I was never one of those people that enjoyed High School.
Think 13 Going on 30.
I was that girl. I was a total Jenna Rink meets Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.
I wasn’t a total loser, or a geek, or really even an odd man out.
I just wasn’t “in.”
I didn’t get my braces until I was in 10th grade. 10TH GRADE. I went to Prom Junior and Senior Year, with braces. Granted, my teeth look pretty fabulous now, I hate looking through my high school yearbook at the photos of me smiling. Really. ::Shudder::
I was in the drama club, spent most of my free time studying, and worked a steady job. I was kind of a Geek. Although I didn’t make Valedictorian or Salutatorian when I graduated, I was 6th in my class, and had an overall 96.8 average and a 4.0 GPA (See? NERD). I was in all the “smart kids clubs” like the Beta Club and the National Honor Society. And I was definitely no social butterfly.
I was never comfortable in my own skin. Never sure of who I was. I didn’t really “fit” in anywhere. I had a small group of friends that I associated with, but never felt like I belonged anywhere in particular. I never really dated, until my Senior Year (and that ended in a total disaster). I was just not one of those girls. I didn’t make the cheerleading squad. And although I was on the basketball team and softball team, I never saw any playing time (although, I admit I was actually good at softball. But that’s the price you pay when you attend a private school).
I remember I wrote a post my Junior year about cliques and how our small private school was full of arrogance and people who only received special treatment because of their last name (small town living, anyone?).
That landed me in the Headmistresses office to explain why I was so “pessimistic and negative” about our school.
The girl that I was then and the woman that I am now are like two completely different creatures.
College opened my eyes to a world entirely different than I was used to. Once we left our small town and moved to a bigger place, I realized that I had a lot to offer. The guys that wouldn’t pay me any attention in high school, were some of my closest friends. We hung out outside of class. They came to our (by “our” I mean mine and my 3 roommates) apartment. I pledged a sorority. A good sorority. Actually, the best sorority on our campus.
But I still spent a lot of time feeling left out and comparing myself to other girls. To my roommates, to my sorority sisters, to my friends. I never had an actual “date” the entire time I was in college. Ever. Sure, I was invited to the frat parties, and actually dated a guy on the college Golf Team who invited me to come watch his games a few times. But an actual dinner and a movie date? Nada.
Looking back over those years of self-doubt, demoralizingly low self-esteem, and awkwardness, I realize that those moments have left me more sure and more confident of who I am now.
And they’ve prepared me for the possibility of dealing with my child(rens) insecurities someday. I’ve reached a point in my life where I can be proud of who I am, and where my life is going.
I’m still working on feeling 100% confident in my own skin, but I’m a lot better off than I was. I look at the photo of me from high school, and the recent shot taken from our family photos we just had made, and I smile. I like who I am now, a lot better than the “me” I was then. (Granted, I do miss my long hair. Working on growing it back out…)
Nonetheless, I’m a work in progress.
But given the chance, I’d never redo those awkward years.
Because, in all honesty, I really did hate high school.
And my life right now, is pretty darn fabulous.
Who were you in high school? A jock, a drama club member, a cheerleader?
How is the person you were then, different from the person you are now?
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*High School portrait was taken by Cashwell Photography back in 2005…