It’s only been a year since I graduated high school but, looking back, I can definitely see how much I’ve changed. Okay. So maybe I haven’t changed too much but there is definitely a huge difference between 2013 Hannah and 2012 Hannah. My Diliman rejection (maybe “rejection” isn’t the right word since I don’t think I ever really had the choice) is still a sore subject and I don’t wish to think about it any further so I decided just to write and reflect about the one thing that makes me happy every time I think about it: High School. I decided to just stop moving forward for a while and look at the bread crumb trail I left behind. A trail of love, loss, mistakes, and right decisions — basically all the things I’m sorely missing. Let us look at the big picture. My evolution and the reason/s for my evolution: who I was and who I am.
Fresh Off the Tree (2008 – 2009)
Freshman Hannah was quiet and a bit socially-awkward. Her hair was short and wavy. She had bad eyesight but refused to wear glasses for fear of being labeled a nerd. She didn’t have a social life and turned her attention to her academics. Everyone (even her teachers) noticed this and encouraged her to make friends. Alas, she didn’t have much except for a few acquaintances and an unrequited love for her handsome but not-so-compassionate classmate. Even though she focused on her studies, she couldn’t quite get into the Top Ten. This was perhaps because she wasn’t motivated or inspired enough to study harder. She believed she was a good writer but didn’t try out for the school newspaper because she was shy. She joined the school choir and was happy for a while… until the choir fell apart for unknown reasons (Maybe the adviser left?).
The Second Time Around (2009 – 2010)
Sophomore Hannah, being a bit more well-adjusted, had a few friends. Her hair grew longer and she wore headbands often. She also started wearing eyeglasses on the doctor’s insistence. With regards to academics, her second year in high school wasn’t the best. Of course, she still got good grades but, since she found friends–friends that, little did she know, will become her ticket to happiness throughout high school– she paid less attention to her studies and began having a bit more fun. She was no longer infatuated with her “handsome” classmate and had a brief (but valuable) fling with a pal from her old school whom she reconnected with through Facebook.
Third Time’s The Charm (2010 – 2011)
Junior Year was when Hannah began to blossom. She had a group of true friends whom she deeply cared about and loved. She had a deep crush on this guy who, although waaaay out of her league, is kind and supportive (and whom motivated her to study harder and be better–though indirectly). She found a way to balance both school and friends. She was having the time of her life while still doing her best in the classroom. She joined the Glee club and the school paper, both of which have given her many opportunities to shine and grow as a person. Yep, Junior Hannah was the best.
The Beginning of the End (2011 – 2012)
Senior Hannah, much like Junior Hannah, was well-adjusted and happy. The only difference between the two would be the fact that Senior Hannah had fear… fear of what comes next. To her, it seemed unfair that just when she had found happiness in secondary school (because of her group of true friends, her good grades, her supportive crush, her being chosen to be Editor-in-Chief and her spot in the Glee Club), it was all going to be over and she was going to have to adapt AGAIN. She feared what would happen next and what she was about to leave behind…
There and Back Again (2012 – present)
College Hannah seems to be a mix of all four Hannahs above. Despite leaving high school on a high note, her first college symphony has fallen flat. If her first semester alone is any indicator of what lies ahead for College Hannah, then she is in for one hell of a ride… and it’s not always going to be thrilling.
Despite everything that has happened I’m still pretty optimistic and looking forward to whatever comes next. If my college life is going to be anything like my high school years then maybe… everything is as it should be. Looking back and seeing the low points of my life and how I overcame them, I realize that everything happens for a reason. A close friend of mine told me before that if she hadn’t fought with her Freshman BFFs, we probably wouldn’t be best friends now. I guess sometimes the bad things that happen to us lead to better things… and sometimes (much like the UPD incident) the light at the end of the tunnel will turn out to be a moving train.
I will never understand God’s mysterious ways. I can only trust that everything that happens is part of His plan and will be for my own good.
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11