of life’s standard checkpoints unimpeded. I believed them, and as a result I spent roughly 75% of my high school experience thinking I was “doing youth wrong,” because I spent more time playing DreamPhone and eating ice cream and laughing with my best friends on Saturday nights than I did drinking out of red Solo cups and making out with boys or breaking laws. This is not to say that I NEVER went to a party or made out with anyone or broke a law (OK, I didn’t break any laws, but I did wear silver lipstick for most of 1998, and that counts as far as I’m concerned), but my life was not a party scene from a John Hughes movie. For a long time I thought that meant I was terrible at being a high school student, when all it really meant was that I was just pretty good at being myself.

My friends and I were pretty tame, partially because it was just our nature, but mostly because we were obsessed with getting into good colleges and terrified of anything that might get in our way of doing so. We had SO MUCH FUN together on low-key weekend nights, just driving around, singing at the top of our lungs, making up stupid personal jokes, gossiping about people we had crushes on, and imagining what our lives would be like after high school. When we did go to parties they were usually at my sort-of-boyfriend’s house, and I was always the designated driver—drinking has never really been my thing, and I was worried about everyone getting home safely—and so I wound up watching a lot of people get drunk. Unlike in the movies, my friends’ drinking wasn’t necessarily cute or fun or interesting, and it certainly didn’t lead to any major romantic moments or life revelations; it was just a bunch of drunk nerds trying to act cool while throwing up in the bushes outside of someone’s suburban house. These parties were filled with people milling about, holding red cups filled with horrible high school liquor decisions (just because you like vanilla and cinnamon does not mean you should mix flavored vodka with flavored schnapps). But I usually had a ton of fun anyway, because I ate candy and laughed a lot instead of getting drunk and puking a lot.

People seem to think that they need to have a very specific set of experiences between their freshman and senior years that will turn them into interesting, fabulous, well-adjusted adults—which is a complete lie. Sneaking out, getting drunk, having sex, doing drugs, skipping class—all of that stuff is optional, man. And all of it is easily accomplished post–high school, regardless of what the Teen Movie Industrial Complex tells you or what your cousin’s friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s best friend says about how many people you need to sleep with or how many parties you need to attend to be considered “normal” by the time you go to college. We buy into the idea that our teenage lives have to be produced by Baz Luhrmann in order to be fun. But no one told me that half of the “teenagers” on TV are actually in their 20s and actually millionaires, so of course their lives looked more fun than mine! It’s hard to reproduce a party on the scale of The O.C. when you live in No One Cares Falls, Iowa.

Some people party a lot in high school, and that’s totally fine. I didn’t. I spent my downtime trying to figure myself out, just like people who experiment earlier than others are trying to figure themselves out in a different way. There’s no set timetable for this complicated and messy process; some people just take a while to figure out what they like by trying a lot of things. My life may have seemed dull to some, but I had a good time on my own terms.

I worried about whether I’d done high school wrong well into my 20s. And when I got to college and met people who seemed to have a million experiences and stories to share about their wild high school times, like massive road trips or a party where someone fell from a roof into a pool, I felt like maybe I had missed out. But as I got older, I gained a little perspective; I realized that no one has the “perfect” high school experience, and that everyone is a little bored (and boring) sometimes. The only way I could have done it “wrong” would have been if I’d forced myself to do things I wasn’t ready or willing to do. I had a good time in high school, and it shaped the person I am today: I read, I listened to records, I drew, I stared at the ceiling, I laughed so hard my stomach felt sick, and though sometimes I worried that I was missing out, I still found things to fill the holes that adolescence likes to punch into one’s heart.

Life is better, and weirder, and more ridiculous than you could ever imagine, and filled with characters that stay with you long after the so-called “big moments” of your life (proms, parties, first kisses) have faded away. The surroundings don’t matter as much as the person you are when you’re in them. ♦


  • raisinbrancy August 13th, 2013 11:49 PM

    This really resonates with me. I go to an all girls school, and even though my sister went to one, and my brother to an all boys school, they still managed to get ‘lives’. Hanginng out with people of the opposite sex, parties, drinking, spending money. For whatever reason, this hasn’t happened for me. And I can’t help but feel a resounding emptiness. My life and friends aren’t even the cheesy disney channel remake of a John Hughes movie. They’re just boring.

