Fifth Grade

July 17, 2011
I wish I could go back in time, to fifth grade. Things were so much simpler and happier then; I miss it.
Back then, everybody was equal; everybody had friends. I used to be well liked, I had lots of friends and I was student council president, so everybody basically liked me. I don’t remember having any enemies, just best friends and normal friends. There weren’t really any bullies, and if there were, then the worst they did was call you a dummy, and no one really took that seriously. But now, girls live to spread rumors about other girls, and boys always get into fights.
Back then, it was okay to be different, it was okay to play by your own rules. So what if I was a girl playing kickball and I wasn’t very good, that made me special and people liked it. So what if I was a tomboy, that was just my style. Whereas now, being different is wrong and weird. Now, if you don’t wear just the right clothes, you’re labeled as a loser, even if it’s not your fault because you can’t afford them.
In fifth grade, the worst rumor that you would hear would be that “Johnny picked his nose in class”, not that someone is on drugs, or someone is pregnant. Little kids never made up rumors about other people that weren’t true. But in high school, people thrive on lies and live to ruin other people’s lives. Why? Maybe it’s just because they’re different, because they don’t fit that cookie cutter example of “popular”.
In fifth grade, the biggest problems that you would have would be that the swings were all full, or you fell during recess, or that you didn’t do your handwriting homework last night, or you got caught talking during class. Simpler times, in high school people have problems with drugs, fights, failing entire classes or grades, pregnancy, depression, and suicide. And even though people have these terrible problems, teens just thrive on making fun of others for having these problems, when it’s not a joke at all.
In fifth grade, the only time you would cry is if you got physically hurt during recess or gym class. You never heard girls crying in the bathroom over a breakup or a pregnancy test. Kids rarely cried during fifth grade. But I’ve spent many of my days at high school with tears in my eyes.
It didn’t matter what race you were: black, white, Hispanic, whatever. It didn’t matter to kids. It was cool if you were from somewhere else. But in high school, people make stereotypes, are racist, and just terrible to people who aren’t from where they are from.
At that age, girls still thought that boys were icky, and boys thought that girls had cooties. Dating wasn’t even thought of. Sure, kids had itty-bitty crushes on each other, and they thought that people were “cute”, but it was nothing big. In high school, relationships rule your life. They can break you into tiny pieces and send you crying off to the bathroom, or to a best friend, or even a counselor. A relationship seriously affects your life at this age. Adults always told me that kids in high school are too young to know what real love is. That is the most untrue thing I have ever been told. I know what love is. And in high school, things can be so crazy and although you may be in love, the person you’re in love with might not love you back. High school relationships have cheating, sex, heartbreak, love, and fights in them and you can never know what comes next. It’s scary. But being in fifth grade, the scariest thing about liking someone is that they might find out. High school relationships change a lot too. Sexuality is a big part of relationships at our age. If you’re gay, then you immediately become a target for bullying. Apparently it is wrong to love who you want. That is incorrect and those who think that is wrong are wrong. I have gay friends, and they aren’t freaks of nature, they are just like anybody else, it doesn’t matter who they love, they have just as much of a right to love as anyone who’s straight does. And it hurts just as much to be heartbroken in a relationship where the couple is the same gender. Love is love, and love hurts.
I remember in fifth grade, everyone I knew was Christian, and whenever we had a problem, all we had to do was apologize to who we did wrong and ask God for help, and it always seemed like he would answer our prayers. And our problems would be little mistakes, like taking someone’s crayons, or calling someone a “meanie”. But in high school, problems get bigger, and we have more of them. And it seems like God has stopped listening or helping us and is just leaving us. I used to pray to God every night to help me, and after almost a year nothing had changed and I just gave up. God seemed to have stopped answering me. And it’s now that I realize that when we needed the petty little things like praying to God for a Barbie for Christmas, he answered, and maybe instead of wasting a prayer on a doll, we should have saved them for when we really needed them. Back in fifth grade, we didn’t know the worth of a prayer, and that innocence made it so easy to turn to God for help.
In fifth grade, everybody was happy. Everybody was the best at something. Some were the best singers, or the best soccer players, or the best trumpet players, and everyone felt special. In high school, everyone is put down so much to the point where they don’t feel special anymore, they feel worthless. Some people don’t feel happy anymore, and all they feel is worthless. They feel like everyone would be better off without them and that they are living a life in vain. They feel like they have no purpose but to take up space. In fifth grade, it was rare that a child even knew what suicide was. It was rare that they knew what pregnancy, sex, cursing, or drugs were. But when you reach high school, that’s all that surrounds you. Problems and feelings of being put down.
I should know. I am one of those girls who used to be happy and fun and proud to be different. But now I’m just put down all the time by others. Rumors that I’m pregnant and that I’ll have sex with anyone fly around the halls of my school. I’ve been that heartbroken girl who got cheated on and had her whole life turn upside down. I am that girl who feels worthless and feels like everyone would be better off without me. I am that girl. But I’m not that girl who is going to give up on her life, not just yet. Because I know that there are people out there who feel the same way as me. I am the girl who is going to keep pushing through her problems and pain until she can’t anymore. I’m the girl who wishes she were back in fifth grade, and strangely enough, I don’t think I’m alone on that opinion.

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