This month will be my 20th high school reunion. I have spent the last few weeks thinking back to the glory days (and some not so glory days) and what went down way back then in the early 90s. So for September’s first Friday Flashback, here is my take on high school.
My high school was small by some standards, with less than 1000 kids at my school. About half of my classmates lived more than 10 miles from the school, and some more than 40 miles. While it definitely wasn’t a “poor” school, we definitely weren’t a rich school either. Many of us had parents that went to the same high school.
I look back, and I definitely wasn’t one of the “cool” kids. In fact, I was definitely one of the “dork” kids. It had been ingrained in me to study and get good grades so I can go to college. Let’s put it this way, I think I missed a total of 3 days of high school, and those days I was probably near death’s door. However, I learned pretty quickly that it was best to be smart quietly. Knowing all the answers in biology or math class as a freshman was a good way to get beat up by the juniors in the same class who didn’t know the answers. So, I just did well on tests and kept my mouth shut in class. Eventually, I ended up helping some of the older kids in math, and that gained me some points as well.
Now, I wasn’t a complete dork. I had a couple of girlfriends. You didn’t know them, they went to different schools. Well, a couple went to the same school as me. I also played sports. I did soccer for four years and wrestling for one year. They cut the wrestling program my freshman year, so I couldn’t keep doing that. Now, I wasn’t all that good at these sports, but I tried. I also did drama. I have “look at me” disease, so that was a much better outlet than in class.
Really, the big change for me happened during my junior year. I had a car (FREEDOM!!!!), I was doing weight training for my PE class, and I started gaining some confidence. I also had a good batch of friends that were in a similar situation as me. Dorky, but not overly dorky, and just trying to fit in. Another thing that helped was that the kids I had grown up with through kindergarten had split into their own factions and cliques, but we all stayed cordial and friendly with each other.
Yes, there were a couple of guys, what we would call bullies today, who found my 5’7” 115 lb frame (when I graduated) intimidating. I stood up to them, and they left me alone (despite an easy ability to pound me into a pulp). I always pushed harder to carry my own weight and then some.
Overall, I had fun in high school. For the most part, I was accepted by most people. Looking back, I am sure I wish I had been the cool guy, going to parties, scoring the chicks, but that really wasn’t me. But, I had a good time in college and grad school. Plus life is good now.
Besides, if things were different. I may not have gone to the college I went to, where, 20 years ago this month, I met the Dashing Wife. It wasn’t love at first sight, but it turned into a love that will (hopefully) last as far as the eye can see.