  • thisisausername August 13th, 2013 11:55 PM

    This is gold

  • Mayabett August 14th, 2013 12:10 AM

    This is just something I was talking about to some high school friends yesterday. I’m leaving for college next week and I definitely feel like I didn’t take advantage of my high school years like I should have.
    My boyfriend mentioned something about how he had had a few casual makeouts before he met me, and I was kind of like, oh shoot, why wasn’t I making out with people in high school? It’s like I didn’t realize people were doing these things and so young too… Regret just kind of hit me then, and being sad, and being jealous.

    I didn’t have any fun in high school. I had my own personal problems and I feel like because of that I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do, and just experience high school. I wanted to be going to parties and meeting people because I enjoy that, but at that time I wasn’t able to. And I still feel shitty about missing out because I can do what I want in college, but it’ll be new to me and old news to other people.
    I feel like I kind of missed the time where I could try new things with other people who were trying them too.

    I know this article is about reassurance and such, but I still wish I had had those high school hookups and parties and what not. I have friends who tell me I wasn’t really missing out, but that’s not really the point. I feel like I missed out on learning from mistakes by being too careful and naive. It makes me feel so much younger than everyone else.

    • Danielle August 14th, 2013 12:17 AM

      I definitely missed out on a lot in high school, too. I had to grow up very fast, and missed out on that sort of floundering, messy time, so I felt like I missed out for a long time. I never had a boyfriend or hooked up with anyone in high school, so even when I did start dating, it felt like I was far behind.

      The good news is that the feeling doesn’t last. When you start building the life you want to live, you stop thinking about the one you didn’t get to have.

      College is going to be SO GOOOD, just wait. :)

      • soviet_kitsch August 14th, 2013 11:07 AM

        danielle, this is exactly what i needed to hear. thank you <3

  • kathryn-s August 14th, 2013 12:15 AM

    This was really reassuring.

  • Kal August 14th, 2013 12:16 AM

    I am still in high school, about to be a senior actually, but I completely relate to this article. It is weird because I feel like no matter what your high school experience is/was like, you’ll still have some sort of fear that you missed out or you did it all wrong.

    I have spent four years playing multiple cards, parties on the weekends and a million illegal activities that were completely harmless but still poor choices. Yet, when I read this I wonder if I missed out on the low key weekends with the kid of friends you keep forever.

    I suppose we will always look back on the past and wonder what could have been, but as you said the choices we make both good and bad shape us into the people we are.

    Love this

  • dumbpling August 14th, 2013 12:24 AM

    I already thought this was relevant, then I got to the “No One Cares Falls, Iowa” part. Exactly. My little Iowan college town doesn’t even have anything open late (that we could possibly get into) besides like, Walmart.

  • Harley August 14th, 2013 12:31 AM

    Thank you for this! I have my first day of college in about a week and I was scared that I would be the only one who didn’t “live enough” during high school. I watched movies, listened to music and read books whenever my friends had parties because I don’t drink and I just don’t like parties. Also, I haven’t kissed anyone or had sex (or even held hands!) ever so I feel better knowing that no matter how weird I am, I will probably find a similar weirdo to hang out with.

    • lacecat August 14th, 2013 8:56 AM

      Harley I feel you. I’ve never kissed anyone or had sex before too

  • Eryn August 14th, 2013 12:34 AM

    I really, really love this article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • nikkiduck August 14th, 2013 12:43 AM

    This really resonates with me. My brother, who is 9 years my senior, had the quintessential high school experience, and I did not. so I often felt like I was “doing it wrong” too. but when I look back, I realize I did have fun in high school! (well, when I wasn’t too busy being a moody teen and hating everything. you know, standard stuff) sure, sometimes I wish I had certain experiences I missed out on, like dating, but that’s alright.

    I do often get the same feelings now, in college. I’m going to be a senior this year, and I keep wondering if I did it wrong! I never did the roadtrip thing or go to a crazy spring break, but I have been having fun so far. And I do have a whole year left… :)

  • RiotViolet August 14th, 2013 12:54 AM

    My sentiments exactly. I felt like I totally missed out in high school because I was a total loner. Like seriously I didn’t get invited/go to one high school party or have a boyfriend. I haven’t even kissed a guy for reals yet. I had no friends to just hang out and talk with.I feel so late. I’m terrified that this will follow me in college (i’m starting in 2 weeks) because i basically have no social skills. I just don’t want to be lonesome anymore!

