So for some reason, while I was sweeping the sawdust-bedding mess in my basement, left behind by my adorable little chickens, when I started to think about high school.
I thought, “High school is just so ridiculous. They should allow kids to just skip over that entire time of their lives.”
Very few high school students have the guts or self-esteem to be themselves.
Have you looked at an image of a high school girls’ sporting team lately?
Every single one of them will look the same – long-straight and colored hair; dark, black eyes and they will all be wearing the same clothes.
OK. I know it’s a uniform. But if they were wearing everyday clothing, they would all look the same – skinny jeans, etc. (I am not that up on teenage girl fashion. I only have boys, but more on that later.)
Which brings me to another thought.
Years ago, when I was on the school board for our parochial school, I floated the thought to several parents regarding uniforms.
Not one mother was in favor of that option.
The most heard reason was, “They can’t express their personalities with their clothing then.”
It’s not like they are doing that now!
Yes, there are a few girls that have been brought up to believe in themselves and know that they don’t have to “fit in” and that they don’t need to have a boyfriend to make them part of the “in crowd.”
I wish I would have been one of them when I was in high school.
I wouldn’t have permed my stick-straight hair.
I would have continued to wear my favorite outfits even if the boys still called me a lesbian. (FYI, I am not, but apparently there is some sort of fashion code for lesbianism.)
Just think, instead of spending all my money on the latest Nikes, hair perm or Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, I could have saved my money and attended University of Washington, Seattle.
I didn’t know what I wanted to go to school for, but I really wanted to go to Seattle. Maybe I could have gotten in on the big technology boom and been a tech millionaire.
But alas, I didn’t think I could go away and pay for college.
I never pursued that dream.
Instead, I attended technical college right after high school and studied in a program that any Jane Doe from the street could do. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that job and someday I may return to it, but now my priorities are elsewhere.
I wish I would’ve had someone holding my hand and telling me to “Go for it! You can do anything you want! You are great! College will be so much better than high school.”
I am no longer saddened by what could have been.
I have a wonderful family. My husband has to be one of the kindest men I have ever met. My two sons are so amazing; never giving me any trouble throughout their high school careers. (We haven’t made it through college yet. So trouble could be coming.)
I try to share my feelings with as many young girls as I know…especially my nieces.
I have been there, done that. I wanted to be with the “in-crowd.” I desperately wanted a boyfriend – my whole existence revolved around that insecure idea.
I want my wonderful nieces to feel confident, beautiful and fulfilled – without having to have your hair like everyone else’s and wearing the same yoga pants that all of your friends wear.
And any boyfriend – even if he treats you like dirt.
Yes, I tell them that. I think one of my nieces understood when I said, “High school sucks. College, my dear, will be so much more fun. You will meet kids like you. You will share the same interests and it will be COOL!”
At the time, when I told her that, she just nodded her head. I was sure she was just placating me and my ranting.
My wisdom must have sunk into her thoughts somewhere.
She’s at college now and from the looks of it, she’s having the time of her life!
I hope my nieces that are still in high school understand that what I am telling them is true.
High school sucks. You still have to be kind to everyone – except for the snobs and bullies, those people you can ignore. They will find college to be a trying place because they won’t be the “in group” anymore.
I just want them to follow their dreams – go to college in Seattle.