This is what I've learned so far in high school:
Relationships, friendships included, don't actually last forever. Superficial people usually get the most attention, despite the constant campaigns rooting for "breezy and natural." Priorities change constantly, no matter how 'strong' a person's morals or virtues stand. People, in general, are stubborn. Life is a rat race: the main goal is to be the best; to be the most popular, the most attractive, and the most successful. People are competitive and cruel when trying to get to the main goal. Late nights are best spent with people you barely know; you learn a lot in such a short amount of time. The idea of being a kiss-ass is actually pretty smart; by the time you're out of high school, no one will know who you are, yet you'll have all the perks of being the kissass you used to be.
As a freshman, I came in so oblivious. Life was awesome. Life was easy. Life was the best. I did what I wanted (because what I wanted wasn't too far of a reach) and I hung out with people I thought would be my best friends for all of eternity. I loved and I laughed. I never once even fathomed the idea that I wouldn't be friends with these people forever. I never thought I'd ever get in trouble for doing something bad. And I never thought that life could hurt me.
As a sophomore, I was cautious, but still happy. I mourned over the loss of friends to distant countries or other schools, but still thought I could maintain healthy relationships. I was overly optimistic and I kept on going. I became closer with the people that stayed, and more distant with the people that moved. I sighed at the sad truth. There was a sad place in my brain that I would reside in for a day or two, where I moped over a lost relationship. I tried and I tried, but distance does things to a person. Yeah, in some cases, it makes the heart grow fonder, but in all honesty, it makes the heart take a break, sometimes temporary or even permanent. I began to curate affinities for new routines and I also began to focus on what really mattered most to me. Prioritizing was a breeze and understandable: 1) School, 2) Friends, 3) Relationships.
As a junior, I became realistic. I finally understood that life just keeps on going. I realized that the other 6.7 billion people in this world don't give a flying fxck as to what I'm doing right now, at this moment. Friendships took different turns, whether or not they were for the better, that rests upon your own judgement. As a junior, I realized that life is a tough world to live in and sometimes, you don't have to care what everyone else thinks of you; you just gotta do what you gotta do. As a junior, I've also realized that the friendships I've made now are just stepping stones to the relationships I will make in the future. It will be a sad day if/when I lose contact with these people, but let's look at this seriously: it will happen sooner or later. There are only a lucky few that have such strong affinities for each other that those bonds will never break and they'll have each other forever. But me? Okay, I don't want people to take this the wrong way. BUT! I've accepted the fact that I'm not going to be friends with my current friends forever. And honestly, I'm okay with it. I will cry when I finally depart from them and of course I will look back at the memories, become nostalgic, and miss the "good ol' days," but I'm not going to let it control me.
Now that I am a senior, everything is coming into light. Those 'true friends' who decided to put their focus on other things, I now know who they are really true to. The piles of homework I used to have, that now turned into just hours of studying, remind me that I am studying for a better life. The relationships I've made and broken, well, they've helped me learn a few lessons about life and how to deal with people. I'm the person I was in freshmen year, but at the same time, I've not - I've become this 'caught-in-the-middle' person who is caught in-between who I really am and who I've been taught to be. For most optimistic and idealistic people, they stress the idioms "Be yourself" and "You are you; don't let anyone change that." For the most part, that's what life is all about: being yourself. But, if we were just ourselves and we didn't change for anything or anyone at some point of our lives, then how do we necessarily grow or just become better people? There's not clear definition of what a good person is, but there are some prime examples of what to be and what to stray clear of. Senior year has taught me that; it's taught me to be myself, but to mold certain parts of me to be better. Maybe not funnier, or prettier, or taller, or smarter, but just to be better morally and virtuously.