  • femmefatale11 August 14th, 2013 12:58 AM

    this made me feel so much better. i’m about to go to college in a little over a week. and i never went to any stereotypical high school parties. but i did my own thing and that was a lot more fun for me. thanks for reminding me of that!

  • atticus August 14th, 2013 1:15 AM

    As an incoming college freshman, this article really spoke to me. Thanks Pixie

  • Suzy X. August 14th, 2013 1:31 AM

    “I didn’t break any laws, but I did wear silver lipstick for most of 1998″


    But actually I can kinda relate to this as well. In 10th grade my Girl Scout troop had a realization that we just weren’t high school movie enough, so we initiated our collective “bad” phase. Didn’t last too long though. Just one summer of clumsily sneaking out to see boys on the weekends and eventually getting caught on MySpace by some GS officials. OOPS.

  • AngstyTheBrave August 14th, 2013 1:50 AM

    Ah this is good. Thankfully my high school is not as cliquey and everything as shown in high school movies. My junior high was more like a high school movie with popular people and rumors and ugh, Nobody cares at my high school, in a good way! We’re all so tied up in our own lives we don’t care if “so and so is dating random guy omg”. Which is partially why I hated myself during junior high and love myself now. Ah, youth.

    I’ve also been listening to “Teen Idle” by Mariana and the Diamonds a lot lately and it sort of has the same thing going on, wasted youth and such. I sort of like it but I don’t relate to it that much and holy hell does Mariana have any non-depressing songs? I love her though.

    • AngstyTheBrave August 14th, 2013 1:52 AM

      Also, silver lipstick = life. And I just got my first black lipstick this summer. If there are a few things I feel like I missed out on during my youth, it is a goth phase. I always wanted to dye my hair black. I still have time.

  • itsRAEdiculous August 14th, 2013 1:56 AM

    I’ve been out of high school for 3 years now and I still think about this a lot. The media’s depiction of high school is nothing like high school as I or anyone I knew experienced it and it leaves kids feeling like they did it all wrong. But I really really liked high school even though I never went to a big party and spent most of my time with friends from church.

    Thanks for writing this piece. It’s important for high schoolers to know that there’s no wrong way to do it as long as they’re enjoying themselves.

  • Zoe August 14th, 2013 3:03 AM

    I’m sixteen and still in high school and I definitely feel like I’m missing out. I have two really good friends, but neither of them go to my school and I don’t really like my school friends, as mean as that sounds. I’ve never had a boyfriend or kissed anyone, I’ve never drunk alcohol, I’ve never smoked a cigarette… I really want all these experiences, partly so I’m not a massive loser in college, partly because I’m bored and just want to do something exciting, and partly because I feel like I’m missing out on doing all these things while I’m still young and stupid and everyone I do it with is young and stupid

  • amyhodkin August 14th, 2013 3:19 AM

    I’m not really sure what years High school are but I always count this as secondary school so the important exams I had were my GCSE’s and I did so average. So when I was around 15/16 I went to camp outs with my friends and drank, and I went to ‘parties’ and drank and our year had this thing where the majority of us would meet up at the park on a Friday night and uhh, get drunk.

    It was very embarrassing and actually really scary when I think about it. I had some weird experiences with boys trying to do stuff and just kissing random people. It was definitely not like a movie. But it does make me feel better knowing I sort of had the chance to experience that- I didn’t get particularly high grades so the teachers didn’t care about me. The only thing I went to school for was to see my friends and I did have a lot of fun. They’re definitely not the best years of my life but I did have a few good memories and I have made my closest friends through doing it. Now I do have really high grades in a creative subject I love doing and I will hopefully be going to an art university next year – Maybe this will be what I was expecting!

