I’m catching up on Glee this week because I was only given 3 shifts at work. I just watched the episode in which Sue finally shuts down the Glee club for good and so everyone who’s ever been in it comes back to sing together a few last times. Graduation is within days. What stuck out to me was how Tina stressed so much about how she’d never see anyone again and her life would be meaningless without Glee club or her high school friends in it. It seems melodramatic now, but when you were in high school, didn’t you think the same thing, if not to a lower degree? When it’s happening, it seems like that’s all there will ever be. School and the friends you’ve grown up with are all you know. The outside world is scary and doesn’t seem real until you’re out there in it.
For many kids, high school is built up to be the best years of your life. “You’ll have these friends for years to come,” they say, but how true is that? Aside from my brothers, I invited exactly 3 people from my high school to my wedding. I am Facebook friends with maybe 10 people from my high school. I didn’t end up marrying anyone I dated from my high school. I run into people I knew from back then and I don’t know what to say. I’m a completely different person than I was back then. In fact, I’m thankful all the time that life didn’t end at high school graduation. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted to do. I had no idea how to be a good friend or a good partner for a husband. High school seems like a lifetime ago and I’m so glad.
While trying to count how many of my Facebook friends went to Highland, I got distracted and began looking at people I’m not friends with, people I haven’t seen in several years. Many of them had their children as their profile pictures. One of my closest friends in 9th grade gave birth to a child in our junior and for a short time, I knew that child and was looking forward to her growing up. Today, I stumbled across my former friend’s profile. I was shocked that I couldn’t remember her child’s name. She must be 8 years old now.
I feel no nostalgia for high school. I definitely feel nostalgia for college, where I met most of the people with whom I have become very close friends. Being independent, having someone to hang out with every minute of the day. All of the great restaurants within walking distance. Even being in a higher learning environment. This post-college stage is difficult, but it’s still way better than high school. No unnecessary drama, no hours upon hours of homework every night, no standardized tests, no immature backbiting and cruel mocking. We are just growing into our bodies and minds, learning how to be humans in the real world. If high school was the good as it got, life would be pretty awful. Even if high school was amazing for you (because you were either popular or cared what NO ONE thought), it is not the best years of your life. If anything, college is it! But then you have the years after you’ve struggled for a while and are finally settled down in the career you love, giving purpose to your life! That sounds infinitely better than high school.
How much have you changed since high school?