What is it about High School?

What is it about high school that evokes so many feelings? Why our fascination with this time in life? There are numerous movies and TV shows about high school, set during that time, plus numerous mentions of high school reunions as well. Second only to childhood, it is a time most idealized or demonized, depending on your experiences. We routinely remember these days as the best of times or the worst of times, sometimes both at the same time.

In our memories, bullies appear larger than life, and struggles take on mammoth proportions, maybe because our experience of life and coping mechanisms are still so limited. Nothing like a healthy dose of the “real world”—the one outside of high school and college—to help us put things in perspective.

Maybe it has something to do with our prolonged adolescence. If children graduated from middle school and went to work on the farm, maybe there wouldn’t be as much teen angst. Maybe it’s part of our western society that puts such a premium on the individual, leading to self-absorption. Or our privileged status as Americans. Perhaps this would be different in a third world country where struggles of survival take precedence over worry about who will be prom king and queen.

Are there people who actually had a happy high school experience? And not just the head cheerleader and football quarterback. Just as no-one makes it out of childhood and into adulthood without a few scars that need healing, I wonder if the same can be said of high school.

These are questions for which I have no answer, but I would love to hear what you think. What was high school like for you? Was high school a predominantly happy time or unhappy? Inquisitive minds want to know. I’m asking for this as research for some writing.

I’d love to hear from you. I would love to hear from readers in other countries. Are your high school experiences similar to ours in America? Post your comments below or email them to me at patricia@patriciamrobertson.com.

Thank you in advance for your help with this. And in case you missed it last week, check out my guest post on Attention to Detail at SheWrites.com. Click here.

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