School Memories

I thought of all kinds of cheeky titles for this post, but in the chance my parents stumble across it, let’s stick to something less incriminating about “high” school, shall we?

Back in my day, high school was five years long, and I’m happy to say those were five-and-a-half of the fastest years of my life, despite how it felt at the time. When I was heading to high school, my parents pushed for private school, but I adamantly refused. (And since I really had no choice in the matter, my “refusal” was really just months of begging and bawling.) I ended up at an experimental school of sorts: public with a twist. R.H. King was one of the first schools offering the alternative curriculum, which also included uniforms (to my parents’ glee and my horror). Of course, now I think it’s a fabulous idea, but back then I wasn’t impressed. A long commute to school, along with living far, far out of district meant I felt pretty removed from the social scene.

this is me in grade nine, baby

I was a grade nine in the inaugural year of the academy and spent two-and-a-half years skipping as many classes as possible, learning the ins and outs of the yearbook committee, taking advantage of a super fast metabolism by eating as much garbage as possible, learning to drive (illegally), picking up boys at concerts, trying to look cool as a member of the curling team, and how to make friends like Stacey, the sole person from those years I’m still friends with.

It was a less-than-happy time for me, and I ended up leaving the school (ok, I was unofficially kicked out, actually, for skipping too many classes and forging my mother’s signature on all the notes, oops) and headed back to my home town to connect with the friends I’d known my whole school life.

I spent the remaining years of high school figuring out who I was, who the people I called friends were, and exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. Rather, I tried to figure those things out. Instead, I sort of half-drunkenly stumbled through my awkward years wanting the wrong boys to pay attention, and missing out on the fact that good girlfriends didn’t make friends feel the way mine did. Let’s just say I’d be more than happy if my kids weren’t the “popular” ones in high school, if life’s even remotely the same nowadays. Those were confusing years, and I’m thankful I had solid parents looking out for me and bigger goals than making out with the football team.

High school was certainly a rollercoaster for me, but it lead me to university, where I met incredible lifelong friends, and even my husband, so hey, what a cool means to an end, right?

This is me with too much red lipstick & a terrible floral blouse

We live near the high school from which I graduated, and whenever I drive by I remember standing over there hiding to smoke, or walking over there to meet a friend, or hanging out on that curb with the guy who owned that cool car. I always feel a little nostalgic, and wish I’d known then what I know now. I wish I’d spent more time on math, and really listened to my “Man and Society” teacher (yeah, they really called a class that, can you imagine?) when he told me I was too smart to be wasting it all. I wish I’d done all the things I knew I could do, instead of hanging out with the kids my parents warned me about.

But such is life, and my path ended up successful and happy so I view it all with no regrets. How do you remember your high school years?



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8 thoughts on “School Memories

  1. I was a bit of a hard-ass in HS and never did anything I didn’t want to, including smoking, drinking, epxerimenting with drugs. I was my parents’ dream! I was the ‘neutral’ kid who was friends with everyone. I remember flannel shirts and baggy jeans and Doc Martins – Pearl Jam and Nirvana and NIN and Barenaked Ladies. My HS years were really good – even the part when I dropped out. Ha! Thanks for taking me back.

  2. You took a longer road. It’s often got prettier and unexpected scenery. I followed the path exactly as it was laid out and have my own regrets. Actually the closer my kids get to the high school years, the more I reflect on mine. Wow. It’s intense.

    1. I’m so torn on how to “handle” those years for my kids, especially given all my parents went through for me. Looking back, I know I made some really stupid mistakes and was really lucky. I just hope my kids are smarter than I was.

  3. Have we ever talked about that we both went to king? I was a few years after you (1994-1999) but I bet we had some of the same teachers! Mladenoff, Hepperle, Jobe, Benacem, Meehan, etc….

    1. I think we skimmed over it once. I was only there from grade 9 till first semester of grade 11, and then went to Dunbarton in Pickering, but you’re right, I’m a few years older anyhow. I graduated before you started. 😉

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