  • AnoHana August 14th, 2013 3:25 AM

    I really agree with this article, but the thing is that I don’t have a problem with not doing all those things, but OTHERS have a problem! Whenever I’m at a party or something similar and all my friends and classmates are drinking, and I’m like “No thanks, I don’t really drink.” they act like that’s not normal. It’s rather annoying…

  • Nahs August 14th, 2013 3:41 AM

    Wow this article really got me! Most of my life I felt the same. I’m almost reaching my 30′s and used to feel like a kid of some sort or a “late bloomer” in all these experiences.
    I had quite a different life from the rest of my peers. I practically was a cocoon my whole adolescence: Incredibly overprotecting familly wich ended in me only going to a couple parties ever, not having sex until my mid 20′s (later I realized that I just had to live some things before that, and I was glad it happened when it happened), not many significant friends besides my childhood ones (wich attended different schools than I) no “childhood adventures”, “coming of age epiphaniess”, etc. Later when I got into college, it was like a second chance of living my adolescence again: Playing in rock bands, feeling anger, wondering the city by my own, my first serious fights with familly….and then I kinda spent a couple years dealing with a deep deppression that made me delay even more in other life experiences while others just lived on. But I regret nothing! I feel that all the things in my life from then have happened at the exact time they had to; and even now if most of my friends are forming their own families while Im just starting to deal with moving out on my own, I dont really care! I feel like I finally have total control of things and it feels awsome. So it doesn’t matter when things happen, but to trully live them when they happen (if they do happen) and to evercome difficulties, learn from them and to fight for what you want for your life untill eventually you achieve them by yoursel.

  • unicornconnect August 14th, 2013 4:30 AM

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

  • amyhodkin August 14th, 2013 4:32 AM

    And has rookie mag ever written an article about death? I know it seems like such a grim subject but right now the thoughts are getting to me. It’d be nice to just read something.


  • enthusiastictruckdriver August 14th, 2013 5:26 AM

    I really loved this article and it was exactly what I needed to hear right now! However, I wish it was that easy to figure out whether I’m the party type or the low-key type (or maybe a bit of both!) without all this pressure coming from my high school friends… I have a couple of friends who sneak out, party, and do drugs, and I have some who take pride in not doing any of that. I feel like there’s pressure coming from both directions: you feel left out and behind because you’ve never done drugs or made out with a guy or whatever, but you also feel like you’re ditching your innocence for wanting to do those things… When I had my first real drunk experience at a party, I wasn’t even able to enjoy it because I was freaking out about whether I want to do it or if it’s just out of peer pressure, or if it’s too early, or too late… I guess it’s inevitable and you just have to figure out what floats YOUR boat, but it does get overwhelming at times.

    • wc August 16th, 2013 7:25 PM

      I get where you’re coming from on wishing it was easy to figure out which type you are… I have a group of friends who don’t partake in parties or anything at all like that and judge people who do I guess, but some of my closest friends have been the ones who sneak out and go to parties and get really drunk. I love being able to go out with my friends and just having meals and things but other times when my other friends are at parties getting drunk I just want to be there having a little more fun doing stuff like that because sometimes that’s what I like to do but can’t do with my group of friends (but I never get invited to the parties anyway)

  • lissielove August 14th, 2013 5:26 AM

    Thank you for writing this, just thank you :-)

  • lacecat August 14th, 2013 9:00 AM

    Thank you so much for this. I’m a current senior in high school and I’ve never had those experiences show in movies, like going to giant house parties and having like a billion boyfriends. And my highschool is nothing like in the movies even though I live 20 minutes away from Hollywood. But maybe getting drunk, etc… will be my college experiences

  • o-girl August 14th, 2013 9:23 AM

    This article is now very important to me. I love you and your writing, Pixie! xxxx

  • GlitterKitty August 14th, 2013 10:10 AM

    This resonates with me so much. I often feel like I’m missing out on my youth as well. I’ve finished 2 years of high school already and I’ve never had a boyfriend, never went to a party, never drank… None of the typical teenager things. Outside of school I mostly just take dance classes, watch TV, and do homework. I don’t have a lot friends so I feel like I can’t do a lot of things because you can’t party or even have low key movie nights by yourself… Thanks Pixie.

    • Chloe22 August 14th, 2013 12:22 PM

      I only have one really close friend, and we manage to party! if you consider dancing to Nicki Minaj in Claire’s partying ;p it’s better to have one good friend then a thousand who don’t care about you “:)

  • allison_VGS August 14th, 2013 10:50 AM

    great read! i grew up watching john hughes movies and totally expected high school life to be JUST LIKE it was for ferris bueller or samantha baker. little did i realize at the time, the 80′s were going to end and i would get stuck living my adolescence in the 90′s. in the end, i partied a ton and now feel like I did high school wrong! i partied so much that i fell behind and opted to get my GED so i would’t have to repeat my junior year. i was a smart kid but cutting class 80% of the time will do things like hold you back. i really wish now that i had buckled down, been more boring and graduated “the right way”. oh well, live and learn!

