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What are your thoughts on ''high school is the best years of your life''?


ZenPaladin
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20M, graduated 2 years ago. For me, I was basically an autistic loner, plus some family drama that had already been going on for years(mom started having issues with her then boyfriend at the time). I was VERY socially awkward in middle school, then my family moved and there were still quite a few things I didn't understand about making friends or which things were socially acceptable. Even when I did find some common ground with some folks later on, what I found is that in HS once you move past freshman year people tend to have their friend groups picked out, especially if they carry over from middle school. I was never bullied or faced outright ostracization but there just wasn't the same openness as the grade levels went up. Never went to football games(I thought they weren't much as I heard folks just went to take Instagram pics), tried wrestling once, but wasn't in good shape at the time so didn't try out long. Did writing club for awhile and tried drama, they were ok but still felt like they were supposed to be more meaningful or something.

Eventually I graduated and the fact I didn't date, or have a license till just before senior year ended, or basically have what was shown to me via TV and movies since I was a kid bugged me and had made me somewhat bitter. I did try to keep in touch with some people but aside from initially a small handful of folks wouldn't get replies when messaging on IG. Now the folks I did initially spend a bit of time with afterwards we don't talk anymore. But as time went on, HS began to feel more irrelevant even though both my parents at one point said it was the best years of your lfie and I had missed out on the ''high school experience''. My dad had grown up in the inner city but got into basketball in school and became popular with teachers cutting him slack and students doing schoolwork for him. Got a scholarship initially, but then hurt his knee and then came other bumps in the road in life down to him meeting my mom, having me and my sister and the years of arguing and dysfunction that would follow. My mom still has the occasional rant about how kids today play video games and stuff but when she was a teenager ''you couldn't fine me at home, we were at the mall and the movies or drove all the way to the beach''.


Also, with the occasional former classmate I have talked too as given some more perspective. Back when doing Judo at my local community college, one of the fellow students(tall stocky dude with beard, nice guy) had gone to my school apparently, and when discussing this with him he straight up said, ''don't judge friendships off of high school because everyone is immature.'' Another girl I saw at CC when I asked her if she missed HS and she said no, she simply said ''it was just a bunch of drama''. One girl I had had art with had been a cheerleader, but when getting in touch with her earlier in the pandemic, she had actually not really had a great time in high school either, saying it was the worst part of her life actually since I guess something had happened with friends iirc. 

So all this in mind, it has given me some perspective that alot of people, even some of those you might assume otherwise didn't really enjoy high school much despite what pop culture has drilled into many people. And really, it seems the term ''peaking'' could describe some people who make the claim that they are the best years of your life. 4 years out of 70-80, and they are the years when aside from some exceptions, you don't have much money and know next to jack-shit about real life. Personally I look forward to my desired career of being a park ranger. Hiking, helping people, cruising in my own state issued truck, catching poachers. That beats shitty drama and math class any day.


Thoughts? Is this really something that teens should be told and expected?

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I made three lifelong friends when I was in high school, but we were all from different schools. It seems to me that school centered activities and friendships are filled with drama and insecurity and immaturity. I'm 72 and so far every year, even the tough ones, are each the "best year." My golden decade was in my 40s but everything's still pretty damn good. Don't fight the currents, go with the flow, and enjoy every moment. They go by rather quickly.

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At my 30th reunion, I saw that some had matured and gone on to great lives, including some of the former bullies. Some were still stuck being the same jerks they were back then when they felt like the top of the Darwinian food chain. A few were watching me be sociable and took note because I was the most ultra-quiet introvert they'd ever known, and some of them had grown up with me through grade school. I had been a prime target for bullying since 1st grade, and each shift in school (middle school, high school, college) became better, less oppressive, more intelligent teachers, and more variety of concepts being taught. (I was just recalling how my middle school "science" teacher had no concept of the scientific method and was teaching it so totally wrong. The math teacher was probably 90 and was oblivious to kids setting fires on his desk. Middle school was hell for me.)

 

Socially, I was like you. No dates, very few friends, and in retrospect I understand why. Oddly, church helped get me out of my shell socially, people accepting me and talking to me like normal humans instead of people I had to fear. I learned some of the ropes of dealing with sexual attraction and obsession repeatedly. Lots of heartache and learning reality versus fantasy relationships. 

 

My best years started about 13 years ago when I deconverted, lost a bunch of magical thinking and a fake worldview, and got started singing on stage with musicians. That has sadly come to a screeching halt due to the pandemic, but I had gained a new circle of friends and acquaintances. Some of the musicians I know are autistic and very witty people, and we tend to get along well. 

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I'm a high school teacher. I pray to all the gods that I don't believe in that high school is not the best that most of my students will experience. I hope my best years are still ahead of me. But either way, every single year of my life since high school has been better than any year in high school.

