I was driving around with my dad earlier today. We rode by my old high school as the school day ended. Kids were pouring out of the double doors, piling on to the school buses, or walking across the intersection in droves. The very intersection, in fact, in the middle of which I got my jeans caught in my bike pedal and fell over on my arse about 9 years ago. In front of half the high school. And other random drivers-by. Ahh, memories.
That’s just one of my many unpleasant high school recollections. Yeah…wasn’t the happiest of times for me. Though it wasn’t all terrible, here’s a little list of the few things I definitely don’t miss about my high school days.
“Everyone, find a partner” was one of the phrases I most dreaded hearing from the teacher’s mouth. Since I was socially awkward, it was rare that I’d have an idea of who’d want to pair with me before I knew it was coming. So, I was usually one of the last students left unpaired. Kinda felt like being picked last for teams in gym class.
Math. Of any sort.
I’ve never been great at math. Before, during, or after high school. I can do the basic stuff in my head just fine, though I’m usually so unsure of myself that I double-check on the calculator anyway. But when you start throwing 6-sided shapes at me and putting letters where they shouldn’t be….you probably lost me. As good as I was at most other subjects, I failed at least 3 semesters of math (very embarrassing to admit.) Though, I always managed to get the hang of it enough to at least scrape by with a C.
One of the few times (30 minutes, to be exact) we were able to socialize and roam campus freely, but I didn’t enjoy it for the same reasons as the other students. It was too noisy, overly crowded, the lunch lines were very long…usually I just settled for a vending machine snack and a seat on the concrete outside the cafeteria. I mostly sat alone ( I had no real friends, I was too quiet) reading a book. I had to teach myself to drown out the laughing, screaming chaos around me and immerse in literature.
My school day started at 5am. The final morning school bell rang at 7:30am. I wasn’t usually fully awake until 10am (I am not a morning person). I’d get to bed sometime past midnight. Repeat.
The only time I didn’t mind being in front of a bunch of people was performing in the choir. I felt safer in numbers. I despised getting up in front of the class, all by myself. I had to pretend I wanted to be up there talking about my assignment that they didn’t give a shit about, while they had to sit there pretending to give a shit. I used to prefer going first, or nearly first though. That was the time the class would still be sat quietly. Not because they were being a good audience and listening attentively, but because they were still sweating bullets about their upcoming turn.
Mine never went anywhere. I was always drooling over some guy way out of my league. Like that gorgeous Spanish foreign exchange student in ninth grade. He had the most crystal-clear blue eyes I’d ever seen. Or the immensely popular class clown/jock/drama geek/choir geek upperclassman who I was fortunate enough to see every single day because I too, was a choir geek. I never had a boyfriend in high school. So all my crushes were fruitless. Sigh.
When it was quiet…too quiet.
Those were the super-silent times in class when my tummy decided to mimic the entire horn section of the school band with all of its “I’m hungry, feed me!” noises. And gosh forbid I had Mexican for dinner the night before. Let’s not go there.
A lot of the people I came across in high school were nice, friendly people. There were just a handful, though, who helped make my experience unpleasant. I won’t go into too much detail, I’d rather forget those memories if I can. A few made fun of me behind my back, the ones with no shame did so to my face…I overheard someone say I’m ugly once. Sheesh, I know I was a little geeky-looking, but ugly? Mega harsh. Especially for an overly self-conscious teenage girl.
It’s a standardized test inflicted on unsuspecting young Floridian children since the 3rd grade. It was just pointless. I’ve actually heard it referred to as the Florida Child Abuse Test, among other things. I hated having to take precious time out of learning something potentially relevant to my future to do effin’ FCAT practice. Especially in high school. Even my teachers agreed it was silly. Sigh, but it had to be done.
See, my study technique was more of a “study-in-the-hallway-20-minutes-before-the-exam” style. And hey, it worked for me. But when teachers start just springin’ stuff on me 4 days before the scheduled test…not cool. I was rarely ever prepared that far in advance. I know I sound like a slacker, but I actually did well in school (save for all things math). Procrastinating was – and still is – the most effective way for me to get things done.
With all that being said, I’m still considering attending one of my old high school’s football games this season. Maybe show a little school spirit. I still look young enough that I’ll blend in just fine.