  • Chloe22 August 14th, 2013 12:18 PM

    Am I the only one who doesn’t find typical teen experiences appealing? Like, I don’t have any moral (lol) problems with dating or proms or partying…but I never really want to do those things? I don’t know. I just like running around the mall with my best friend. Or napping. Oh god i sound so boring! Everyone thinks I’m trying to be hip or cool by not being into all this crazy teen stuff. But I just can’t make my self like it!

    • lauraunicorns August 15th, 2013 7:27 PM

      I’m totally with you! My friends aren’t into drinking or casual hookups or anything, but sometimes they stay out really late or go places that they’re not really supposed to be… and it just doesn’t appeal to me. The only thing I really regret about not participating is that it means I spend a little less time with them. I think I’m just not a big risk-taker, and I worry sometimes cause I don’t want to be seen as a baby or anything. But then it makes me frustrated that I care that they care, you know? And maybe the whole adrenaline high thing just isn’t for everybody. I hope that made sense.

  • soretudaaa August 14th, 2013 12:52 PM

    THIS, so much… In my country parties are not that big of a deal, but everyone 13+ is obsessed with going clubbing, and I think I went clubbing like, twice, and I’m nineteen and in college now. I don’t know, everyone just keeps saying how it’ll grow on me but I know it won’t, I just don’t think it’s fun and would rather spend my weekends differently.
    I think everyone secretly wishes they had had more fun during high school, even the kids who did enjoy parties and movie-like fun times, because high school is so idealized for some reason, and no one’s life compares to that drama-filled fictional high school lives that never ever get boring. But ever since I got to college I met a lot of people who, surprisingly, hate clubbing as well, when I literally thought I was the only one who did. And when we hang out, I have SO MUCH FUN even if all we do is bake/watch movies/facebook-stalk people.

  • KatGirl August 14th, 2013 1:21 PM

    My idea of partying is this “social it up” dance that my brother made a long time ago…. Don’t ask….

  • Ally_O August 14th, 2013 2:01 PM

    This is unrelated to the article, but related to today’s background image. Rookie, I have to ask, why do you condone and promote Taylor Swift even though she is anti-feminist?

    • Danielle August 14th, 2013 9:18 PM

      Hi! This is a good question, and thank you for asking it.

      Being anti-feminist is not the same as not being a feminist. TSwift has said in the past that she’s not a feminist, which can definitely rub people the wrong way, but that doesn’t make her anti-feminist. A lot of people find their feminism early in life, which is totally great, but others come to it much later in life (or not at all). There are lots of different kinds of feminism, and lots of ways to do great things for girls and women even if you never call yourself a feminist. She does a ton of thoughtful work for girls all over the world, gives front row seats at her shows to military families, has parties for fans, donates her time and energy to a bunch of different charities, and genuinely wants girls to grow up feeling like they are worthy and special no matter what. (She’s also a great role model and powerhouse businesswoman!)

      We are a site for teenage girls, and we feel the same way—we want all girls to feel worthy, special, and valued just for being who they are. We don’t want to declare any artist strictly one way or another when there’s a gray area or room for them (and us!) to grow, just like we don’t assume that all teenage girls like all of the same things. Some girls like Taylor Swift and she makes them feel like they can take over the world, the way Lydia Lunch or Beyoncé or Kathleen Hanna or Jill Scott makes other girls feel awesome. The best thing about feminism is that it isn’t a one-way street—everyone is welcome, however they come to it, whenever they’re ready, and the overall goal is that girls and women get to shape their lives on their own terms.

      We really appreciate thoughtful questions like these, so thank you for commenting! And I hope that this helps.

