Imaginary

We all know that dreams occur when we’re fast asleep.  So when we are expected to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for school, some of our dreams are still lingering in our heads.  We manage to pull the energy to get dressed and, in good days, style our hair in a bun other than a high ponytail and we’re off to go.
Life, as we know it, exists within the school premises.  Life, all of life, is what we see, what we learn, who we hang out with, and on weekends, who we go out with.  We spend at least eight hours a day with our fellow classmates (and thus our BFFs forever!) and never reconsider another way of life.
Why is that?
Because it is very rare that social circles are beyond our school life.  We get to meet children from other schools when we play against them in our Junior Varsity and Varsity teams but it usually never advances to friendships.  We are mostly lazy, sticking with our childhood friends because we forgot how to make new friends and thus end up with that girl who just so happened to be sitting next to us in grade one.
How convenient.
Or if our parents are social butterflies, we befriend their children who, surprise surprise, probably go to our school as well because it’s “the best school there is.”
Then we get into groups.  People who like sports hang around with each other, people who play music, people who are technologically advanced, people who are technologically illiterate, cool kids, bad kids, popular kids, it’s all the same across schools and countries.  So you hate certain people, and like certain people.  And that’s the way it goes until the big day.
Graduation day.
You’ve been preparing all your life for this moment (this is probably the most used sentence in graduation speeches, alongside “we’ve done it”), and you’ve looked forward towards wearing that graduation gown and walking down the aisle.  You’ve discussed it a million times with your friends and were so anxious that you didn’t realize the car crash afterwards.  (sadly, a group of girls who graduated with me had a car crash but fortunately we didn’t lose anyone.)
The car crash called life.
Your close friends met your parents and so it’s no surprise when they meet them again in the ceremony.  It’s the other kids who turn all weird.  All of a sudden, that mean boy has parents.  Huh.  He has parents who kinda look like him and who, surprisingly, are very proud of his achievements even though they’re not so impressive.  BAM… Life…
A close friend decides to ignore you and concentrate on her family.  BAM… Life…
A girl who totally ignored you for the past five years comes up and takes a picture with you.  BAM… Life…
A guy who had a crush on you decides to introduce you to his mother who looks at you knowingly. BAM… Life…
People who didn’t really deserve the high achievement reward gets it and you wonder if there’s any foul play related.  BAM… Life…
And you walk in a haze… everything you once knew is completely gone.  Everything you thought was life is imaginary… everyone who walked on the school grounds suddenly is connected to people… It’s like a mind map of who knows who and who knows what and what money is being transferred to pull strings…
Then you realize, your college application could have gone through if only you had the money to “donate” and get into the amazing college of your dreams.  BAM… Life…
Life as you know it does not end within the school premises, life is what your parents have been trying to shelter you from because it’s a cruel cruel world for kids like you…
So be prepared to swim with the sharks, little fish.
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