Prologue – An Average Introduction to an Average Story

When you think of high school, you think of living the rose-colored life. Like, going out and doing a lot of things. Joining various clubs, simultaneously or one at a time. The basketball club. The baseball club. The handicrafts club. The arts club. The go home club. The whatever club. You name it! A rose-colored life won't be complete without the involvement of club activities, mundane or profound they may be.

Also, there's going out to lots of places with groups and groups of friends. Going to karaoke places singing your hearts out. Strolling within malls with or without the intention of buying things. Hitting those high scores at the arcade and proudly puffing your chest when you manage to do so. A lot of other things involving friends. Or just spending time with each other, sharing stories, ultimately strengthening the friendly bond that each of you have. A rose-colored life won't be attained without the involvement of friends.

Of course, a high school life won't be rose-colored without a tinge of romance in it. Afterall, high school romance is the epitome of a rose-colored high school life. Being able to spend quality time with your significant other. Being able to exchange sweet nothings, kisses, hugs… even more kisses. Being able to give and receive affection, or in more specific terms, LOVE as they call it.

They do say that the dramas and intricacies of a high school romance is far more intriguing than that of any other romance stories. And I'd have to agree with that. There's a reason why a lot of writers, newcomers and experts alike, use it as the main premise of their stories. Oh the woes of the youth!

Thinking about these things, any high schooler should be aiming for the rose-colored high school life right?

Enter me.

Believe it or not, I have never wished for those things I mentioned just now. Nope. Nuh-uh. No serri. Nada.

Uhh.

Wait.

'Never' may be an overstatement here. I don't, for a reason that I really don't talk that much about (not because I don't want to, but because not a lot of people bothered to ask), remember my wishes from my early childhood afterall.

Okay.

Let's just say that I no longer wish for those things.

Honest!

To me, high school is just another of the many phases of one's life (if you're wondering, the phases would normally include infancy, early childhood, childhood, adolescence (this is where high school normally belongs), young adulthood, adulthood, and then old age). A necessary step in order to become a full-fledged member of society. One of the many steps in this wonderful gift that has been given to us by a great and generous supreme deity (as they say) that we generally call 'life'.

As per mandated by our government, and also as one of the many qualifications required by various employers, the ordinary citizen is encouraged (I'd say encouraged. Not everyone is required to go to school. Looking at you, you privileged and most probably spoiled rich kids!) to attend to his/her educational rights and needs. And anyway, most employers require at least the educational attainment of a high school graduate (not every job requires a college degree, according to my research. For what purpose did I do such research? For science of course!). So yeah, if you are one of those many who needs a decent well-paying job in order to live his/her day to day life, which you most probably are, you would need to at least finish high school.

As I am just like any other individual of my age, I am required to go through high school.

I've already went through one year of it, which, as you'd expect of someone of my caliber, is mostly uneventful (but consequently peaceful). Only two more years to go, and then I'm off to living as a full-fledge member of society by getting a job. Or I could further my studies by entering college. Both options are the commonly taken path by people who are essentially just like me.

Of course, there are other options like starting up a business or taking over the family's business, but I don't think I qualify for either of those right now or even in the foreseeable future. Those options are only available to those who strive to be more than just your regular everyday individual.

I'd probably enter college. As to what course I'll be taking, it'll probably one which has a high demand but also has a fairly decent passing rate. What good is there in taking up a high demand college course if you can't even pass it? I know what: A total waste of time and resources. Double on the resources.

As I am not one of those privileged rich kids, I cannot just be wishy washy and shift courses during my college years just because I no longer want my current course. That would be unproductive and will cause the resources that I've already put in to taking such course to be wasted. An average guy such as myself cannot afford to do that. My resources will forever remain limited. And so, I must take up a college course that I will surely pass with no delays and will surely land me a decent job, preferably in a short span of time after graduating but we both know that that is just wishful thinking. Uhm-hmm.

And then after that, it'll probably be months of searching and waiting for employment, being a bum and questioning life's purpose, and then finally landing a job that I don't really like that much but have no choice but to accept, else I'll have to wait for months and months again. Maybe even forever. Such is the fate of your average jobseeker.

It'll probably be a job as a salaryman, a rank-and-file government employee, or a corporate slave.

Yep. Living the average life is the best!

Oh no, don't get me wrong. It's not like I don't enjoy high school. I actually like it. I may not enjoy it as much those who aim for a rose-colored high school life do, but I still enjoy it nonetheless. It's bearable. It has its ups and downs. It surprises you once in a while. Even I, an average guy, can enjoy my average high school life. It's not like I'm a joyless person. Being average doesn't mean that you can't experience joy you know?

