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My Real Life Mean Girls Experience

Caylin Ziemelis, Editor in Chief

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All throughout middle school in Hawaii we prepared for high school. Teachers talked endlessly about how different it would be, and how our whole lives would be affected by our academic effort. I found out I was switching schools from Hawaii to California, and  I was ecstatic for the change. So that summer, I graduated from my class of 12 kids in 8th grade and headed to South Lake Tahoe, California.

South Tahoe High School looked like every TV show school I wanted to go to.The classrooms had huge windows that looked over the forest, and you could see all the mountains capped with snow. For the first day of school, I wore simple jeans and a green T-shirt, because I didn’t want to look like a little girl from Hawaii. Walking in on Orientation Day I felt like I was starting a new chapter in my life. I thought that this was the day I was going to meet all new friends that I would grow to be best friends with over the course of these next four years. We would all go to prom together and see everyone’s kids at the 10 year reunion.

To my surprise, when I walked in, everyone had known each other from middle school. So I sat in the back alone. In P.E class, I met a couple of fun girls who let me join their group. In another class, the teacher had assigned seats, so I ended up with a group of tall, white, blonde popular girls. This was my chance! My chance to finally fit in, and become popular. I sat with them for lunch, and that’s when I realized they were all dressed the same. Lululemon black leggings, tan Ugg boots and Van backpacks. I looked down at my worn Converse- embarrassed.

Throughout the following weeks I realized that these girls were judgmental and grossly competitive. I was fake laughing at every joke they made, and ignored their attempts of putting me down . For the rest of the year I started showing up to class later and later so I could peacefully sit in detention for lunch with no one around and just brushed off their mean comments in class.

I was straight up miserable and had earned 24 detentions. Yes, the campus was beautiful, but the students were awful. By the end of the year, I had made a few friends from the original P.E class, but I was done with it all. So my family and I packed eight suitcases with everything we owned and moved back to Hawaii to go to my new high school.

Kealakehe High School was incredibly different. The high school campus is made completely out of cement and iron bars, so it looks like a prison. All the administrators have cages on their windows. In the cafeteria they use cattle fencing to separate the lunch lines.  What was worse was what they did to the toilet paper. When you walk into the bathroom, there is only one roll of toilet paper for all eight stalls. What did they do to deserve that?

In the classrooms,  the students had absolutely no respect for the teachers. In my physics class, the students would throw paper balls at the teacher and the poor teacher just tried to ignore it. One time the students were treating my math teacher so awful he started swearing and throwing dry erase markers around the room. During Wiki and lunch, fights were a common occurrence. Students would run with iPhones in hand trying to videotape the fight while cheering. Then the school security would pull up in their golf carts like the FBI to break it up and haul the students to the vice principal’s office.

When Spirit Week rolled around, I was shocked at how crazy it was. We all covered ourselves with blue paint and glitter. Everyday for the week, each grade would have a mini parade on the main street. Students would bring speakers and hit the concrete with baking pans to make as much noise as possible. Also they would blow off smoke bombs, throw baby powder into the air and cover the crowd with silly string.

My friends at Kealakehe were fun and wild. During english, we would laugh so hard that I had tears in my eyes, and during my photography class we would have our own private photoshoots on the abandoned tennis courts. They didn’t judge each other so harshly like my other friends had done in California. I accepted that I would graduate with these people, cheer with them during football games, walk with them all to get our diplomas, then take silly graduation pictures. But life had other plans.

When my family moved to Kona for a job change  the summer of my Junior year, we found ourselves in the Konawaena district.  I unenrolled from Kealakehe and moved schools once again.. On my first day of school, I was really anxious because I knew that everyone had known each other since they were fetuses because everyone’s parents had also attended Konawaena, too. I sat alone in my advisory class, then found some new friends for lunch in the cafeteria.

For one of my classes I showed up and the door was closed. Only two other students were waiting outside. Confused, I asked one of the students if I had the right room and she said that it was the one. When the teacher showed up she informed us that we were the only 3 students in News Writing. Ms.Borromeo said to the class that the 3 of us had to write a whole newspaper by ourselves and I happily accepted the challenge.

What I’ve learned in these 3 years is that change is part of life, but changing schools does not have to change you. I think that I know myself better than ever now because I didn’t fall into the trends of my friends at the time. Through everything I stayed true to what I believed in and now I’m proud of who I am today.

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The student news site of Konawaena High School
My Real Life Mean Girls Experience