      • Dylan August 15th, 2013 2:16 PM

        I’m totally with Danielle. When I was asked to write for Rookie 2 years ago, I never would have readily identified myself as a feminist if someone asked me about it. I mean, I didn’t really know what it meant. It was through joining the Rookie crew, and stuff I was learning in college, that I came to understand what it did mean, and what it meant to me. And I was already 19! So many of our supersmart commenters are raising these questions so much earlier than I did, and it makes me really happy to be a part of a place where we can do so.
        Anyway, that’s why I’m hi-fivin’ Danielle’s response, because I believe there’s room for all of us, even the ones that come along a little late. :)

  • FlorenceEyre August 14th, 2013 2:09 PM

    Hi Rookies,

    I realize this comment doesn´t really belong to this article, and that this isn´t advisory service for idiots like me, but I have an important thing I have to ask.

    Me and my friends hung out at my friends house earlier this summer, her parents were on vacation. And we had a little party, we smoked weed (only a bit). But now, her parents found out about this, and since her mother is my fathers colleague at work, I am really afraid my parents are going to find out. And the worst thing about that is, that I told my parents that I am going to my other friends good-bye-party, and I lied to them a lot about that (that means, I totally f*cked up everything).

    I seriously feel sorry that I lied to them, and I am afraid that they will stop trusting me (which I absolutely deserve), and that our relationship is going to get much worse.

    So now I don´t know if I should tell them about it or not, because my friend said they are not going to make such a big deal from it (that means they are probably not going to say it), but I guess it would be better if I told them.

    What do you think?

    Thank you, and sorry for spamming.

  • kiwimelon August 14th, 2013 2:59 PM

    This is the truest thing I’ve read in a long time. I’m 21 now and sometimes look on school and college (not university, I’m from the UK) with some form of regret. But you know what, I made some friends for life and we had a hell of a lot of fun, so who cares that we didn’t hang about on the streets drinking Vodka in coke bottles till we were sick. We had sleepovers and played singstar till our lungs hurt and that’s ok by me… We’re making up for it now anyway!

  • cole123 August 14th, 2013 4:25 PM

    This is awesome! I’ve been kinda feeling this way lately… although I’m only a sophomore I feel like i’m still missing out on all the high school teen stuff. I’m not a super outgoing person but I wish I could be. I’ve been reading and re-reading Perks of Being a Wallflower and wishing I could have outgoing and intellectual friends like Patrick and Sam. I really don’t want to sound like I don’t like the people I hang out with right now but most of them don’t have anything in common with me. I hang out with them mostly because they are nice to me and I don’t want to be lonely. Besides that our political views are pretty different and all they wan’t to talk about are boyzzz and gossip. It seems like most the people in my grade are this way… maybe i’m too picky when it comes to making friends or I just haven’t met enough people. I had an awesome friend in middle school and we had allot in common but for reasons I am completely unaware of she ditched me… Anyways, sorry for my long and whiny pity party. I’m going to a Rookie meet up soon so maybe I can make some friends their! I’m so glad Rookie is a thing.

    • Margot August 17th, 2013 8:38 AM

      Hi, I kind of feel awkward replying to your comment so sorry, but I just wanted to say that you shouldn’t feel “picky” when it comes to making friends, because friends are supposed to be the people who “change your life” so choose them wisely. I don’t have a lot, actually, I have only two friends with who I could never argue and to who I can really tell everything, despite my really shy and “no really I don’t want to annoy you with that” personality, haha. (hope the rookie meet up will be a good experience for you :) )

      • cole123 August 18th, 2013 5:24 PM

        That’s really cool that you have such close friends! It’s probably better to do it that way then to have a whole group that isn’t really very similar to you. The Rookie meet up was super fun and I meet some awesome people! You seem like a very cool person yourself!

  • spudzine August 14th, 2013 5:01 PM

    This is really good because I also happened to notice the whole risky things in high school=well-adjusted adult. Which I have always believed to be FALSE because life is life, no matter what stage of life your at. It’s all the same, as I’ve come to realize, because all of life is not checkpoints, but choices, and you are never certain that something will happen or go the way you want it to. Because that’s life.

  • Roz G. August 14th, 2013 6:16 PM

    Thanks so much for this :) People kept saying things like “these are the four best years of our lives” and “these are the years we’ll remember forever” and I felt sad lame and stale for thinking that that didn’t apply to me. College has been great so far though in many ways high school couldn’t have been :)

  • MollyMargaret August 14th, 2013 7:26 PM

    This is how I feel about College.

