I had a lot of fun in high school. It was a long time ago but I still remember all the shenanigans just like they happened yesterday. I was so busy having fun that the guidance counselor declared I would never be what I wanted to be, but I’m a healthy middle-aged woman in spite of his ‘counseling’. I’d go back to high school in a heartbeat but recently, I realized I don’t have to go back. Some of high school is with me every day, but it’s not the part I liked.
Throughout my life, I’ve been given a lot of advice about how to be better at what I wasn’t supposed to be. Someone was always trying to change me or get me to fit in even though I’m not a fitter-inner, unless shenanigans are involved. At my age, the chances of any major changes are slim to none because I don’t really aspire to much more greatness than I’ve already achieved. You might say I’m comfortable with myself and my level of fit-in-ness. While that is good for me, it might be unsettling for others; just like in high school.
I was recently reacquainted with high schoolerish behaviors and it was sad rather than fabulously funny. Sitting in the back row of a room and whispering to your friend-of-the-day while someone else is talking is high schoolerish. Not the shenanigan type of high schoolerish, but the ‘I’m too cool for school’ type of high schoolerish. I bet the ‘too cool for schoolers’ feel that they don’t fit in, yet they desperately want to, so they pretend things are beneath them and not worth their time. Some people feel so unsettled with another’s comfortableness that they forget to extend common courtesies such as saying “hello” or offering a handshake. Perhaps they were just easily distracted by things such as their cell phone; just like a high schooler.
Whatever the story, high school ended over 40 years ago. It’s no longer about fitting in, or being the center of attention, or controlling the territory or the clique. It’s about respecting other people-something everyone was supposed to learn in 6th grade social studies. Oh, and I just checked, I listen when others are speaking was a graded activity on my 1968-69 Kindergarten Progress Report. I got a G on the G-S-I scale. What did you get?