I remember fantasizing about junior year as an eighth grader, as a freshman, as a sophomore. Everything I’d witnessed in stories and in real life suggested that senior year would be stagnant, miserable, a wasted year of waiting until society allowed me to attend the college that would have already accepted me the previous summer.
Junior year, though? That was going to be the year for change.
Sophomores, they were still kids. But a junior was over the hump. A junior was an upperclassman. Juniors had friends with cars. I remember daydreams of “losing myself”—of turning down the wrong path, of making the wrong friends, of spewing all my hate and anger and despair into the world. I’d figure out how to make my hair look amazing, but dirty-amazing, and I’d acquire clothes that would broadcast my superiority. I’d participate in a slew of illegal activities. I’d stay out late and I’d yell at people and I’d be exceptionally tragic.
I consciously romanticized my anticipated self-destruction.
An unhealthy habit, to be sure—but I was 15 years old.