Teenage angst perseveres

Illustration by Steck Von.

Brianna Scott, Opinions Editor

I’m just another person out of the thousands of people who are closing out another chapter in their life. If I wrote a memoir about my experiences as an undergraduate, I think the title to this chapter would be “Teenage angst perseveres.”

I’m a shell of the person I used to be four years ago. A shell that was once filled with rage and passion that would spill out onto the floor beneath me. But over time, that rage and passion dwindled.

As a teenager, I desired so badly, to the point of nausea, to no longer be this person who sat in the shadows and let life pass her by. My teenage self would be gravely disappointed at the person I currently am, because that’s exactly what I’ve done: allowed my life to pass me by.

When I was 15 years old, we read “The Catcher in the Rye” in my 10th grade English class. I distinctly remember my teacher at the time telling me she could tell how much I loved the book and how much I related to Holden Caulfield.

Holden Caulfield is a peculiar, narcissistic character who is an angsty, hypocritical misanthrope who craves human connection.

Well, shit. It’s me.

This is still me. When you live in a city where nearly everyone has a chip on their shoulder, you’re no longer so special for hating everyone.

I had this pop-punk mentality growing up, hating my washed-up town and wanting to get out. And I got out. I escaped to Richmond of all places. I had a clean slate that I dipped in permanent blank ink the moment I got here. Now I want to escape Richmond.

The thing is, there’s nothing in Richmond I should be running from. There was nothing in my hometown I should have been running from.

I’ve always been running from myself.

You think the whole world is out to get you, when in reality it’s you standing in your way.

All the angst I have for the world comes from a place of being so terrified of myself. So scared of not knowing how to connect with people, not knowing how to love myself, not knowing how to live this life without any fears.

So I ran. And I ran, and I ran, and I ran, and I ran, until I hit a wall. A wall so tall it appears limitless. But it’s a wall I must climb over to reach the next chapter in my life. I no longer want to be confined to the shell of the person I used to be.

Graduating means I must climb this wall. I can’t run anymore.

I have to begin the journey of finding out who I am and discovering what is out there beyond the bubble of Virginia.

And for all the angst I have inside of me … I do have a lot of love. Even if I won’t admit it.

I have so much love for the people who helped get me to where I am today, even if they will never know it. Even you, reading this — you helped me get here.

The list of people I want to thank is longer than you’d expect from someone like me. From my classmates in the Robertson School to my co-workers at Ackell, to the CT staff, my Opinions team and the people who oddly ended up in my chaotic life along the way — thank you so much.

That wall. It’s really tall and it’s really scary but I’m going to climb it. I’m going to get on the other side and start this journey.

You’re going to have to start your journey one day too. You can’t be afraid of it.

“We all want to be great men and there’s nothing romantic about it. I just want to know that I did all I could with what I was given.” – “I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral” by The Wonder Years

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