Not being so far in age from being a teenager myself, I think I have an idea of the mindset that a modern teenager has. I at times have the maturity level of a fourteen year old but, but at other times I act like a forty-three year old woman with three kids. But I think about the high schoolers, the middle school tweens walking around. What do they do for fun? Do they worry for their future? How are they affected by the current state of our country, and are they preparing for what their plans in the future will be?
When I was in middle school, the “cool” thing to do was to walk around my town/area, go to McDonalds, drink monsters, having sleepovers, hang out at someones house and play video games, go to our area’s “downtown,” all pretty harmless stuff. We were the age where it was about 50/50 of who had cellphones and who didn’t, Facebook was just becoming popular, Limewire was a great way to download music and seven different viruses on your family computer; we were living our best lives.
I remember being about twelve years old, with my friends, walking home from a local place called Doggy Diner, who still has the best fries around, listening to twenty-second clips of popular songs that we recorded to be our ringtones. It was awesome. I remember being pretty care-free, doing what I was becoming interested in hobby wise, listening to the radio to find new music. Of course there was drama, but it wasn’t as serious as we believed it was. Everyone had their boyfriends and girlfriends, crushes, break-ups that resulted in girls crying in the hallway between classes, the usual stuff that I’m sure was obnoxious but normal for that age.
Being a high-school freshman was terrifying for me, glorious for others. I still can’t even smell the body spray I wore on the first day without getting butterflies in my stomach because I was so nervous. My high school was quite big, a student body that was close to four thousand kids from all over the area and even from the city. It was a new world to be next to a senior who was twice my size, to have to squeeze yourself through the hallways to get to class on time, to have so many people around you in the cafeteria at lunch.
I felt more grown up and I honestly hated it. I loved some of the perks being a bit older, being in high school “finally.” Compared to my middle school, high school was much more sophisticated in my eyes. We had vending machines that you could but anything from, we had a lot of bathrooms all over the place, even the desks were more sophisticated. So grown up. Much adult. So mature.
My favorite part of high school was the drama. Oh my gosh did I love it. I wasn;t very popular, but I was friends with a couple of girls who were, so I got to hear all the drama they had in their friend group. The drama in high school was so much better than in middle school. Everyone was always talking about who was hanging out with who, who kissed who, who dumped who and why. Each grade had their main drama, and by the time I was a senior, it was honestly the best. We hit that age where everyone was having sex, getting drunk, some even getting preganant and speculating what happened. Looking back, it was sad, but I loved every minute of it.
I personally never had sex, did drugs, hooked up with anyone; I was just too socially awkward and uncomfortable in my body to do anything like that. I had freinds don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t that person everyone was always asking about. I liked being in the background. I liked watching other people mess up their lives, geting in trouble. Many people at my high school did a lot of drugs, and unfortunatly still do them to this day. Weed was common, pills were popular, cocaine was even becoming a thing – something I didn’t learn until closer to graduation in 2015.
Many people on my Facebook feed are from my high school years. Some talk about how great high school was, how much fun they had, how they long for those days. Everyone had a different experience; some were popular and loved it, some were just in the backgroud the whole time.
I often see the question: Would you go back to high school? Would you want to do it all over again? My general answer is no. Heck no. I didn’t hate school, but I hate how insecure I was back then so I would never want to go back to that. I would never want to go back to having to sit in eight different classes for fifty minutes, the stress of tests and quizzes, the constant stream of homework that never seemed to stop.
I would want to go back and redo a couple of things in all honesty. I would try WAY harder in acedemic stuff. I would study, pay attention, develop my study skills earlier to help me now. I wasn’t a good student back now. I’m still not great, but college has made me try harder to do my best because I can see what hard work is and what it will grant me in the future. I never saw that in high school. I never realized that if I had tried harder in high school that it would make my future a lot easier in terms of being prepared for hard classes and learning dicipline at a young age. I always passed, but I know I could have done so much better had I tried.
I would also try and develop healthier habits such as eating correctly, working out regularly, maybe even joing a team or club to stay active. I never realized how important that was until I got to college and gained weight because I did almost nothing all the time. I wish I would have learned portion sizes, what not to binge on, when to eat and why. I still stand by the fact and belief that I have in my core that gym is dumb and should be optional or just less intense. Running miles and miles all the time, trying to get a good time or score is dumb. I don’t wanna run infront of 300 kids on a track – I would have rather done that on my own. I don’t think there were many people who enjoyed all the running they made us do.
I think about my days back then and wonder how the teenagers today are having fun, what thier drama is, if there’s common or over lapping interests from when I was there. I think the high schoolers of today have it a lot harder than some can imagine. Past generations didn’t have the technology that we do now. This is a good and bad thing in my opinion. It can be a great tool for educational purposes, having the extent of the internet at your finger tips. Having the ability to look and and learn anything virtually almost anywhere. But it is also causing problems in regards to social interactions. You hear and read about kids who were bullied online commiting suicide, being the social out casts online, having stalking and other issues with other peers being easier and easier. In school you don’t even have to talk to the person you don’t like, but when you get home, they have the ability to get to them and knock them down. Schools don’t do much in terms of this because they don’t have control over kids Snapchats or Twitters – they rely on the parents to monitor, but many don’t or can’t because kids know how to hide stuff way better now.
I wonder what the group of teenagers I see walking around at the mall together are talking about? I assume they still talk about crushes, different people from other groups, the trendy gossip this week; but what is it? I have a feeling that it’s worse than when I was in school for some reason. I think that the accesability of drugs and alcohol has become way easier, nicotine addictions are probably higher because it’s easier to hide them now a days, I even sometimes think that the rumors are way worse even when they are fake.
I wonder if many kids are worried about their futures. What will they do? How will they get to their goals? How much will it cost and if they can even afford it? That was something in my high school that was stressed, but that was a few years ago, and I think it has become harder to imagine a future for yourself now a days for many reasons. I know it was hard for me, so I would think it’s hard for them as well.
If I could go back to myself just starting high school, I would tell myself this: just try it. Try harder in school, don’t be afriad to talk to new people, don’t be so mean and blunt to people even though that’s all you know how to do. I would tell myself to put in more effort in everything I had to do. Study harder, pay attention, go do something active after school instead of going home and doing nothing by yourself all the time. I just hope that todays teenagers don’t think that they can’t do something. I don’t want them to think everything is impossible. I want them to know everything will be okay and that once you graduate, nothing from high school matters anymore. You can even choose to never talk to anyone you didn’t like again. High school is a small part of your life; try not to let it define you so early in life.