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18 hours ago, ZenPaladin said:

20M, graduated 2 years ago. For me, I was basically an autistic loner, plus some family drama that had already been going on for years(mom started having issues with her then boyfriend at the time). I was VERY socially awkward in middle school, then my family moved and there were still quite a few things I didn't understand about making friends or which things were socially acceptable. Even when I did find some common ground with some folks later on, what I found is that in HS once you move past freshman year people tend to have their friend groups picked out, especially if they carry over from middle school. I was never bullied or faced outright ostracization but there just wasn't the same openness as the grade levels went up. Never went to football games(I thought they weren't much as I heard folks just went to take Instagram pics), tried wrestling once, but wasn't in good shape at the time so didn't try out long. Did writing club for awhile and tried drama, they were ok but still felt like they were supposed to be more meaningful or something.

Eventually I graduated and the fact I didn't date, or have a license till just before senior year ended, or basically have what was shown to me via TV and movies since I was a kid bugged me and had made me somewhat bitter. I did try to keep in touch with some people but aside from initially a small handful of folks wouldn't get replies when messaging on IG. Now the folks I did initially spend a bit of time with afterwards we don't talk anymore. But as time went on, HS began to feel more irrelevant even though both my parents at one point said it was the best years of your lfie and I had missed out on the ''high school experience''. My dad had grown up in the inner city but got into basketball in school and became popular with teachers cutting him slack and students doing schoolwork for him. Got a scholarship initially, but then hurt his knee and then came other bumps in the road in life down to him meeting my mom, having me and my sister and the years of arguing and dysfunction that would follow. My mom still has the occasional rant about how kids today play video games and stuff but when she was a teenager ''you couldn't fine me at home, we were at the mall and the movies or drove all the way to the beach''.


Also, with the occasional former classmate I have talked too as given some more perspective. Back when doing Judo at my local community college, one of the fellow students(tall stocky dude with beard, nice guy) had gone to my school apparently, and when discussing this with him he straight up said, ''don't judge friendships off of high school because everyone is immature.'' Another girl I saw at CC when I asked her if she missed HS and she said no, she simply said ''it was just a bunch of drama''. One girl I had had art with had been a cheerleader, but when getting in touch with her earlier in the pandemic, she had actually not really had a great time in high school either, saying it was the worst part of her life actually since I guess something had happened with friends iirc. 

So all this in mind, it has given me some perspective that alot of people, even some of those you might assume otherwise didn't really enjoy high school much despite what pop culture has drilled into many people. And really, it seems the term ''peaking'' could describe some people who make the claim that they are the best years of your life. 4 years out of 70-80, and they are the years when aside from some exceptions, you don't have much money and know next to jack-shit about real life. Personally I look forward to my desired career of being a park ranger. Hiking, helping people, cruising in my own state issued truck, catching poachers. That beats shitty drama and math class any day.


Thoughts? Is this really something that teens should be told and expected?

 

"High school are the best years" is a broad statement that is probably just some BS a parent tells their high schooler when they are tired of them bitching about everything. :) It's companion cliche is "Wait till you have to work....that really sucks...."

 

Every time of your life has pluses and minuses. High school is a place where 2000 immature people are placed in a building and expected to get along...it's some really weird social experiment, imo. The focus is popularity, gossip and drama with a secondary purpose of taking classes to make you well rounded for a society of specialized individuals. 

 

High school means you dont have to work or pay rent or have any major responsibilities to society. But I think you'll find living away from the parents and being a park ranger in your state issued truck will be one hell of a lot more rewarding than high school nonsense. 

 

Don't get tied up in cliches. Every decade in your life has great things for you. 

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High school was hell for me and many classmates. It started on day 1 when the school bullies from the feeder primary schools fought to decide the year bully and the teachers did nothing.

 

Loads of girls were sexually assaulted and boys just assaulted. Some teachers were bullied and 2 ran off with 15 year old girls. I couldn't wait to leave. 

 

So, no, they were not the best days of my life!

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19 minutes ago, AliT said:

High school was hell for me and many classmates. It started on day 1 when the school bullies from the feeder primary schools fought to decide the year bully and the teachers did nothing.

 

Loads of girls were sexually assaulted and boys just assaulted. Some teachers were bullied and 2 ran off with 15 year old girls. I couldn't wait to leave. 

 

So, no, they were not the best days of my life!

...the actual fuck?! Please tell me the cops got involved?

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18 hours ago, disillusioned said:

I'm a high school teacher. I pray to all the gods that I don't believe in that high school is not the best that most of my students will experience. I hope my best years are still ahead of me. But either way, every single year of my life since high school has been better than any year in high school.

Have you ever had to deal with student drama?

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3 hours ago, ZenPaladin said:

...the actual fuck?! Please tell me the cops got involved?

Cops weren't ever involved.  It was the 70s and being groped or punched wasn't on their radar. Even teachers leaving their wives for pupils was merely dealt with by moving the teacher to another school. 

 

Even as I write this I am feeling amazed that we considered it normal .

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11 minutes ago, AliT said:

Cops weren't ever involved.  It was the 70s and being groped or punched wasn't on their radar. Even teachers leaving their wives for pupils was merely dealt with by moving the teacher to another school. 

