Searching For More
As of today I officially have 25 days left of being an A Level student.
At 4pm on Friday 18 May, I will walk out of my last ever quadruple history lesson and into the big, bad world.
Since I was little, I've always been a bit, er, different. My parents were dedicated artists and collectors of fine literature and poetry, making me a bit of a 'creative soul.' At primary school, my only friends were imaginary and if I'm perfectly honest, I liked it that way.
While the others played football and 'farmers' (I went to a close-knit school where the majority of the children lived on sheep farms) I would sit on the grass and draw castles, Pokémon and The Legend Of Zelda characters as well as writing extravagant stories about, well, castles, Pokémon and The Legend Of Zelda characters.
When I moved on to secondary school I was excited to meet people who were more similar to me. By year ten, I had settled down in a huge group of friends (we used to have to move the tables in the canteen together and everything) who were no short of wonderful. They weren't, however, anything like me.
The thing is, in life, I always seem to be searching for something more. I didn't really like hockey or going to barn dances (which is a party, in a barn, where girls used to dress up in exceedingly short skirts in the hope that a farmer boy will buy them glass of cheap beer). I hated pop music, girly magazines and boys with gelled hair and therefore didn't really like school, despite having a huge group of friends.
That was why, at aged sixteen, I decided to move four hours south of everything I had ever known in search of people who really appreciated great literature, art, topical discussions and politics. I moved in with my grandma and enrolled at the local college with the hope of a more diverse group of people. Two years on, I have noticed a trend emerging.
Whether it was my free spirited upbringing or a childhood submerged in stories, I'm not sure, but the fact is, no matter what I have or who I'm with, it was never good enough – I always wanted to meet people who really understood me and everything that I stood for, like the ones I had read about in the poems and books I had grown up with.
I'm now eighteen and about to move onto bigger things (in the terrifying world that is university). The thing is, I didn't find those people at college. I didn't find art loving, poetry reading , organic eating individuals, but rather, something completely different. The people I found in college, however, are the most beautiful, hilarious and inspiring people that I have ever met, despite their horrendous lack of appreciation for the arts and despite the fact that none of them would know who Sylvia Plath was if she came back from the dead, are all dedicated fighters to the “science is much more useful that the arts” debate and all concluded that Charlotte Bronte was a TV presenter.
The point I'm trying to get across is this: despite the fact that for the past six months I have been counting down the days until the end of my A Levels, I'm so sad to leave. After eighteen years of searching for something more, I ended up stumbling across something much more useful: a realisation. The realisation was this: by searching for people like myself, I was setting up myself up for failure and was blind to the people around me.
Even if my best friend has never read more than five novels in her whole life, I still love her for the person she is and every single hilarious conversation we have ever had. I guess the message is this: once I gave people a proper chance, I found everything that I was looking for, even if it wasn't in my original plan or check list for my 'perfect friends.'
The point is this: even if someone has memorised the periodic table where as you've memorised the entire works of Brian Patten, give them a chance: they might just surprise you.