by Nia Peake ’23
Before high school, one of the most influential ways that we are exposed to the “high school experience” is through glamorized teen movies and TV shows. Anyone who has ever stepped foot into a high school can agree that high school is nothing like the movies. But just because high school isn’t as romanticized as what you might see on Netflix doesn’t mean we aren’t all living in our own version of a TV show in which we are the main characters of our own story.
The term “main character energy” means someone with a strong presence and confidence about themselves to the point that they resemble the tropes of a main character of a TV show. For example, if someone were to be dancing around in public without a care in the world, they would be demonstrating “main character energy.” There are tons of videos and guides on how to achieve “main character energy,” but I think that we are all our own main characters in our lives, and honestly, this mindset has gotten me through high school. I used to, and still sometimes do, compare myself to those around me. As a chronic overthinker, the constant comparisons to the standards of my peers were a recipe for disaster and kept me from enjoying things in the moment. Understanding that I am the main character of my story allows me to understand that we are all on our own path. If something doesn’t work out, I remember that some shows take three seasons for the plot to thicken, while some take off in the beginning but get dropped from the network mid-season. Every show is different, just like everyone’s journey through life.
I see my whole high school experience as its own show. If I had a falling out with some friends, I tell myself that they were just a character that had a reason in that season of my life. Saw some friends from middle school at a football game? Oh, that was just a crossover episode. From freshman year to junior year, I was convinced I was going to one college but after a disaster of the application process, I just recently committed to a completely different school. To me, that is just a plot twist in the storyline. All of this goes to say that I now live my life knowing that everyone’s high school path is different, and that’s okay. Everything will work out in the end, and if it doesn’t, there is always next season!