    • eikcaj August 15th, 2013 9:58 AM

      Ditto, ditto, and ditto. In some way I’ve always felt like this, but honestly, college only seemed to make me aware of it and exacerbate said feelings.

  • avisanti August 14th, 2013 8:56 PM

    This article is such a relief! Like Pixie, I’ve always thought I was doing youth wrong and that one day, I’ll look back and think that I’ve wasted too much time in the library studying and that I did not spend enough time being ~* young, wild, and free *~

    Btw, Taylor Swift looks awesome in today’s background!

  • ashleeeybash August 14th, 2013 10:14 PM

    This.. was gold. I connected with this on so many levels. I seriously almost teared up because this is how I was my whole high school life and up until now. (I’m a senior in college). I’m patiently waiting to turn 21 to start drinking my first alcoholic beverage which will be in two months. I always felt like the oddball or something because I didn’t do what the other kids did.. Taking pictures with their red cups and beer ponging it all night. I never yacked but I was the one to help the yack-er. If that made any sense. I loved this post on so many levels. Thank you for this.

  • kh4l33si August 14th, 2013 11:04 PM

    Wow this is 99% me. And I’m 20. Definitely needed to read this as I still wonder what the hell I was doing in high school.

  • fromanotherearth August 15th, 2013 2:56 PM

    Even though I’d love to have some of those ~classic~ highschool experiences, I feel like I’m doing homework 24/7. Whenever I have a rare moment of free time, my friends kinda suck and I end up staying home.

  • Ally_O August 15th, 2013 3:13 PM

    This is soo me. And my mom seems to think I’m doing high school wrong too, because she’s constantly trying to make me get out more.

    • Yayo August 15th, 2013 5:42 PM

      Oh god, yeah, it’s definitely worse when your parents think you’re doing everything wrong too. It’s just like ‘Damn it, mum, leave me alone, I’ve only watched 2 episodes of Dr Who today and my friends are all dickheads anyway DON’T MAKE ME LEAVE THE HOUSE!’

      Plus I feel extra pressure from my dad too. He grew up with the punk/grunge scene in the late 80s (think waist-length hair and underground concerts) and it kills me that he knows how much of a looser I am in comparison to him as a teen.

  • lauraunicorns August 15th, 2013 7:32 PM

    Can we please start a Rookiemag Sacred Order of Girls Who Would Rather Stay In All Night Eating Ice Cream and Watching Movies Than Partying? I can come up with a shorter name I just need proof that these people exist oh gosh pls

  • Margot August 17th, 2013 8:27 AM

    I kind of relate to this, like, I have a twin sister and she’s sooo talkative and friendly and warm and extrovert so she makes friends very quickly and they all like her and she goes to a lot of parties like sometimes she doesn’t come home during a few days, and I’m just like… sitting in front of my computer, everytime she goes out I can hear her and her friends who are also my friends but just seems to forget me until I finally go out and they’re all like “are you bored?” “why don’t you say anything?” … so even though I did some parties, it didn’t feel like those “movies parties” .
    But, I read what everyone is saying and I just realize that I already have all the fun I want with my high school friends! Hanging out in town just talking and walking, watching movies or tv shows and talking about it and laughing at stupid jokes and all those things.
    I don’t smoke, so I wouldn’t be able to tell “funny” stories of myself completely stoned, I never had sex or (really) kissed a boy, I don’t like alcohol besides wine and nobody drinks wine (unfortunately), but I can talk about some movies during hours and enjoying every minute, I can be sure that I will remember the name of the last person I met even though I don’t meet a lot, but my life seems pretty cool despite the fact that I don’t party that much, I don’t go out a lot, I really really like to stay alone in my room doing nothing in particular, just trying to find myself.
    So, I’ll know what to think about next time I’ll be super sad because my sister has an awesomely cool teenage life and I’m just bored on my computer.

  • alyafp August 19th, 2013 10:07 AM

    OMG YOU SLAP MEEE. i was thinking i doing youth wrong and missed out too but know i realize that i was just pretty good at being myself. this is ubercool i re-read to underlined the very meaningful words in these writing. thanks! xoxo

  • abby111039 August 19th, 2013 7:31 PM

    This article. It’s golden. I’m only a sophomore in high school and I feel a certainty that I’m going to look back on these for years and hate myself more than I normally do for not having fun, and that I’ll end up working at Walmart and living a sad lonely life with no ambition.

