High School and Not-Getting-Along-with-People-in-My-Grade Syndrome
I'm struggling to get my head around it.
TLDR; There's either a problem with my year group or that I'm the problem standing in their way.
I'm currently in my final year in High School and fall under the autism spectrum. I have a mixed reputation, had nasty rumors circulate (they don't even know me either) my first three years. After diagnosis and regular sessions, I have no clue whether I'm respected in my year group or downright shamed.
I started my journey of mental health four years ago, I’ve made many buddies along the way. I do well in my classes, had as many as 4 drama/music/art extracurriculars when I was in Year 9-10, have kept in touch with most of my friends and acquaintances up to now, and most importantly, I'm doing fine. I know I'm loved, worthy, and respected; That I have people around me who I can talk to and hang out with when I have the time.
But unfortunately, I can't do any of these extracurriculars anymore. It's tough meeting up with my extracurricular mates now. My friends are diverse. From all walks of life, some started high school, some have a job, some dropped for TAFE, some go to UNI. And we mainly interact online until time allows us otherwise.
I've always felt iffy with people my age. At first, it was me being judgmental, but afterwards I told myself; "What's the worst that could happen?" and dove right in. I opened up to the kids in my year group. Some kids were nice, some were straight up dismissive.
I tried to reach out. I smile. I ask groups if I could eat with them, I ask if I could sit and talk with them, I join in conversations where applicable. I'm always the one having to start the conversation. And all I get? One worded answers. Strange glances. When I sit with people they eventually move away from me to sit with a friend. When I greet them they give menacing glances. They make strange faces at me. I’ve caught them pointing and laughing at me. When they have questions about a subject I do my best to help them out. When I struggle with a problem, I ask for help from kids too. But in the end, nothing.
It's so isolating. Fyi, I DO have friends the same grade as me. But 80% of the people in my grade say otherwise. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. As much as I want to ignore them I NEED them. My friends take different career paths than me, I'm stuck with these kids in my subjects. If we want to succeed in the HSC we have to work together. But they aren't giving me a chance. What am I supposed to do?
Is it me?
I'm sorry to hear people are not treating you well and you feel so isolated. It sounds like you're really trying to open up with people in your grade but getting nothing back.
Unfortunately people can be really nasty in school and there's often no rhyme or reason about it. And, as you say, the final year is the year when people really should be banding together to help each other through and to learn from one another. My own experience in high school, while free of bullying, was not without unnecessary competition or otherwise unwillingness to help, so I don't think it is just you. Rather, people - especially in school - can just be a bit unreasonable like that.
If you do not have any friends doing the same subjects and such as you, and you would really like to be able to find some people to work together with, you may find it easier to approach some people one on one. I find a lot of high school silliness is exacerbated by group-think, and individually, people are more willing to engage. It's certainly no sure bet, but people are often so driven by what their peers think that they'll say or do stupid stuff even if they don't fully believe it.
I don't know if that is of any help, but I do hope you find some way to get a good group going. The final high school year can be a tough one for everyone, and it's not fair that you're being excluded like this.
Thanks for responding James, as much as I wish to change the name it's Kyle. I totally agree on this one! I always affirm that this too shall end once I get to Uni! (I really hope so) I've been ramming myself into a brick wall hoping these people would give up this "clique" stuff by the most integral part of high school, but to no avail; nothing.
I've had more luck engaging with people individually, even if the friend comes along and takes them from me eventually. It's just crazy that I have no chemistry with the people the same age as me, yet I can just go up to about anyone older or younger than me and click friendly.
I guess it's not about them, but my self worth. I've always been an egocentric individual (high-functioning autism trait and have been working on it.) and having to be rejected and isolated by people inflicts harm on my self-esteem and wellbeing. It feels almost degrading that people ostracize me without any reason, even worse, the 20% of those people I AM friends with suffer the same as me (so I'm not alone) and it hurts to know that people can just be like that.
It's not really about the HSC but I guess the connection of being close to someone my age. The worst part is that I DO have people I am friends with my age, but I'm stuck in this wheel of self-comparison, to a majority that I am unfortunately stuck in the same class with, and all the "seeing people group together and flock" makes me feel as if I'm not worth it, or that I'm not deserving of time and attention. It really is just not fair and I've been struggling to cope with it lately..
Does anyone know what to do with this situation? Do I just keep going?? I really don't know.. Thank you for responding by the way! 🙂
welcome and thanks for starting your thread.
I can feel your frustration at trying so hard to fit in and get along. I can relate to that wheel of self comparison .
I was in a high school many many many decades ago but as I read your words i recall how isolated I was at times. I used to spend lunchtimes in the library but on the day it was closed I spent some time in the bathroom as i felt I had no one to sit with. Sad but true.
A few years ago there was a school reunion and people were writing their memories of school days on FB and so many wrote about not fitting it feeling alone even people I thought were the popular ones. Someone texted me and said she saw me as a friend and was confused as I only recalled the sad times.
I suppose I am saying you are not the only one who feels like you do and this may not help but some of those students are in in a flock and appear to be so happy.
Does it help to have friends who suffer the same as you. I always felt alone .
Now the people I am in some contact with from you school days barely remembered me at school .
The other thing one person who many of us saw as mean turned out to have many personal and family issues we never knew about. As an adult this person reached out and is so kind.
I would focus on the friends you do have as you all understand each other but remember so many in the last year of high school may have mental health and family problems and maybe do not notice and reach out to others.
Not sure that has been much help.