My favorite thing about back to school season is that I’m no longer a student, ha! I love to reminisce, take advantage of clothing sales and see store shelves stocked with shiny school supplies, but I really don’t miss being in a classroom. Overall I liked school, but there were some times when I really hated it and wished I could just disappear. When you think back on your time as a student, were you too cool for school?
On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a total nerd, and 10 being you pranced around on water, how cool were you? I’d venture to guess most people will say they were a 6 or 7 out of modesty or perhaps delusion. I’d rate myself around a 5 in high school, and more like a 3 or 4 in college lol.
Now that so much time has past since my teens, it’s pretty funny looking back. Very few of us knew for sure what we wanted to do and many of us just wanted to fit in. Although, I give my best friend in high school major props for already knowing during her senior year exactly what she wanted to do with her career – to be a news anchor – and making it happen. Check out It Is Possible To Have A Dream Career.
It’s funny how much youthful angst pervaded the halls. Some of us had low self-esteem, while others were full of confidence and could do no wrong.
Here’s a reflection on my “good old days” as a teenager to help me remember where I came from. My memory is not the greatest anymore (sleep deprivation as a first time mother really zapped some of my brain cells!) so it’s time for me to start writing things down. Perhaps my son will get a good laugh someday if he reads this.
My “Cool” Factor
* Was an accomplished violinist and sat concertmaster or principal 2nd violin for all four years.
* Made the cut for All-State orchestra all four years in blind auditions (only ~48 HS violinists in the entire state).
* Was super active in Theater Arts with multiple lead roles and solos in the musicals.
* Won a scholarship due to my involvement in music and theater.
* Skipped mandatory chapel with my best friend a couple times, hiding from the teachers doing hall check.
* Had a pair of high-top navy blue Dr Martens.
* Got to take my Chemistry teacher’s iguanas on walks around the school.
* Met my best friend at boarding school and got to experience independence and freedom without parents.
* Was a competitive winner in the saltine cracker challenge, ie how many can you eat in 60 seconds without water.
* Got to travel to Japan in the summers to see family and friends.
My Nerdy & Not So “Cool” Factor
* Didn’t have a car or a bike. I walked and got honked and yelled at by older students. Sometimes I begged for rides from some older friends.
* Had a fall out with my best friend from middle school, then lost my other two good friends from our group when they switched schools, and had to start over.
* Couldn’t complete JV soccer tryouts because I got so winded during sprints and almost passed out.
* Made the JV tennis team only as a “warm body” so the team could make the minimum player requirement. Only played one match the whole season and didn’t win a single point lol.
* Was addicted to playing solitaire for hours after school on my desktop computer. Couldn’t afford a laptop and smart phones didn’t exist back then.
* Only went to 1 or 2 house parties the entire 4 years and one of them was the graduation party that everyone was invited to haha.
* Was on the advanced math track. Took Trig and AP Calculus, which was a total b!tch. Fortunately my best friend was a bigger math nerd than me and she helped me do our homework.
* Didn’t have the guts to tryout for the swim team. I liked swimming but the thought of having to wear a swimsuit in front of boys was out of the question.
* Got rejected to the prom by a guy I really liked (I think this was junior year). He went with a frenemy who didn’t even seem to like him. I boycotted prom after that!
* Couldn’t afford trendy clothes or big name brands. Didn’t have much fashion sense either.
* Hated talking in class most of the time. Was always paranoid I’d say something stupid and would get laughed at.
Being Cool In School Really Doesn’t Matter
So there you have it. I was never the Prom Queen; heck I didn’t even have a date to go to prom with! I didn’t party or own a car, I had to change groups and make new friends, sucked at sports, hated to speak in class, yet I got good grades and had a lot of confidence as a musician and thespian.
I also went to school with kids ranging from those with a parent in jail to those with a real life Mommy and Daddy Warbucks. High school was wild, overly dramatic, gossipy, and incredibly boring at the same time. I don’t miss it one bit, but it did make me a stronger person in the grand scheme of things.
There’s a great quote that says, “Be nice to nerds, for you might be working for one some day.” With the most “uncool” of people starting up enormous empires and running some of the biggest corporations in the world, there’s a lot of credibility to the saying!
As adults, it’s funny to reminisce on how immature high school was. There was absolutely no reason to be insecure about anything. What mattered was grinding through it and finishing in one piece to have options to do whatever you wanted after graduation.
When it’s time for my son to go to middle school and high school, I plan to tell him to try not to sweat the small stuff. I want him to find his niche whatever it is, no matter if it’s super nerdy or not, and focus on a few good friends instead of trying to be liked by everyone.
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Untemplaters, how cool were you in school on a scale from 1-10? What were some of your cool and uncool factors in high school? Did your past affect your present?