How YouTube Makeup Tutorials Helped Me Survive High School

by Elana Rubin

Ingrid Nilsen

Before I began ninth grade, my family moved. I'd spent the first 14 years of my life in the same house, same neighbourhood, and, from first through eighth grade, same school. But when we moved to a new house in new state, I began freshman year completely new to all my surroundings. This sort of thing is never easy for a kid (or for an adult, for that matter)—it’s terrifying to have to start over, to have to make new friends from scratch. It normally works out for the best within a few months, but unfortunately, that’s not what happened for me. At least not in the way I expected.

I made a couple friends that ninth-grade year, but because so many of them knew each other from as far back as pre-K or kindergarten, they mostly had their own circles, and those only solidified further come 10th grade. I tried so hard to find people to connect with. I did everything you’re supposed to: I joined basketball, crew, theatre. I even tried my hand at keeping score during volleyball games. Quite honestly, I really didn’t find a place where I felt like I fit—I couldn’t squeeze my way into any of these tightly knit groups.

What didn’t help was that this was 2010, a year when websites like Myspace (remember?) were cropping up all over the place. These sites allowed teenagers to send messages to one another anonymously. I don’t know who approved that or thought it would be a good idea, but let’s just say I was getting far more mean messages than nice ones. My life at this new high school definitely left something to be desired.

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