I have this feeling though that I'll probably enjoy college more. But that's still two years away anyway, so I'll just let the 'me' of tomorrow worry about the things of tomorrow. Instead, the 'me' of now should focus on the things of now.

So yeah, here's me, your everyday average high school… individual. Or something. Meh.

Average in academics.

Average in looks.

Average in personality.

Average outlook in life.

Average in presence.

"John Smith?"

"Present."

And an average name to boot.

No, it really is an average name. I did my research!

Okay, tell me honestly, when one says John, what follow-up name would instinctively go through your mind?

If you say something other than Smith, I'd say that you are a bad person for telling such a blatant lie. Or you probably just don't think like the common man does. There will always be outliers. Average cannot be called average without extremes. It's more probable that it's the former though so just be honest next time okay?

I don't have any qualms with my name though. It's easy to remember. It's easy to pronounce. It's not a bad name unlike those that were named after popular brands like 'Apple', 'Sam Sung', or even 'Batman'. Or those overly long names that would probably take-up a whole space of paper like 'Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff, Sr.' [1]. Or those names that weren't given any thought at all like 'ABC'. I'd take 'John Smith' over any of those any day.

Admittedly though, my name could use a little more refining. Something like adding a second name and such. 'John Alexander Smith' perhaps? It does sound classy and regal. Kinda gives you the feel of a king you know? How about 'John Dave Smith'? Hmm. Not as good as the first one, but still a decent one. It gives the feel of an honest everyday man. 'John Kennedy Smith'? Could do. Sounds presidential though. I may not be able to carry the weight that goes with such name. 'John Anne Smith'. Confusing gender-wise. There are enough gender-confusing names anyway such as 'Jade' or 'Angel' or 'Jose Maria'.

Intergalactic Ranger Super John Smith?

Yeah. That last one was just me being silly.

John Smith it is. A perfectly fitting name for an average man such as yours truly. I say 'Splendid monsieur!'.

And yeah, John Smith really is my name. Got a problem with that?

These are the thoughts that have been swimming in my mind as I partially listened and fully waited for our homeroom teacher to finish up checking our attendance and mentioning each of my classmates' names.

It's what the first day of class normally amounts to. Introductions, orientation, a general overview of what to expect of the schoolyear, and then we're free to do whatever it is that we want to do. Yep, just the normal. Everything is good so far it seems.

I already know most of my classmates here being that I was in the same class as them during my first year here in this school. Some of them I hang out with. Some of them I only know by face and name. Of course, there are those who are complete strangers to me, but it's not like I must know everyone on the first day of school you know? I still have about a year to get to know them. To what depth, I'll just let the workings of tomorrow decide for me. Go with the flow is what I'm saying.

Oh, aside from affirming our attendance, we were also made to share some general info about ourselves such as our age, our previous section, and other 'interesting' things about ourselves. Aside from giving out what was required of us by our teacher, I didn't tell that much. It's not like I don't want to. It's just that, I don't really have that much interesting about myself. Average guy with average grades, with average looks, with an average personality, with an average outlook in life, and with an average name here remember?

The same could not be said for some of my classmates though. Take Classmate A for example. Classmate A is one of those what you'd call 'Passionate' types. You know, the types that are very 'passionate' about their interests. The ones that are very very 'passionate' that they want to share that same passion, or more like they want that same passion to rub off on everyone else. They won't stop until you're one of them. It's not like I hate them though, but if I could, I'd prefer to not deal with them, thank you very much! Afterall, people of this particular type often have the spotlight shone upon them. As I am a proud bearer of the moniker AVERAGE GUY, I'd like to not be on the spotlight. Preferably never.

Classmate A here told us his previous section, the same one as I was in apparently (and yes I know him but thankfully, I managed to keep my distance from him as much as possible and thus I am able to continue living my average life in peace), and the clubs that he's currently in. Emphasis on the 's'. Yep. It's not just one. It's not just more than one. It's not just more than two. It's not just more than three even! He's currently juggling five clubs currently! But wait, there's more! That number was previously ten but he had to drop some clubs because, as 'passionate' as he is, he is only human. If that is not going overboard, I don't know what is. But eh, props to him for being to handle that. If that is how he wants to live his high school life, who am I to deny him of that?

Let's take a lot at another example. Classmate B here is also remarkable but for a completely different reason than that of Classmate A's. And when I say completely different, I mean way way wwwwaaayyyyy different. See, Classmate B is one of those 'depressing' types. The kind that makes you want to cry just by looking at them, just by being near them, or just by hearing them. Whether it be because of circumstance or just of their own volition, the thing here is that you'd get really sad just by being within the vicinity of their presence. It goes without saying that I'd like to avoid being associated with Classmate B's type as much as possible. They too are put in the spotlight from time to time. I'd like to reiterate that as I am a proud bearer of the moniker AVERAGE GUY, I'd like to not be on the spotlight. Preferably never. Never ever.

