The other day, Nick and I were talking about how great it would be to go back to high school (wait, let me finish), yet have the knowledge and understanding of life that we have now. It got me to thinking how different my high school experience would have been if I had the attitude that I do now.
First of all, I think I would have learned a lot more. Instead of worrying about my peers, clothes, activities, etc., I would have been paying attention to my classes. I am also more interested in knowledge now than I ever was at ages 13-17. Rather than memorizing a bunch of facts to pass a test, I would absorb the information and actually be interested in it.
Secondly, I would not have worried so much about what people thought of me. Sure, I played the "casual, not worried about fitting in, but just nice to everyone" type of character, but truth be told, I was constantly thinking about self-image. Which, bascially means, I was worried about myself all of the time. Not a very nice way to spend four years.
After having a better view of the world, my life would not have fallen apart so quickly during my teen years. When I think back, my worst day of high school was my 17th birthday. That was the day that I met my two close friends for breakfast and saw that one of them was wearing my ex-boyfriend's football jersey.
You all remember the routine-girls would wear football jerseys of their boyfriend or good guy friend on game days. The guy I had dated my entire junior year was the quarterback and even though my friend knew that I was still sad over the break-up, she actually had the nerve to wear his jersey...on my birthday...and act like it was no big deal.
I finally got to school that day, just in time to see that the cast list for the fall play was posted. I had been in every play and musical to that point, so it was a complete and devasting shock to see that I had not been given a part. Seriously? My senior year not getting a part? What kind of birthday was that?
However, when I look back on that time now, I am confused on what I was so upset about. Why does everything in high school seem so vital to the rest of our lives when it really is only a fleeting moment of a much bigger picture?
With every break-up, with every race lost, with every hurt feeling by a friend, I seem to recall my parents saying, "There is more to life than this." And everytime I replied with, "But this is all I know-my entire life so far has been school!" How can one expect to have rational reactions when all they know is school?
Lastly, I would look at my classmates as individuals and not as cliques of people. Facebook has been a wonderful thing for shaking up my views of some of the people that I thought I knew. It has been surprising to see the girl from the Homecoming Court who every guy stared at now a tired, single mom to three kids. People I thought had no chance of ever knowing God (I know, what kind of Christian am I?) are completely involved in their walk with Christ. A girl that I always considered having the perfect life reached out to me after my miscarriage because she had been through the same thing numerous times (now we are celebrating together as we are both expecting our boys around the same time).
I am sure that when my kids reach their teen years (Heaven help me) I will be saying the same thing that my parents said to me. And they will faithfully be ignoring my advice just as I did to my parents. After all, teenagers always know better than their parents, right?