Emerging from the Hideout

January 12, 2009
By Hilary Korabik, Riverside, IL

It’s hard to find a place to hide out at school. Everywhere I go there are always going to be other people. And that’s fine every once in a while, but while I am a social person, I sometimes just need a place to think, to get away from the throngs of people and just relax with my friends. Luckily, the perfect hideout presented itself to me only a few weeks into school: The Choir Room. Andrea, Veronica, Alexis, Katie, Kevin, and Schneids, with an occasional guest are there every day for lunch. Eighth free is spent in the choir hallway while Ms. Schneider teaches the freshman girls. I am so grateful to Ms. Schneider for allowing us to stay in her classroom when she is trying to get work done, because my already hectic life would be so much crazier if I had to go to the boisterous dining hall.

When I’m in The Choir Room, I’m spending time with my best friends. I never felt like I was missing out on anything until the middle of December. Christmas was creeping up on me, and while break was much needed, I couldn’t help but realize how quickly the year was going by. In only a few weeks I would be a second semester senior. I’ve never looked forward to being a senior. As much as I would get frustrated with the administration or with having to be dependent on my parents, I never wanted to get out. I now only have a semester left, and looking back, there is so much more I could have done with my time.

It really started getting to me when I started talking to a new friend. He was so fun to be around, comforting to talk to, sweet and caring, and overall a great guy. I began getting more and more frustrated. Here I was, December of senior year, talking, really talking, to him for the first time. I’d known him since freshman year, and it took me three years to actually talk to him. I thought of all the other people that I don’t know, all the people in my class that I’d never taken the time to talk to. I wished I could push all that I had done in my three and a half years of high school into just 2 years. I wished it was the beginning of junior year and that I hadn’t been so careless and selfish, letting my four years of high school slip away so quickly.

This boy and I are now dating. How lucky am I that he is one of the occasional guests we have in The Choir Room? If he were not, I know I never would have talked to him. He’s opened me up, gotten me talking. I can talk all day to my friends, but when it comes to people I don’t know as well, especially guys, I clam up. Talking to him outside of The Choir Room, my safe haven, has made me realize the common experiences that people have, but how different their lives can be even if they have experienced the same thing.

Once I finally found my friends last year, I stayed closed up in my cocoon. I’m so blessed that my boyfriend started talking to me because otherwise I would have no idea what I was missing. I was missing out on a sweet, handsome, wonderful, amazing guy and would have graduated never knowing he was there. I’m so thankful that I have my friends and that I am lucky enough to get to spend so much time with them, but now I know I do have to be more open to new friendships.

I have now made it my goal to get out of The Choir Room at least one day a week. Doing something out of the ordinary can change things for the better. My new friend? We’re dating now. I can’t believe I never talked to him until this year. But I can’t go back. I can’t change what I did or didn’t do during my high school years. The past will remain the same. I know now, though, not to wait until my last year of school to start meeting people, not to close up once I get comfortable.

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