Roseau aka Kerry Leatham is a British writer, singer, and musician, with roots in Northern Island and Dominica (her artist name is the Caribbean island’s capital city). In September, she released her debut album Salt. You can find more of her work here and here.
High school is a completely different experience from person to person but perhaps we’re all having similar emotional experiences—that feeling of impending responsibility coupled with being utterly reliant on our guardians.
I didn’t have an amazing time in school. I found the whole “trying to fit in and be part of the gang” thing quite challenging—I think I pulled it off (just about).
Toward the end of primary school, one of the new popular kids took a shine to me and we ended up in the same high school. If it wasn’t for her I imagine my high school experience would have been a lot grimmer.
I kept quiet about a lot of stuff I was actually really into, in fear that it would be seen as geeky. I just wanted to fit in and get by. As I got older, I found that individuality is celebrated, not frowned upon. I wish I’d had the guts to break out and be myself back then, even though high school felt like a repressive place where weirdness, quirkiness, and individuality weren’t much celebrated.
As soon as I went college, I noticed that everyone was doing their own thing. It was liberating. I could be myself and know that I’d find friends with the same interests as me.
Once you leave high school you’ll never have to see any of those people again—unless you want to. I guess the lesson I took away from my experience is that you should never suppress who you are just to fit in. ♦