High school wasn’t truly awful for me. I wasn’t bullied. I had friends.
It was a very small group of friends. Because we had a class of about 250, with the majority of us having been together since seventh grade, if not longer, even if you didn’t really know someone, you could usually conjure up a face if you heard a name, and I was no exception.
Maybe I was that quiet girl in homeroom who doesn’t talk to anyone. Or, if you were also part of the small group of kids who all took the advance/gifted classes, we knew each other, even if it wasn’t all that well. Or maybe it was in a history class and you always hoped that the way the teacher counted off our teams for test review would place me on your team since my team always won.
I was awkward-looking and awkward-feeling… but not so much to the point where I was left out of things or made fun of for it. I had my groups where I felt like I belonged (or even that I was in charge of, when it came to various clubs). And I’ve always been one to like my alone time, so I was okay being one of the quiet ones.
But I did always want out. I never understood the adults who would tell me that high school is the best time of your life- I clearly remember thinking oh dear Lord, don’t let that be true. Because there had to be something else out there, something more. I do miss a few teachers who told me there was more, who believed in me.
Upon graduating, I said goodbye to a small handful of people, handed my graduation robe to one of the teachers who could use it for the following year’s honor society, and left and never really looked back.
Because college was the first time I had an email address and because only one person from my high school went to my college (and she transferred after our first semester), I only kept in touch with just a few people. There was only one person who I didn’t keep in touch with that I really wish I had (and we later found each other again, bumping into each other at our kids’ pediatrician and she remains the only person in our graduating class that I wish I were able to see more often).
I never looked back at high school as this great time of my life that I wished I could go back to. College was a different story, but never high school.
Eventually, I joined Facebook and became “friends” with some people I went to high school with. Though after a while, I unfriended those people who had sent me friend requests even though we were never anything resembling friends in high school and we never interacted with each other on Facebook anyway, until I was down to only about 10 people I went to high school with.
I guess our 20th high school reunion has been in the works for a while, but I only recently saw the details, since I was one of those people on the “does anyone know where these people are?” list- with several of the people I’m Facebook friends with also being on that list. But someone added me and now I see the details.
Maybe if I were already going to be in town during that time, I’d go. There are a few people I’d like to chat with. But it’s only a few… and I don’t even know if those few would be there. And looking at the list of people in our reunion group, though I probably would have recognized most of those names back then, I don’t recognize them now and I’m sure some think the same about me.
I’m not the same person I was in high school (most of us aren’t, right?) but I don’t have a burning desire to go back and say SEE???? I changed, I’m different.
So, I’ll sit this one out. And maybe when the pictures are posted, I’ll feel a tiny twinge of FOMO, but maybe it will inspire me to reach out to a few people. Crowds have never been my thing, small talk is painful, and it’s a long trip to make for one night.