I was just watching Is It College Yet?, which was the series finale special of Daria. For anyone who has read this blog in the last eighteen months, you will know the impact Daria had on my young teenage life back in the 90s. When that particular episode aired back in January 2002, I was eighteen. I had just graduated school a month or two earlier, after receiving my G.E.D. It was an episode I haven’t watched since it aired.
Unsurprisingly, it has had an effect. Back when I was eighteen, I was jaded. I never had a graduation, and I was jealous of those who got to have one. I still am jealous of people who have graduations, because I won’t get to have one in 2016 when I am done with my college studies. It seems insipid, the whole graduation ceremony and everything. But to someone like me who functions from closure, it’s a means to soothing myself. I want to get dressed up, put on a cap and gown, and walk across the stage to accept my diploma. I’ve only been able to experience that once, and that was in the eighth grade.
As for Daria‘s impact, it was my way of seeing high school when I was a teenager. Daria and Jane weren’t popular, and they shied away from being such. I wanted to have lots of friends, to find my identity in school. Daria didn’t seem to concern herself with that. She didn’t mind being an outcast, that her sister disavowed any knowledge of her existence (though in hindsight I wished my sister had done the same), and she didn’t shy away from being outspoken. I was the opposite, and I have admitted it in the past.
- I was a smart kid, I just didn’t believe in homework. I wanted recognition by my peers, to feel like I fit in with the rest of them.
- I wanted the recognition of my peers, to feel like I fit in among them.
- I didn’t like being the outcast, the one no one spoke to in class, except if they wanted answers to questions about a lesson or to copy my classwork/homework
- I was ridiculously shy in school. I didn’t speak, unless spoken to. I had opinions about school, my teachers, and how corrupted the world was from 1998-2001, but I kept those thoughts to myself. It’s only been since 9/11 that I finally found my voice, much to my father’s annoyance.
I never went through the crisis of applying to multiple colleges, and the letdown of not being accepted. My plan when I was a freshman was going to Palomar College (which is/was a Community College in San Diego) to take my General Education courses, and then transferring to Cal State Long Beach (which I cannot to this day explain why I wanted to attend there) to finish out my college career. After moving to New Hampshire, I wanted to go to Southern New Hampshire University (where I attend now, online), but I didn’t graduate high school the traditional way and I didn’t take an SAT. That, and my parents couldn’t afford to send me to school.
Now that I am in college, things have become interesting. It’s hard, and sometimes I’d much rather be having fun than chained to my laptop or school books to further my education. Especially in the last seven days, concerning my ridiculous IT paper (which I have finished, thank Jesus).
Anyway, having become sidetracked, I will just say that Daria allowed me to feel that high school isn’t the peachy pom-poms and sunshiny rainbows they make it out to be on TV. That you are sometimes surrounded by total idiots, teachers who hate their jobs and have become jaded, and your parents put too much pressure on you. That you will be okay, and make it out alive.
As for college, I’ll get back to you in three years.