High school was a long time ago for me. Apart from academic stuff, the only thing I really learned was:
If you’re not a doctor or a lawyer or a scientist, you’re basically a failure.
Context: I went to an all-girls high school that very much touted itself as being ‘forward thinking’ and prided itself that its graduates were ‘trailblazers’. It told us we could do anything, but had a lot of expectations around what it thought was acceptable to do.
Because the school was known for academic excellence (I was a smart cookie which was why I went there) it was a weird place where any grade lower than a B was frowned upon and you were expected to be good at everything – music, sport, maths, science, the lot.
I was okay at music because I liked it, but I hated having lessons and just wanted to play instruments for funsies. Sport, I sucked at because I had really bad asthma and the teachers thought I wasn’t trying hard enough when I almost passed out from literally not being able to breathe. Maths – meh, never liked it. Science, same.
I was average as hell and that annoyed a lot of people.
I still am average. But I think I’m happy, because I’ve got lower expectations of my life. I wanted to work in a museum, so I never wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or whatever. I’m still not working in a museum but you know what, I don’t mind. I have my little job that pays my bills, I have a nice house and a nice car, and I enjoy my free time.
I love that I’m basically a living disappointment to my high school teachers.
And I have no idea what any of the other girls I went to school with are doing, because they dropped contact with me like a hot rock as soon as we graduated. Fine by me, I didn’t actually like any of them anyway – I wasn’t rich enough or ‘normal’ enough for them. I was the weird friendly goth kid who they couldn’t exclude because I chatted to them anyway but they didn’t like enough to invite to stuff.
High school in the 90’s was weird. I’m glad I’m an adult now.