What It Feels Like to Be The Misfit

Gabrielle Debevec // As told to by Gabrielle Debevec

When I was on the outside looking in, I knew that high school could change people. I thought high school made the “bad” kids worse, but I did not think it turned the “good” kids “bad.”

When I was younger, I was extremely innocent. I was not aware of what went on during high school. I did not know a lot about sex, drugs or relationships. I was a kind-hearted and oblivious young girl. My friend group remained the same throughout all of middle school. We were all great kids who never got into trouble and always had good grades. I will not lie; they were a lot more aware of what went on in high school because they had older siblings, and I did not.

Going into high school, I was excited but also unprepared for what was to come. I never thought high school would be able to change me.

I was completely wrong. When I was on the inside looking out, I realized that high school changed me.

Halfway through my sophomore year, I got out of a relationship where I constantly felt like I was tied down; I felt like I was not allowed to be myself. My best friends were continuously growing closer, but I was always with my boyfriend, who would not allow me to hang out with them.

After our relationship ended, I started to hang out with my friends more often. I was having the time of my life. I finally felt like me. This was when I began to realize that I was changing. However, it wasn’t my friends who changed me; it was high school.

Before my sophomore year, I had never really gotten into trouble. Every so often, I would get in trouble for talking back or being mean to my sister, but never anything serious. That all changed. I started to get caught for the stupid decisions I would make. My mom is intelligent; she can catch me in almost every lie I try to tell. I never learned my lesson, and I would keep making poor decisions that would lead me to getting caught every time. The more I got caught, the more my mom would suspect that I would make another bad decision the next time I wanted to do something with my friends.

I do not know why I never listened to my mom when she would ground me for making bad decisions. I do not know why I kept doing things that would disappoint her. In no way do I ever try to disappoint my mom because it genuinely hurts me to see her upset, but every so often, I get an urge. This urge disregards my mom’s feelings and makes me act relentlessly.

The solution to this feeling I have inside of me is extremely hard to overcome. I have already dug myself so deep into a hole, and I feel like there is no way out. I have disappointed my mom so many times to the point where she knows it is going to happen again. This made me think, why should I change?

Then, the other side of me feels guilty and angry at myself every time I get caught doing something I am not supposed to. I am angry with myself for being a bad role model for my sister and disappointing my parents. When they catch me in a lie and see them look hurt by my actions, I promise myself I will never do anything like that again. That side of me stays true; I want to do something rebellious again.

The part that kills me the most throughout all of this is the damaged relationship I have with my eighth-grade sister. I have not been a good role model for her, and everyone in my family can see it. I know I am a good sister, but I am not the best role model. I do things that she could never imagine doing. My mom once told me that my sister told her, “I never want to be like her in high school.” That ruined me. That is when I knew I had failed my job as a sister. The most important job for any sister is to be a good role model, and I had failed.

I want to change back to the person I was before I came to high school, but I do not know-how. My mom once told me that she felt like she was losing me. I feel like I am losing myself. I want to earn my parents’ trust back; I want to be a better role model for my sister, making my family proud. I am lucky to be still loved and cared for by my family. I do not deserve the amount of love I get from them.

I know that I am not a terrible kid. I am a good friend; I am kind to others, get good grades, and love my family. It is just hard being a teenager in today’s society due to the constant fight to fit in. Fitting into high school often leads me to get into trouble with my family. I want to be a good member of my family, but at the same time, I want to have fun. I just need to find the happy medium.

I am the odd one out. Whether with my family or my friends, I am always the one making the wrong decisions. The one who gives my parents the gray hairs. The one who makes my sister question who she wants to be in high school. I am the misfit.