Sunday, August 1, 2010

Confessions of a High School Homecoming Queen

So, I’ve been thinking lately . . . about high school.  Yes, it was a LONG time ago and who really wants to go back, right?  It was a time of awkwardness, teasing, and trying to be one of the “cool kids”, right?

I have a confession to make.  Although all of us were kind of awkward, I never got teased and, horror of horrors, I was kind of one of the “cool kids”.  I know you are mildly mortified and you can just go ahead and judge me right now but I feel a little bit of a need to defend my high school experience.

I loved high school.  I know that’s weird but I did.  I’m not saying it was easy.  I went to one very large high school in Virginia for 2 1/2 years where I was completely comfortable.  I had friends whom I loved and I was involved in a lot of activities at the school.  Then my family moved to Germany in the middle of my junior year.  I had to start over in a new country and a new, smaller school with people who had totally different experiences in life.  I was naturally a shy person, not one to jump in and approach people with whom I had no comfort level.

The first day, I searched out the basketball team and asked to try out.  I had been playing on basketball teams since 6th grade and it was the start of the season at this new school.  I was allowed to play and met several people who are still my lifelong friends. 

I learned quickly that things were different here.  I had rarely lived in a military base environment so I was unaware of what it meant to be an “officer’s kid” in this new school.  As far as I was concerned, my father’s rank had nothing to do with who I was or with whom I was supposed to hang out.  I liked people with whom I had things in common, not because their dad had the same rank as my dad.  Once we got past that craziness, I started to make friends and since kids in the school were used to people coming and going, the “new girl” label went away quickly.

I don’t remember any of the “mean girls” antics by anyone.  I remember everyone having a “live and let live” kind of attitude.  We were all different but we pretty much got along.  I do remember a couple of times at school dances where we discussed people’s dancing or outfit or general behavior but it was not one clique versus another and once the dance was over, the gossip was over.

Since most of the people I went to high school with are on Facebook and this blog feeds into Facebook, please tell me if I have selective memory.  I personally did not experience the stereo-typical horrible high school experience.  I don’t believe I created that experience for anyone either but again, please set me straight friends.

And yes, I was homecoming queen.  I was also the senior class treasurer, was voted “best personality”, and was nominated for prom queen where I lost to one of my best friends.  And all of that means nothing today.  I’m honored by it all but, just as my dad’s rank had no bearing on who I was, all of those things have nothing to do with who I am today.  I have to prove myself as an individual each day and high school is done.

Many of my friends today say they hated high school.  They talk about the experience in the cafeteria, the way the “cool kids” made fun of them, the feeling of being on the outside.  I listen and feel a little guilty.  While I didn’t experience that, do people I went to school with feel the same way?  Did I contribute to that?  Gosh, I hope not.  I tried to be nice to everyone unless they gave me some serious reason to stay away from them.

These friends are still affected by that experience to this day, in both good ways and bad.  I guess I am too.

What was your high school experience?
Enhanced by Zemanta


Ruth D~ said...

You may have been shy, but you knew how to jump right in and get on the b'ball team. Good move. It's nice to have such positive memories of a time that many want to forget. I had a good time being one of those in between kids... not "popular popular," but not shunned either. I had a boyfriend throughout HS and I spent more time with him that girlfriends... we were best friends then. Would do it differently now, but who gets that chance?

Christi said...

What a different high school! I know that there were many in my school who went through torture every day they showed up. I couldn't believe even then that people could be so cruel to one another. I saw it in the halls, in the lunch room, in the classroom. It was horrible. I've often wondered what that did to their self-esteem. I've wondered what they have accomplished thus far in life. Have they learned to love themselves? Are they happy? I hope they are.
For me personally, school had its ups and downs. I knew a lot of people, but I wasn't popular. I had my fair share of run-ins with people.

Tere said...

It's been interesting over on facebook where many of my fellow high school alums have commented. We are pretty much in agreement that it really was like I remember it and they all seem to attribute it to the fact that we were in a foreign country in a school full of military families. We had all been the new kid multiple times in our lives and frequently the outsider too. Many commented that they had that negative experience when they left Germany and went to schools stateside. Maybe we were just in a little bubble and we all pulled together. I know the friends from Germany are the friends I am closest to today and I only stay in touch with a couple from my old high school in Virginia.