Chris M.

I look at the little analog clock on the corner of the computer screen. I have been in summer school for 1.5 hours. That’s exactly half a day. Our days are short, which is good because I have friends as of this year, and even a boyfriend, and I love all those people a lot. I kinda have it all, in that regard at least. For now.

I am going to be a sophomore in high school after summer school is over. Then I’ll be 16. That is the age you think of when you think of teenagers. It’s where the kids from Glee started (R.I.P. Cory), the age of Jeremy from Zits, the age of all the characters on that stupid show Victorious or Victory or whatever. It’s the age of this cool girl at my school who had a shaved head and cool makeup and boots. I think Lindsay Weir was 16, but I can’t remember. I’m pretty sure Kim Possible is, too. It’s like the default age for teens. By 16 you are a sophomore or a junior and you look like an adult and act like an adult and you drive and are all grown up.

Maybe that’s just in my head and none of it is correct.

This entire year flew by in a blur and so will next year and the next one and the one after that. And I’ll be in the real world. I don’t care about being alone in the world. I am just scared that I won’t know what to do so I’ll do nothing.

Realistically, I’m not going to go to a good college. I always thought about going to an Ivy League, or maybe McGill. I don’t know why, but in middle school I thought I would continue being smart and successful forever. Maybe I’ll go to Bennington, if I can get in, because writing is the only thing I have going for me. It’s the only class I don’t fail miserably in. It’s the only subject I can enjoy and the only one I have real experience in. My mom went to Bennington for her master’s degree. I was at her graduation. I was proud of her, and I think if I graduated she would have been proud of me, even if I went to a shit school.

So maybe I’ll end up at community college, which I’ve been taught to think is pathetic, or maybe a really hippie one that doesn’t have real grades. I won’t get into any decent school in New York, so that’s pretty much off the table even though Brooklyn is my dream.

Then I’ll get a mediocre job, be a failing writer in a competitive world, and hate my teenage self for blowing my chances and wasting my life trying to survive instead of living.

This isn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is realism. I know I’m not going to do well.

This is why I don’t want to grow up. I’m destined to have a mediocre life, and there’s no way I’m starting a family just to make them deal with that.

The only thing I can ever have is the present. Sixteen is the default, and it’s when you are still sheltered but you can learn and experience everything. I think it will be the best year of my life. ♦