Heh.

Anyways, Classmate B here shared to us an account of her WONDEFUL life, how she has no dreams and such. You know, just what you'd expect of a WONDERFUL life. The air around the classroom became awkward while she was sharing her WONDEFUL story, and I could feel that a majority of the class (including our teacher) were about to cry tears of joy, but thanks to Classmate A and his overwhelming 'passion', everything went back to normal.

It's pretty funny how it works like that. You know, when you mix a positive with a negative. It's how it works with mathematics too. When you add a negative number to a positive number of the same absolute value, it results to zero. Cool huh? Wait, why are we talking about math again?

I still have a lot of classmates, each of them belonging to certain types. But the two I mentioned above are the only one worth mentioning because of how extreme they are, in my humbly average opinion. Besides, most of them are in same type as me, which should be expected because average is called average for a reason. It is the expected. It is the norm. It is the majority.

Yep.

Being average is the best!

No really, it is. Being average entitles you to a fairly uneventful and totally peaceful life. Oh, it also entails you to plenty more benefits! Sure, they may not be as remarkable as the ones that the 'above average' or even the 'below average' ones have, but hey, benefits are benefits. And oh, being unremarkable is actually one of those benefits.

Okay. Before you raise those pitchforks of yours and state your protest on as to why being unremarkable isn't and will never be a benefit, hear me out first.

Being remarkable (the 'good' kind of remarkable that is) has its benefits, yes. I agree with that. In fact, I have never disagreed with that. Benefits such as being the first one to be noticed, being given the best projects, being the first to be given a promotion, and the like. However, there are downsides to it. By being remarkable, you'd have to exert extra effort in maintaining it. Extra effort means extra work. And you know what they say about extra work.

It sucks.

Extra work sucks.

Especially if you're not paid to do it.

Never will I go back to the old days when I-

Uh hmm.

I must reiterate this for reinforcement: being average is the best!

Of course, I must also mention the amount of pressure that comes with being remarkable, which is another one of its numerous downsides. Being on top means that there are certain expectations of you. Expectations that are above of what's to be expected from a normal person. The thought of undergoing such pressure of meeting these expectations still chills me to the bone.

Needles to say, none of the disadvantages above can be applied to being unremarkable.

Being unremarkable won't require you to exert more effort. It won't expect from you other that from is normally expected of you. It won't pressure you into maintaining a certain level of excellence. With being unremarkable, you can experience smooth-sailing in life just as long you do what is normally required of you to do.

BEING AVERAGE IS THE BEST!

"Well, I guess that's everyone. Our orientation end here. You are free to do whatever." finally says our homeroom teacher, signaling to us the end of the first day of class.

At that, most of the class cleaned up their desks, and then prepared to go wherever it is they want to go, which is what most would normally do when a day of class of ends. I too am doing the same thing.

Now, where should I go? I can always just go home.

"Oh yeah. Don't forget about your Career Aspiration Forms. I know that it is still early but take my advice and fill it up as early as now. Having a plan for your future as soon as possible will always be good for you." wisely added our homeroom teacher.

Right. We have those.

I already filled up mine since I already have a general plan on what I'll probably do and be in the future. It's not hard to think about since I'll probably end up the same as most people. You know, being average and all.

The form asked for what we would want to be in the future, but I answered what I'd probably be instead. It's to plan for my future anyway. It's much easier to create your plans if you base them on what would probably be the likely future rather than the future that you want to be. The future that you dream of.

Although, if I were to be asked what my dream career is, I'd proudly say 'House-husband'. And I say that with good reason. I mean, who wouldn't want to live the luxurious life of not having to do corporate work? Being to lounge around at home (but also not forgetting to do the normal household chores), being basically to spend however you want to spend your day… who in the world won't want that? An abnormal person would.

But eh, that's what dreams are. Dreams. Not reality. I have long since accepted that I will never be attain this particular dream career of mine. I'm just an average guy afterall. Average guys are fated to have careers as either a salary man, a rank-and-file government employee, or a corporate slave. Not that that these careers are bad or anything. They are just not dream-material.

Well, now that this school day is over, I guess my best choice of action is to go home.

"Hey, do you have any plans for today?"

Or maybe not.

[1] Longest personal name ever used. And I haven't even fully written it her. It's a real name! A quick google search will confirm that for you.