Before you argue, remember back with me.
I know it sucked to wake up before the crack of dawn and be in class before most of us even have our first cups of coffee these days, but you were guaranteed interaction every single day. I recently got back in touch with a few of my senior year teachers, and in doing so I’m reminded of all the laughs we had while being educated. I didn’t know it then, but those days may have been some of the best days. Those are the kind of days that shape us for the rest of our lives.
I’m sure my mom & sisters would be the first to deny this, but all that crap and drama may have been worth all the lessons. I can at least say this without any doubt, things were always interesting. I definitely don’t miss not knowing who was my friend and who hated me on certain days, but I do miss the hall-walking and band breaks.
I actually miss sitting in classes. I had Honors English first period my senior year. And while most kids would much rather be in bed asleep at 7:15AM, I was always there with a smile on my face, prepared for another day of adventures between the pages and skits that would make me laugh for days.
Our days were always the same but so different. I liked the structure. Wake up. Get Ready. Scarf breakfast. Drive mt. vernon to six forks to 540 to falls through a portion of a neighborhood to litchford to johnsdale–be sure to swerve to miss the giant holes in the road. park in the gravel lot against the second break in the tennis court fence. Grab books from back seat, wander to the band room. Say good morning to friends & catch up on the latest gossip (which I was usually the butt of) and head off to class. i loved to hate it.
But thinking about high school always makes me wonder one thing. Why was I always the one people talked about? I always tried to be the girl who smiled and laughed and had a light heart. I tried to be nice to everyone, unconditionally, only to get walked all over. I remember one night this girl who didn’t like me very much (for reasons still unknown) was fighting with her boyfriend and posted about it on her away message (remember before facebook this is how people often fought? through their away messages? how passive aggressive were we?) Before I could stop myself, I messaged her to make sure she was okay and to see if there was anything I could do to help. Now, let me remind you that it was 10:30pm on a school night, and I was running a 102 fever. Somewhere in her rant she mentioned that she was going to walk the three miles down a dark, busy road to her boyfriend’s house. I refused to let that happen, so I grabbed my sweater, drove to her house, drove her to her boyfriend’s house and waited outside for an hour while they “worked things out.”
The next morning, there was a new rumor floating around school about me that she started. Why do teenage girls do this to each other?
Kelly & I went to the WFR football game last weekend. It was crowded with people of all ages, but the stadium was mostly filled with high schoolers duh. I didn’t mind because I was killing two birds with one stone. I got to be the supportive fiance while also getting research for my new piece done. Kelly repeated something as we walked passed a large group of girls:
“There’s Abby. I’m not trying to talk to her no more.”
The graduation year may change, but high school will always be the same. I’m sure there’s some HS girl out there right now procrastinating homework waiting for a phone call that will never come. She’ll fall asleep with her phone in her hand. There’s some guy out there right now who is talking to a new girl, someone who isn’t his girlfriend. He thinks he’s sly enough that he won’t get caught. He isn’t.
Despite all the crap, high school gave me some very important, life changing things. I have my very best friend/Maid of Honor because of high school. My future husband is someone I fell in love with in high school. Some of my life-long friends are people I connected with on the practice field and grew with in the band room. High school taught me that it doesn’t really matter what or who you are, as long as you are happy with it.
While looking back at my journals, I am almost angry with myself how much time I spent hurting and worrying about people who didn’t like me. And the fact of the matter is it really doesn’t matter now. Maybe that’s why parenting a teenager is so hard. Because all you want to do is grab them, shake them, and knock some sense into them.
Our world seemed so important back then. But then it dissolves and the worries we fooled ourselves into having fade away into grown up problems we wish we could run from. High school stays safe within the four walls of a very specific building. Adulthood follows you everywhere.
No matter how good or bad things are, high school inevitably ends….