Freak Outs, by Rebekah Purdy

Okay, so anyone who knows me can back me up when I say I’m NOT an overly dramatic person (well most of the time). But even I have bad days. To be honest, I had a few of those kind of days when I was a teen. And yes, I did freak out on my parents on a couple of occasions.

Flash back to 14-year-old Rebekah. It was the summer right before freshman year. I’d just made the cheerleading squad, I had a hot boyfriend who was on the swim team, my friends and I were already planning what kinds of dresses we’d buy for our first dances. SQUEEE…everything was perfect. Or so I thought.

Enter parents. One month before school was supposed to start back up they break the “big” news. We were moving and had one week to be out of our house. WTF? Seriously? This SO wasn’t happening. I remember begging my parents to change their minds—I mean this was my freshman year. So I called my friends, bawling my eyes out. One of my BFF’s parents actually talked it over and said they’d let me stay with them during the week so I wouldn’t have to transfer schools. For one brief moment, it gave me hope that maybe I wouldn’t have to go. Unfortunately, my mom and dad nixed that idea.

So a week later, I found myself in an old run down farm house. 3 weeks after that came high school orientation. The new school? HORRIBLE! I came from a small school and this one was huge and filled with preppy, rich kids. I know, it sounds like the start of a YA book, but I’m not exaggerating. Everywhere I looked, people strolled by wearing their name brand clothes, their noses in the air. No way in hell was I going to fit in here. My family had NO money. My dad didn’t work, my mom had a low income…most of my clothes were hand-me-downs from girls at church. Not to mention I was probably one of only a few students who got free lunch.

I still remember standing in line to get my yearbook picture taken, staring at the cafeteria filled with strangers. These weren’t my friends. And right there, in the middle of the room, tears rolled down my cheeks. My mom glanced at me, and I told her I didn’t want my photo taken. I just wanted to grab my schedule, find my locker, and leave.

When we got home, I went upstairs and threw myself across my bed. My parents said it wasn’t a big deal, I’d adjust. Yeah, right. This was freshman year; everyone already had their groups of friends picked out. I was an outsider in every way imaginable.

The first week of school was the worst. No one talked to me. Embarrassed about the lunch tickets for free lunch, I started just going right to the library to avoid being seen. Then I met a group of girls in my choir/gym classes. They weren’t the most popular girls, but they weren’t bottom of the totem either. They started inviting me to sit with them during classes and lunch. I fell right in with them. Soon I spent the night at their houses and received invites to parties. Freshman year flew by. While I didn’t exactly “love” my new school, it was bearable now.

Then came sophomore year and I made the cheerleading squad. I joined SADD (students against drunk driving) and became a part of the concert choir. Though, I still wasn’t cool with the move, I had other things to focus on—friends I could hang out with. Boyfriends and dances came and went. Life was looking up. Junior year sped by and I was getting ready for my senior year. The time where I’d get to pick a college, go to my last prom, get senior pictures taken, and hang out with my friends…

And my parents struck again. They’d found a small house an hour north of where we lived that they could get on a land contract. We were gonna move, again. No. Flipping. Way. This wasn’t happening. I’d just gotten adjusted from our last move. Not to mention this was going to be my senior year.

So I let them have it. I freaked out, yelling about how unfair it was that we had to move my SENIOR year. I asked several times how they could do this to me.

Again, they told me I’d adjust. Really? Adjust? Okay, moving to a new school freshman year was one thing, but senior year? I’d graduate with a bunch of strangers. The only plus this time was at least my brother and sister would be in high school too. I wouldn’t be ALL alone.

Angry, I packed my stuff and soon found myself in a new house. Our neighbors were actually awesome. They introduced us to their grandkids/nieces/nephews who were our age. So we knew people going in this time, however, it still didn’t excuse the fact moved.

Another benefit with this move was it was a much smaller school (my graduating class was only like 83 kids). The people didn’t seem stuck up. To my surprise we made friends pretty quick. I joined drama club, tried out for some plays, started working on the school paper, and took a FABULOUS creative writing class. Things fell into place more quickly this time and soon I found myself surrounded by friends.

Am I glad we moved? Not really. Did I have a few spaz-out moments where I lashed out at my parents—HECK YEAH! But looking back, I wouldn’t change anything. I got a chance to make friends all over the place, it gave me great material for writing YA books, and well, it made me much stronger. Will I ever tell my parents that? Probably not. LOL.

How about you? Was there ever a time where you freaked out on your parents about something?

5 Replies on Freak Outs, by Rebekah Purdy

  • I, ahem, hate to admit this but my high school life was embarrassingly bland when it comes to anything major happening like moves. That was more elementary. There were the usual squabbles when it came to friends, boys, makeup, clothing etc. but my two older brothers and sister broke them in with the drama beforehand so they were pretty lenient on me. I was the first in my family to attempt college (my older sister later went back for a while) but the financial drain was too much for me. THAT kind of freaked me out. I felt like everything I wanted in my life was over, that I had no hope but a dead-end job forever. But sometimes God teaches us lessons in different situations and I guess mine was to never give up on your dreams. There’s always time to take them in hand.

  • Ahh…the dreaded move! I’m with you on this one, Rebekah. My dad was a minister so moving was part of the package. I went to EIGHT different schools between Kindergarten and 12th grade. From the small town to the country to the city it was quite an adjustment every time. Like you, I don’t regret it either. Of course, at the time, I thought I was HELL but looking back I learned a lot and it really thickened my skin. And yes, I’ve got some great material for fiction now too. When I write, I’m always imagining the places I grew up. If it wasn’t for those experiences I’m not even sure I’d be a writer today.

    Thanks for a great post! It brought back some fond (and not so fond!) memories. 🙂

  • Awww! That’s one heck of a story, lady. You paint a very vivid picture. I can’t imagine being in a ‘real’ high school. I went to a 7-kid school and my graduating class was 2. Me and some other kid. LOL So your story plays like a movie in my head. I’m sure it’s awesome to have that to draw on, even if it wasn’t or didn’t seem like it at the time. 😀 Thanks for sharing!!

  • Great story Rebekah! What an amazing, rich store of memories you must have! I went to the same school from age 10 to 18, an all girls one at that! We didn’t have prom or anything like that – although we did do a couple of joint musical productions with the local boys schools which were very amusing! xxp

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