Saturday, January 21, 2012

Am I the Only One...

...who thinks high school SUCKED??

My 25th class reunion is coming up.  Thanks to FaceBook people are coming out of the woodwork to get re-connected.  I'm not going to lie, I'm somewhat looking forward to the reunion, but mainly in the hopes of gaining some new understanding of who I was then.  I don't have a lot of memories from high school.  It felt sort of like an out-of-body experience for me, but one in which I didn't know what I was watching.

Even though I can't wait to see a bunch of people I haven't laid eyes on in 25 years and awkwardly talk about my Cinderella life (so thankful I'm in the "lived happily ever after" part of the story now!), what I don't understand is how so many people can be talking (on FaceBook) about how much fun they had back then.  I'd rather shoot myself in the face than have to go back to those high school days.  Teenagers are just plain MEAN.  If you didn't have that experience, you were probably on the bully side of the equation.  It reminds me of a recent Big Bang Theory's a clip:

You know the truth is, even as mean as kids were...I wasn't a bulls-eye target for their "fun".  Mean kids weren't the bane of my teenage existence.   I had a more-than-just-a-little-bit horrible home life.  School was my respite from home...but it wasn't the warm, cozy, happy place a girl could find comfort and solace.  It was more like jumping from the fire into the frying pan full of hot oil.  Both home and school burned, just in different ways.

It's ironic, in my senior year I was in Advanced Placement English.  At the end of the year, our teacher, Mrs. Young (one of the few I remember) gave out the "APE" awards.  Everyone in the class got one for something.  Mine was called the "Gameplayer" award (affectionately dubbed the "Brown-noser" by my peers).  I didn't realize I was doing it, but apparently raising my hand for every question, doing all the work I was tasked to do and being passionate about my performance was not exactly expected and/or normal for a 17 year old.  I remember feeling slapped in the face.  As if all my hard work had been for naught. 

I had a few boyfriends (well...only one boyfriend and a few other guys I went out with or liked).  I had a few girls I would have called "friends" but not anyone I spent any real time with after 10th grade.  Having the "hidden" home life I did made it almost impossible to genuinely connect with other people.  I wasn't allowed to do the things other kids did (parties, hanging out ((AKA loitering)), oh, I don't know, drive myself to and from work...).  I think my dad believed if I had any real connections, someone might figure out what was going on behind closed doors at home. 

To make high school awkwardness worse, I decided to start college my senior year.  I went 1/2 day to high school and then went to UALR the other half of the day.  I didn't fit in at either place.  I started college as a 16 year old.  I fully missed out on my last year of high school.  I just wanted to be out and done with it all.  I didn't go to parties or dances or even to prom.  (The night of my prom I had a date with a 28 year old man...can you say CREEPY??!!)  I thought it didn't matter...and yet, all these years later it seems like it I missed out on something everyone else loved so much.  It's like I had a completely different experience of high school than everyone else.

Surely I'm not the only one....