Growing up for most kids is a fun, exciting, experimental and stress-free journey into adulthood. There are speed bumps, of course, but usually nothing too harsh. We'll God dealt me a deck of cards with a very, VERY large speed bump. Around the age of 13, I went through puberty. My body was changing, my thoughts were maturing and I was transforming out of a child and into a teenager.
I was first attracted to a guy in 8th grade, when I was 13. At first it scared me because it was like a switch that went off and randomly, out of no where, I started doing double takes at guys. But not every guy, just two or three specific ones. I always had male friends and I wasn't attracted to any of them. When I was hanging out with them at school or in the neighborhood, none of my buddies were talking about being attracted to guys, so it confused me as to why I was having these feelings. That's when I first felt isolated from other people.
I had just finished Middle School and I was more excited/nervous then ever to begin high school, especially with the great reputation my siblings had left behind. My brother was the captain of the wrestling team, with a large group of friends and my sister is extremely intelligent and attractive. Middle school was whatever, but high school to me was the big leagues.
Once Freshman year of High School rolled around, I was surrounded by teenagers and I was no longer the big fish in the small pond. The amount of cute guys had multiplied, significantly. I forced myself not to stare at the cute guys in the halls, out of fear that I would be dubbed as some creepy kid. I began to keep to myself more and I was less interested in meeting new people. I focused my attention on applying myself to my academics and getting good grades. I figured this sudden attraction to guys was just a phase, which would pass by. Kind of like an old toy that you used to play with and than outgrew a year later. We'll, unfortunately, it never went away. Actually, it intensified.
By Sophomore year, I knew I was different then most of the other kids. I wasn't sexually/physically attracted to the girls and I was beginning to fantasize about the Junior and Senior guys. I was attracted to girls emotionally though. I remember walking into the 8000 building (the main building in my high school) and staring down the Senior hallway, filled with pretty girls in tight clothes with big boobs and athletic, muscular studs. My eyes always wandered to the males and I began to imagine what they looked like without clothes on. By this point, I put two and two together and had a feeling I was bi or gay, but I did my best to avoid the thoughts because I thought gay people were disgusting. I learned to hide my feelings and desires really well and finished up my Sophomore year.
Junior year hit and I knew I no longer wanted to take all regular classes. The curriculum was too slow for me and a lot of the students weren't as driven, so I signed up for several honors classes, knowing it would also boost my GPA. For anyone unfamiliar, it goes regular, honors, AP and than dual enrollment for the uber smart kids who don't want to pay for the class in college. I felt much more challenged and happy knowing it would force me to spend more time doing homework and less time letting my mind think about guys.
It was a failed attempt. Out of the classroom, I was like a hawk in the hallways, scanning for the hot guys. It was almost like a game to me, to find the hottest guy and girl while walking to my next class. Still, I kept my emotions on lockdown to focus on studying for the SAT's and the ACT's.
Before I knew it, I was the big fish on campus again! It was as if the first three years of high school just blinked by and Senior year slammed into me. I enrolled in one regular class, four honors and one AP. I also had Senior privilege, so I was home by 2PM which was awesome. Senior year was definitely my favorite year, I felt a sense of entitlement, since I basically knew the majority of the teachers and I had a large group of cool friends. I applied to FAU, UNF, USF and FGCU. I got into all of them and I was waitlisted for USF. I went to UCF and FSU to see the campuses, but I was overwhelmed by the size and I didn't have any interest in applying there. I wasn't smart enough to even consider UM or UF.
I didn't want to live at home, so I crossed FAU off the list. FGCU was too small of a school and I thought I wouldn't get a good enough education, so I crossed that off as well. That left UNF. My parents and I drove up to Jax to visit the campus and it was love at first sight. I got accepted into the Summer B program and off I went.
Holy shit, college is NOTHING like High School. It is infinitely times better! If you're reading this right now and you're in High School, TRUST ME when I tell you that college is a breath of fresh air. Summer B was the best six weeks of my life. I met so many amazing people and we all finagled our way into living in the same dorm building for Fall and Spring. It ended up being the best and most fun year of my life.
Now I'm on summer vacation, living at home for four months, working at Tropical Smoothie Café, before I go back to start my Sophomore year! I can't wait!