life of me

Reminiscing is Overrated

1:04:00 AM

I recently learned that Facebook has changed the way it handles groups. Now, apparently anyone can create a group and add people to it instantly, without the need of a request to join.

I found out about this new development when I checked my email and was bombarded by notifications from a group I didn't know I was a part of - ECHS Class of 2005.

Did you know there are only four years left until my 10 year reunion? That's why this group was made, to better be able to contact a majority of my former classmates for such an event.

However, the majority of the postings have been about how many of us have kids, marriage notwithstanding. (I, by the way, do not have any kids and don't plan on having any in the near future.)

I've had serious thoughts of leaving the group, but I honestly didn't feel up to facing the repercussions of doing so. So instead, I figured out how to turn off the email notifications and have been largely ignoring the little red flags alerting me to a new post on the group wall.

One member of the group pointed out that we should be remembering the friendships/relationships we formed way back when ... but I'll be perfectly honest here.

High school is not a time or place I'd go back to.

 For me, high school was a giant competition I didn't want to be a part of. Many of my classmates were overly concerned with besting my grades, and most of those people weren't very nice to me.

I didn't drink, I didn't experiment with drugs and I wasn't interested in having sex with anyone, so that put a damper on my social life... not that I had much time for one outside of extra-curricular activities and a part-time job.

I went to a small high school in an even smaller town, and while a lot of good things can be said for small towns there are also negative aspects of living somewhere where everyone knows your name, especially if your name isn't one that's deemed important. I saw people get handed opportunities, awards and criticism they didn't deserve simply because of who their family was. On the other hand, I saw a lot of people get overlooked for that same reason.

I don't have a lot of fond memories of high school, but that's not to say I don't have any. I made some good friends in those four years, friends that I'm sad to say I don't get to see as often as I'd like. But on the whole, high school was not the best of experiences for me.

I learned a lot thanks to that small town, and I am looking forward to our first class reunion... even if it is mostly to show off my personal successes. I may not have any kids and I may not be married, but I have a lot to show for my time away from home, and I'm proud of what I've accomplished.

I went to a university where I only knew a few people, while the majority of my classmates all went to the same school. I made new friends who became my best friends, and I excelled in a place where my name didn't matter simply because of what it was. Soon my name did come to matter, but it was based off of things I had accomplished. At my high school I never knew if I had won something because I actually earned it.

Now I have a job that I earned based on my abilities. I've ascended the professional ladder at my company because I've proven that I'm good at what I do. I take pride in my work and have earned the respect of my coworkers as well as my superiors.

I've made a place for myself in this world and it's all based on what I can and cannot do. My accomplishments are things that I've done on my own. The things I have achieved were not simply handed to me.

 This Facebook group that I'm an unwilling member of didn't bring back any memories worth remembering ... and it didn't show me that a majority of my former classmates had grown into responsible adults.

Maybe I was a stick in the mud back in high school. Hell, I may still be a stick in the mud, but I've made something of my life that is so much better than high school ever could have been.

I don't miss those days. I don't reminisce about them. And this group I'm obligated to be a part of has done nothing but remind me of why that is.

High school plays a big part in shaping who we are ... but there have been so many more better experiences than that in my life, and I feel those memories played a much bigger role in making me who I am today. And while I won't forget my high school days, I have moved on from them.

'Cause isn't that what growing up is all about? Moving on is a way of life.

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4 comments

  1. Moving on is exactly what terrifies a lot of people. There is safety in numbers and Facebook groups and high school reunions allow those people to pick up where they left off years ago, forming the same old cliques and reassuring and validating each other, telling each other how great they are despite all evidence to the contrary.

    The truth is that most of my high school experiences were not that great either. When I blog about the good old days of my youth I am telling only part of the story, deliberately filtering out most of the bad things that happened.

    The best revenge is massive success, Ashton. Wear it proudly.

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  2. That was such a nice comment. My mom read this post and said she knew I didn't like high school but never realized how bad it was. My class as a whole was mean and spiteful. Where some schools care about whether your the quarterback or head cheerleader, mine seemed to focus on grades. And since I've never been a bad student, I became a target.

    That's a big reason why I chose to go to a school where I knew hardly anyone, opted out of the honors program and stopped letting people know my grades.

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  3. I love, love, love this post. It sounds like our experiences in high school were almost identical. Hopefully I can prove myself like you did.

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  4. I think you're doing a good job of it, Jessi! You're doing your own thing, regardless of what your classmates decided to do. The unpopular path isn't always easy to follow, but I truly believe it's more rewarding than the path that's followed by everyone.

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