    I am most certainly not the partying type (mostly because I’m not popular or well-known enough to get invited to those sort of things). I have friends. There’s a group of four I suppose, me, my best friend, and two other close friends of him. And truly I only feel totally and completely comfortable with my best friend. And half the time I’m worrying that she doesn’t consider me her best friend as well and that I’m just forcing myself on her. I suffer from severe depression, anxiety, and self-harm, and I physically cannot get out of bed most days, let alone attempt to set up plans with even the people I’m closest with. I don’t have those “low-key nights” just hanging out with people. Not even that. I’m just alone, while hearing about other peoples’ plans that I’m not invited to or watching my sister hang out with her friends or her boyfriend every other day. I’m to shy and scared to put myself out there and do things I enjoy because I’m afraid of judgment and rejection and going to these things and having no one to talk to. I’m lonely and awkward. And I see people supposedly “less popular” than me and even they do more stuff than I do. I don’t even fit in with the “emo/scene” kids or the punks because I just recently started establishing myself in that label. I have no where. And it fucking sucks.

    • abby111039 August 19th, 2013 7:39 PM

      (My rant isn’t even finished yet I know everyone’s rolling their eyes and waiting for my sob-story to be done but I have to get this shit out)

      This article gave me a small shred of hope, but I’m kind of at the lowest level here. (NOT TRYING TO INVALIDATE ANYONE ELSE’S PROBLEMS WHO COMMENTED AND SHARED.) I don’t do anything basically. I’m pretty much lifeless and sick and scared. Most of me says “Fuck the high school ideal, I don’t give a shit.”, but part of me wants something. I’m just a floater. A ghost. I want to establish myself in a unique and positive way but I don’t have the energy or the courage. And most of me just says, whatever. My life has become this whole big “Whatever. I don’t know. I don’t care.” That’s all it is. And what sucks the most is that I don’t even have the courage to end it.

      Ohkay finally done y’all can breathe now. Although no one is probably going to read this all the way though because I know it sounds like I’m throwing myself a huge pity-party and inviting you all to it. But I’m just venting here because no one else will listen or is capable of dealing with it. Ok done.

  • maiag August 30th, 2013 5:17 PM

    Thank you so much for this, it really helps. I’m heading into my last year of high school now, and I think i just needed this reassurance in order to fully accept that I’m not alone and that I will get the opportunity in my life to make up for anything I feel I missed out on. I’m really happy I read this.

  • barbroxursox August 31st, 2013 1:36 PM

    Wow, this is literally perfect for this time in my life. I just started college and have been feeling like this. I have partied, I have smoked weed, but not very often, and I’ve always felt like the less experienced and not-normal person in the group (but not with my roommates! they seem to have similar experiences to mine). Sometimes I wish I’d done more, but I have had fun in my own way. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, and I’m glad my roommates agree with that.
    It just sucks that I can’t party much now, even if I want to, because my college is really strict and has undercover cops and my pharmacy degree/licensure can be jeopardized if I’m caught drinking underaged. :(

  • laneythgreaty September 2nd, 2013 9:30 AM

    I felt this way too, like everyone was having all these magical high school enjoying-my-youth experiences except for me. I spent my friday and saturday nights in doing homework and just felt so lame. At the end of last summer and all through this one, my friends and I started doing some stupid crazy shit. It started out as just loitering around the neighborhood until 6 am, but it escalted quickly to going to clubs and getting drunk. After a night spent drunk in the company of frat boys, my parents found out every detail of what I did. It was so embarassing, they grounded me for two months, and that’s where I am now. Its kind of scary to think about what I might have done if I didn’t get into trouble.

  • vvk97 September 14th, 2013 11:42 AM

    I want to save this article forever! Thank you for finally writing something like this. It’s nice to see a change from the Teem Movie Industry’s version of life.

  • Lydia Jane October 2nd, 2013 11:18 PM

    Eep, thank you for this, Pixie. I’m a senior in high school and just the other day, my friend told me that I had to “hurry up and lose [my] virginity before college starts” because if I’m inexperienced, I’ll be “bad” in bed. I’d never really thought of it like that before and it really really really scared me, but this article made me feel a little better, so thank you :)