Monday, November 5, 2007

Those Awful High School Years

"High school is hard. I don’t care who you are: Band geek, mathlete, burnout, jocktard, or prom queen. Psychologically, there is no three-to-four year period in most people’s lives as harrowing and emotionally traumatizing as those the hours between 8 and 3, Monday through Friday, three seasons a goddamn year. That the most of us can muster the mental courage it takes to wake up every morning and subject ourselves to the daily firing squad, the humiliation pratfalls, and the torment of super-heightened self-awareness is a testament to the great unrecognized fortitude of teenagedom."

You hear a lot about how hard high school was. The backstabbing, the lying, the embarassment. But that wasn't me at all. If high school was hard, it's because my classes were hard.

I couldn't tell you who the most popular people in my school were, because I wasn't tapped into that world at all. The band and colorguard were my domain, not anything outside those walls. If you were in an organization like band, you know how much it can just be its own appendage of the school. My senior year the band ran its own candidate for homecoming queen, and she won. She also won prom queen.

I've read a lot of criticism of "High School Musical" saying that it's just not representative of what high schools are actually like because they left out the drugs, parties, sex, etc. But for me, Taylor High School was a lot more "High School Musical" than "Dangerous Minds."

In movies like "Mean Girls," there is a set "queen bee" of the school, and everyone not only knows who they are, but also want to be like her. That's just not the way things were at my school at all. I'm not sure if this is due to my not being interested in the social scene or if our school is just too big for something like that, but it just wasn't there.

Similarly, I don't recall a lot of girls in my circle being extra mean to each other, spreading lies and rumors and generally just making life hard for other people. I do recall there being some idiot guys and girls who bragged about drinking and getting into trouble, but they were more of the weird outcasts than anyone else.

So maybe I missed out on the "high school experience." But from what I have observed of other high schools, it looks like I just missed out on the "Hollywood high school experience."

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