Sunday, September 6, 2015

Schoolboy Daze

8:07 AM

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My fixation with the Elusive High School Boy was a means for me to hide my low self-worth.

The sun was high when I decided to go jogging.

Down my second lap, I spotted a familiar scene across my house. A group of guys were standing at a corner, conversing with each other in youthful nervousness. I silently smiled: I knew the type – the fresh, crisp scent of Atlantis cologne, the checkered polos (interchangeable with oversized shirts), the bright sports sneakers for impromptu basketball sessions, and the spiky hair styled like it was the early 2000s. Someone played guitar to some OPM song, and as I passed by, they huddled up at my sudden intrusion.

The scene felt like a portrait of my high school days – a common motif that would persist in a transitional point of my life. They were your typical high school boys, the ones that came from exclusive schools: often smug, often out-of-reach. High school boys were both a cornerstone – and a pestilence – of my gangly teen years.

I used to find them cool – they were always so trendy, so fashionable, so talented: So-and-so played the guitar, so-and-so was a great basketball player, so-and-so won declamation contests. But I was the girl who was always too tall, who spoke too much English, and who had hair that was too curly—the kind of girl guys would only joke about liking. I was already struggling with how different I was compared to my other peers, and this didn’t help a bit.

It came to a point when, after having a majority of schoolmates getting suitors, I decided to swear off boys altogether. I cursed their musical prowess, their athletic ability, their effortless charm, and their equally effortless way of showing disinterest. I deplored the way they turned conversations with my peers into heaping romantic overtures, how they distracted my groupmates during important academic work, how they seemed in control of their power, and how nobody could stop them. Girls should stick together; boys were nothing but a trouble and nuisance.

In retrospect, this probably told more leagues about me than it did them. I did relatively well in high school – I held officer positions in the clubs I joined (including the school publication), I won local writing awards, I was getting high grades – but felt that it was never enough, that I was never enough. Maybe you could pin it on the fact that I was bullied in grade school, but, regardless of reason, this I know: My fixation with the Elusive High School Boy was a means for me to hide my low self-worth.

Fast forward, and today I earn my own money, pay rent, and have a whole bunch of troubles different from what I had then. I still struggle with self-worth now and then, but I like to think I’m more forgiving. As I pass by the boys of my yesteryears, I no longer pine for them as I used to – and seeing that I’m currently with somebody, I have no use to, either.

I guess life has a funny way of teaching us, one where you look backwards in order to move forward. There’s a lot things I wish my high school self knew, but I don’t regret anything either. Sometimes you need to submerge yourself in the ocean to know how it really is, as opposed to how it looks in old school picture books.

And so, to the elusive high school boys of my younger self: This one’s for you.

Article by Pam
Art by Elle

Elle is a 17-year old aspiring doctor who somehow found herself at art school. She loves rap music and bunnies. She still hasn't grown out of her otaku stage (which started all the way back in elementary school, thank you very much).

Pam Musni is a fresh graduate who is currently trying to find her place in the workforce, and in the world, in general. She occasionally puts works in, her online portfolio.


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