The Weight of a Social Life
“Do you guys remember that time at Teo’s bonfire when we all sang to Drops of Jupiter? Oh my god that was such a fun night”, Em’s hazel eyes light up recalling the moment.
“Remember that one time we slept in the tent on the beach and thought we heard a monster?” Sav chuckles, “It ended up being the neighbor’s dog, we were scared for nothing”.
“Remember when we…”
Actually, I don’t.
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During the memorable, movie-like nights of high school that make for excellent stories, I could typically be found at home, nose stuffed into the my AP Biology textbook, hand cramped from rewriting all the steps of generating an action potential. While my three best friends tested the popular new Haywire Burger Bar after mini golfing, it was not uncommon to find me at the track doing hurdle repetitions and speed workouts.
High school is a balance of intelligence, beauty, athleticism, and social life. Like a balancing scale, any individual excelling in one facet must lack in another.
Preferring books over most people, my drive to excel in school and athletics weighed down the metaphorical scale of high school, leaving me short in the beauty, but more importantly, the social life department.
Em, my best friend, is a well-known socialite. Not only does she have an adorable relationship that many people envy, but she also rarely spends a Friday night without the company of others. Most sports teams can depend on Em cheering at every game. To Em, a B on a test is not an earth shattering, monumental crises. The hackneyed expression “opposites attract” rings true in our relationship, as I am devastated by receiving a B on a test and hardly think twice about missing a sports game if I have too much homework.
For the first two years of high school, sleep and relationships were lost in order to go above and beyond the required work of assignments. Sitting under the bright overhead lights at my kitchen table one night taking notes for hours on the novel Beloved for the fourth night that week, my father walked in from parent teacher conferences, sharing that Mrs. Chausse, my English teacher, does not even check notes in order to demonstrate how the excessive effort I was putting forth was unnecessary. My father’s kind words “Don’t make everything a test of life” emphasized the need for balance in life. My overtired, overworked body absorbed that advice and the following night, rather than spending two hours on notes, the forty minutes of concise, critical reading notes was sufficient. The following day, rather than wrestling with a small precalculus assignment for forty-five minutes, the task was conquered in twenty which left time to go support our basketball team on their senior night.
Ever since the night of parent teacher conferences, “don’t make everything a test of life” has become a personal motto. Rather than spending unnecessary effort on miniscule assignments, I have been pursuing the opportunity to be social in order to enjoy my high school experience. In thirty years, the probability of remembering the rules of balancing redox reactions is slim while remembering adventurous nights with childhood friends is much more likely; as a result, social life has become more prevalent in my life as I try to balance out the scales. A year ago, attending a baseball game with a group of girlfriends was practically unheard of due to homework. Though school stills remains a much larger priority than social life, today I often alter my strategy or schedule of completing assignments in order to incorporate social events into my high school experience. No one refers to me as a social butterfly yet, but I am certainly working on finding balance.