Just this past weekend was my 10 year high school reunion, to which I actually made an appearance despite many fervent vows over the years that I, when the time came, most certainly would not. When I think of high school, I just think of awkwardness and lots of crying. I will let the following Daria memes do the talking for my overall thoughts on the whole experience, seeing as we were pretty much the same person. I even kind of looked like her when I didn’t wear my contacts.
I put in a half-assed effort at mingling, but the real reason I was there was to see my core group of friends who I am still close with to this day. The golden opportunity of us actually all being in the same place at the same time was too good to pass up. The following day, I attended a baby shower for one of them with the rest of the squad, which is another thing that made me feel all awkward and adult-y.
It is actually one of my life goals to never change a diaper even once, and I think I am putting in some good strides towards its achievement. I wish her all my love and the best though, and can’t wait to meet the little miniature version of my best friend sometime soon.
It’s funny to think about how completely 99.9% different we are after 10 years, but in some ways still so very much the same. This idea is something I touched on in my last post about my new project. You’re always going to have thoughts about the past like “I wish I would have known, I wish I would have done …” etc. etc., but putting some things in perspective early on never hurts. To conclude, I will leave any current highschoolers who may be reading this with some things I wish I would have realized that would have made the journey a little less tumultuous.
Not to use a cliche phrase, but you do you.
If you are naturally more introverted and are content to not be flapping your gums 24/7 during a school day, then don’t feel pressured to interject yourself into conversations just so that you look more “social” or “normal”. You will end up completely draining yourself. On the other hand, if you are aching to talk and get to know people but are holding back because you feel like you may say something awkward and embarrass yourself, don’t – just let it out. I mean, you totally will do it, that saying something awkward thing, but it happens to everyone and if you’re confident and can just laugh at yourself no one is going to give you a scarlet letter for it. By the way, you’re going to put your foot in your mouth plenty as an adult so you might as well practice up.
Definitely work hard and do your best, but enjoy learning. Don’t overestimate the significance of high school as it plays into the rest of your life so that your only goals are to look good on paper.
Don’t waste your times on classes, clubs, or activities just because you feel like they somehow make you “look good.” Seriously, if I wouldn’t have spent every day coming straight home from school and going right down to the basement to draw until bedtime, I would not have the skills I have today in the field I actually ended up going into as a career. Having a long, exhaustive list of all this stuff that you do is only just that… a long exhaust(ive)(ing) list. Spend your time doing what you like. If that’s being involved in 15 different sports and after school clubs, then more power to you. If it isn’t, then don’t sweat it and don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re lazy just because you have different ways you like to spend your time. You’ll wish you had as much free time as you do now when you’re an adult with a full time job.
Don’t obsess over having a date for formal dances.
Dates are boring. I had exponentially more fun during the homecomings I attended in a group with my single friends. You’ll have plenty of time for uncomfortable dinner dates as an adult, trust me.
It’s ok to not be invited to parties. They aren’t that fun.
I know fomo can be rough, and as one who understands I have but one life to live and wishes to maximize the potential joy and newness of every moment, I still struggle with it hardcore to this day. But, I promise you, you truly aren’t missing anything. When you’re in your mid-20s, you will actually start making up excuses to avoid having to go to parties, because gigantic loud house parties filled with sloppy drunk people and bad music are tedious.
And lastly, your hair doesn’t look bad.
No one is looking at you that closely, because in all actuality they are too busy obsessing over what their own hair looks like. I used to be hard-pressed to be out the door an hour and fifteen minutes after waking up for school, and that was with showering the night before and my mom making my lunch. Now, I get ready for work and am in the car in 20 minutes, and I don’t actually look like an ogre from outer space. Score!
If you just aren’t feeling like high school is the “time of your life” it’s supposed to be, take solace in this … It’s basically all uphill from here.
2 thoughts on “Reunion … Alternate Title: Holy Crap I’m Old.”
I share your memories of early school years. Mine too were Strewn with taunts and jibes, and for the most part horrifically lonely. I returned later in life and found the me I was never allowed to find in traditional public education. You’ve come a long way, and you have much to be proud of, and much more to accomplish. As Dylan Thomas wrote “…I have many miles to go before I sleep…” and so do you. Onward through the fray!
Thank you! I was never treated horribly by anyone in school aside from the usual little tiffs teenagers get into from time to time with each other. It was more as you described, just loneliness and feeling like I couldn’t relate to or share thoughts or interests with anyone. Probably everyone else was feeling the exact same way, but it’s hard to open up when you’re younger. Then you grow up and just don’t worry about what others think, and it’s quite freeing haha :P. Traditional education does tend to cater to one specific sort of learner and personality type, as do most things.