20 June 2017

30 Going on 17

Every once in a while, I do this thing where I imagine what high school would be like if I attended as the adult version of me. And I don't mean the 30 year old version of me, physically. I just mean the 17 year old me with my 30 year old brain. I also like to imagine what it would be like to come back to high school as a famous celebrity, but that's another story for another day.

It's funny to be writing this now because just last night I dreamt that my friend and I were sent back in time to our senior year. In my dream, neither one of us could remember what our schedule was (although we both still knew to go to the band room for first period). The last thing I remember was walking into a classroom that was being taught by Babs Tarr and telling her that one day she would work on Batgirl.

I've had a conversation about this topic plenty of times with a handful of my friendfriends and we discuss what we would do differently. For example, we probably wouldn't sign up for a bunch of AP classes because we've learned that most of them count for naught when you get to uni. As for me specifically, I'd probably practice with my french horn a lot more since I've often wished I was a better musician.

When I think of how I'd be like in high school now, I feel as though I'd excel academically and I'd be far more at ease when it came to the social aspect. I would probably choose to eat lunch by myself, instead of awkwardly trying to sit with people with whom I had no real connection, thus avoiding the crippling feeling of rejection and inadequacy. Don't get me wrong, I was never bullied or anything, except for when I had horrible acne and a boy called me a Klingon or when another repeatedly whispered "Clearasil" into my ear right before the Mira Mesa area concert in 8th grade (yeah I still remember that and no, I don't forgive you), so I don't have a real reason to dislike anyone. In fact, I'm sure most people in my school were genuinely nice.

There are some things that I would leave as they were. I would probably still be a dxck to Mr. Weeks because he was a terrible English teacher. I know that's harsh but if you were in that class, you'd understand. What kind of monster makes their class take 150 word vocabulary tests? I'd obviously still be in band, but I'd probably also try for drama or chorus. I'd also probably take AP Music Theory so that I could be an even bigger snob when it comes to music. I know I said I would skip out on AP classes, but I'd stick with AP Calculus simply because it made Business Calculus in college a breeze. And I would still take Tagalog for my foreign language class because it was easy and it's still useful to me. I would still choose to go home and take naps instead of walking to the movie theater to hang out after school. By the way, do kids still do that? Hang out in front of the movie theater and not actually go inside to watch a movie?

Something that I'd definitely improve on is my choice of footwear. My chunky skater shoes, which served no real purpose because I was not a skater, would be replaced with a pair of comfortable Nike Cortez (or some knock-off version of it because I was kind of poor). Actually, I'd just take my current wardrobe with me.

As far as romance goes, I'd leave it completely alone. Of course, I had crushes and I managed to have one boyfriend. But looking back, I would spare him the agony of dating 16 year old me. I wasn't completely terrible, but I also wasn't the best girlfriend. Basically, no dating, which includes volunteering to hand out birthday cards during ASB period so I could accidentally-on-purpose run into my crush.

But really, I'd just enjoy the simplicity of my life. I didn't realize until my 20s just how it was easy was to be that young and to never have to worry about what I was going to eat because I knew my mother had that covered. One of the biggest struggles as an adult is survival and food being the first thing you worry about. So honestly, if I went back and could only change one thing, I think I'd know exactly what I would do:

Sign up for reduced lunch*.

*I did actually sign up, during my 2nd semester of senior year. I didn't think I qualified all those other years and I was so annoyed with myself for only doing it then, because I only got to enjoy free lunches during my very last semester of school. Yay for low-income households.

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