Monday, June 20, 2011

Let's Talk About High School

So I recently missed my 15th high school reunion (yes, I'm old).  I considered trying to go, but in the end, it just wasn't that feasible for me to travel all the way to New England for the weekend.  Work is really busy, Greg's schedule is busy, I have Clyde to think about...  I just couldn't figure out the logistics.  I actually haven't been to any of my reunions since I graduated from high school. 

I was graduating from the police academy around the time of my 5th reunion...

getting married around the time of my 10th...

 and this year, like I said, I just plain had too much going on and it didn't make sense to go up there for it.

High school was an interesting experience for me.  You may or may not know that I went to a private boarding school.  I was a day student, so I didn't live in a dorm like the majority of the student body, I just came to campus each day for classes and extra curricular activities (I lived about 20 minutes from campus). 

I grew up in a VERY small town, and if I'd gone to my local high school, I would have had 40 people in my graduating class.  Yes, you read that right, I said 40.  In the whole class!  Instead I went to a HUGE boarding school with about 400 kids in my class.  That included a lot of people I never even met while I was there.  To say I experienced some culture shock my first year or two there would be an understatement.  I actually had a pretty hard time adjusting.  I missed my close-knit group of friends from elementary school and junior high, and on more than one occasion, I wished I were back in public school with them.

Still, I did realize that I was experiencing things I never would have experienced if I'd gone to public school.  We had hundreds of international students and kids from all over the US too. 

I participated in concert choir where we got to travel each year to perform and even had CD's created of our performances.

I took a lot of interesting classes that I wouldn't have taken in public school, like Middle Eastern Religion and History, Gender Roles, and creative writing.  It was really like an intro to college. 

We had to participate in a sport each term, be it team or rec, so I played field hockey as a team sport in the fall, did rec downhill skiing in the winter, and did a bunch of different rec sports in the spring, like tennis, weight lifting, and running. 

My high school also had a unique "work program" in which each student has to do a "job" each term to help out at the school.  I had many different jobs, like working in the cafeteria prepping and serving food, vacuuming a dorm, and even helping administratively in the Dean's Office.  It's a cool program because it levels the field for all students, including those coming from wealthy backgrounds and those on full financial aid.  Everyone had to do a work job, no matter their background.

My high school dynamic was very different than most.  We didn't really have the traditional heirarchy of popular students.  It's funny, because I totally love movies like The Breakfast Club, but my high school experience was really nothing like that.

The cliques we had were more based on which dorm you were in, sports you played, or clubs you were in, if anything, so there weren't really popular or unpopular students just people you spent more time with due to what you were involved in. 

We didn't do the whole prom court thing either.  Our prom wasn't a big "date" event, people went alone, with friends, or with a date, it didn't really matter.  Junior year, I went with my friend Katie, and senior year, I went with my boyfriend (seen below in the PSU hat), but we hung out with a bunch of friends.

I don't know that I fully appreciated my high school experience until my junior or senior year.  It took a while to really get used to that kind of environment.  It also took me a while to appreciate the opportunity I was given to get that kind of education, meet people from all over the world, and particpate in things I wouldn't have if I hadn't been a student there.

I really do appreciate that I had that experience now and I think it really shaped the person I am.  Even so, the thing about boarding school is that no one is FROM there, so it's been hard to feel a big connection since I left.  At least when you go to public school, a lot of the class comes back there as "home base", and that's not the case with boarding school.  I'm friends with many of my classmates on Facebook, but I wouldn't say I am that close with them anymore.  There's only been a handful of people from high school that I've seen since I left, so I feel kind of disconnected from my friends from high school.  It is what it is.

I'm actually probably closer with some of the friends I grew up with than my high school friends. 

Going away party my childhood friends had for me when I went to private school.
How was your high school experience?  Did you go to your reunions?


Runblondie26 said...

Too funny! We posted on almost the exact same topic tonight. I was doing some reminiscing on Facebook earlier today about my more formative school years. I was always curious to know what a boarding school experience was like.

Pure2raw twins said...

I enjoyed my high school experience, still really close friends with many people still. Though we are having our 10 year Reunion this year but I will not be able to make it.

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) said...

Interesting- I think your high school experience sounds awesome. Mine was much more traditional with lots of kids, popular cliques, football games, etc.
I love the idea of the 'job' in high school and the unique classes.
Even though mine was typical, I actually loved high school, though sometimes I think I'm the only one :)

Jen said...

Aww I'm sorry you missed your reunion. My 10 year was the day after Thanksgiving (which is so dumb) so I missed it and was super bummed.

I think it's so interesting your high school didn't have popular people and cliques. I think I would have liked high school a lot more that way!

Jen said...

I was not a huge fan of high school. Overall I had a good experience but I am from a small town and just wanted to do more than my high school offered. You're lucky that you were able to get such a well-rounded education. Brandon went to a great private school and had a similar experience to yours. I'm jealous!

My 10 year reunion is this year but I am not going!

Cindi O said...

I went to my 10 year - it sucked! I've changed way too much since high school and really only have a couple of friends I keep in touch with anymore. I used to be such a good two-shoes mormon - so yeah, I've changed a bit. :-)

Katy (The Singing Runner) said...

Haha! My graduating class had 42 students!!! Granted I went to a private school and we were the first graduating class, but still... it was tiny!

I actually had an awful high school experience. Too many cliques and I never fit in. My friends all went to the public schools and I got to know them through community theatre. :)

Monique said...

Wow, your school sounded really interesting!! My graduating class was just over 200, and it was the only school in our city. We definitely didn't have a 5 year reunion... that's what Facebook (and at the time Myspace) is for haha. I'm looking forward to my 10th in a few years!

RunningOnCoffee said...

My 10 year's coming up (well, I think today is officially 10 yrs!) But the reunion is Thanksgiving weekend, which is a good idea, because lots of people go home for Thanksgiving. Hubs and I will be going assuming we get up there that weekend (yep, we went to HS together).

I went to a public HS, and graduated with about 600-some students. HS was was busy though! I played soccer, was in marching band, did ski club senior year, and a handful of other clubs. I also got my first real part time job in 10th grade. I don't know how I did all that!! I think it made college easier. I'm still close with about 10 friends from high school, and I still keep in touch with maybe a dozen more.

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