 

Even as I write this I am feeling amazed that we considered it normal .

Fuck. I know you're in the UK, but there's been similar scandals over here. I likely would like to adopt one day, and I guess I better make sure I properly educate my kid about these goddamn cougar teachers.

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4 hours ago, ZenPaladin said:

Have you ever had to deal with student drama?

 

Of course. The drama is constant.

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I called out an assault once in our local paper. A kid had been beaten by a few others and the article was just talking about the problem of how to handle such things. I wrote in, "The last time I checked, assault was a crime and should be treated as such." Shortly after that, there were arrests. Not sure that I pushed them to act, but they should have led the way. 

 

My nephew was beaten by jocks with sticks in high school (before he became proficient at kung fu). He was afraid to go to the authorities, and knew (as I did) that the school would do nothing to their precious football players. I couldn't report it for him, so they got away with it. 

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4 minutes ago, Fuego said:

I called out an assault once in our local paper. A kid had been beaten by a few others and the article was just talking about the problem of how to handle such things. I wrote in, "The last time I checked, assault was a crime and should be treated as such." Shortly after that, there were arrests. Not sure that I pushed them to act, but they should have led the way. 

 

My nephew was beaten by jocks with sticks in high school (before he became proficient at kung fu). He was afraid to go to the authorities, and knew (as I did) that the school would do nothing to their precious football players. I couldn't report it for him, so they got away with it. 

Dang, I'm so sorry to hear that. Hope their wasn't permanent damage.

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4 minutes ago, ZenPaladin said:

Any examples?

 

Nothing specific due to professional boundaries. But if you can think of an example of typical teenage drama, it's a fair bet that I've dealt with it.

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Just now, disillusioned said:

 

Nothing specific due to professional boundaries. But if you can think of an example of typical teenage drama, it's a fair bet that I've dealt with it.

Ah I understand. But I have a sister 3 years younger than me, and she's had some...incidents

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1 hour ago, ZenPaladin said:

Hope their wasn't permanent damage

 

No, bruises, it spurred him on to study martial arts and become physically fit. 

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H.S. was okay.  I was next to the the smallest boy in my class and got some bullying, but nothing bad.  Waited a few years to go to college, and those were the best years of my life.  I was eager to learn by then, and really enjoyed it.

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On 8/6/2020 at 3:56 PM, florduh said:

I made three lifelong friends when I was in high school, but we were all from different schools. It seems to me that school centered activities and friendships are filled with drama and insecurity and immaturity. I'm 72 and so far every year, even the tough ones, are each the "best year." My golden decade was in my 40s but everything's still pretty damn good. Don't fight the currents, go with the flow, and enjoy every moment. They go by rather quickly.

In middle school my only real friend was someone I met in my neighborhood, and youth group was ok, but the neighborhood friend would go on to use and manipulate me and years later molest my sister, and high school was still pretty awkward and lonely for me. I'm glad it was better for you though, I definitely would have looked for a few close and genuine friends over and popularity and shallw friendships. So many of the people who were seemingly close with one another straight up stopped contact after graduation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Public schools made sense when they were owned and controlled by the local populace.

With the gradual federal takeover of the school systems (in the USA) they became a toxic wasteland and a very effective venue to screw-up the mind and psyche of human beings.

 

Many children by their very nature are not suited to being forced into a highly artificial social construct where they must co-exist among 35 other kids in a room while an attempt is made to educate them all as a group.

 

The school systems and most parents assume that schools are necessary to teaching children how to socialize and fit into society.  

I have my own opinions on the matter.

 

See it as you will, but there are individuals from my high-school days that I would probably torture and kill if I knew where to find them and could do so without legal penalty...  And school for me was more than 40 years ago.   

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1 hour ago, alreadyGone said:

Public schools made sense when they were owned and controlled by the local populace.

With the gradual federal takeover of the school systems (in the USA) they became a toxic wasteland and a very effective venue to screw-up the mind and psyche of human beings.

 

Many children by their very nature are not suited to being forced into a highly artificial social construct where they must co-exist among 35 other kids in a room while an attempt is made to educate them all as a group.

 

The school systems and most parents assume that schools are necessary to teaching children how to socialize and fit into society.  

I have my own opinions on the matter.

 

See it as you will, but there are individuals from my high-school days that I would probably torture and kill if I knew where to find them and could do so without legal penalty...  And school for me was more than 40 years ago.   

Huh, interesting. Could you tell me more?

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16 minutes ago, alreadyGone said:

In which regard please?

In both the general topic as well as your own experience.

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I've no children nor near relatives with children, so what do I know, actually?

I've lived long enough though to see the difference over time, in regard to many well-known aspects of the nation's public schools.

Control funding, well...

 

If I had children I cannot believe I would want them educated in the public system, but again, it's only attitude shaped by a little info and witness over years.

 

I think the results as seen across the US speak for themselves, ya know?

Only my opinion.

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