Wednesday, February 11, 2009

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

So being a part of the Facebook world you find a lot of people you A) don't talk to anymore or B) have totally forgotten about. It's interesting, I guess. Last week it was all about the 25 Random Things About Yourself thing, now it's Your Senior Year...basically comparing what you did then, to what you do now, etc. As always it's interesting, but I can't help but have a question stuck in my head.....

#28. Do you have any regrets from High School?
Not big on regrets, as you learn from all life experiences, but...I wish I hadn't taken it so seriously and been worried about doing this or that to get into college. (which was the right thing to do, don't ya know) I also made a lot of decisions which alienated me from all of my "friends". I still stand by those decisions and am glad I chose them, but I wish I had the confidence to stand up for myself at that time.

The funny thing is, David and I were just talking about this about a week or so ago. Kind of ironic. It made me wonder, "Are they still trying to put the same pressures on the kids that they were then?" Not the pressures of necessarily doing what is right or wrong, but more the mindset that "college is the only way!" It irritated the shit out of me then and irritates the shit out of me now. No doubt, college has it's place, but what happens to the kids that don't want/can't afford college. That or aren't ready for college. I felt such a huge burden of trying to rock the SAT and ACT, and not only choosing a college, but also a major. And this was all in my Junior year! I also remember trying to do great in high school in hopes of earning a scholarship, so that college would be just a little more affordable. That and I remember being so bummed to be 11th in my class. It seemed that I kept missing accomplishments by smidges....Top Ten, Choir President, awards, musical parts....

If I could go back and tell myself what I know now.....Hey, heads up! More than likely, getting straight A's in high school ain't gonna get you shit. You're better off trying to make it in sports....then you may have a fighting chance of getting something. (True, I did get a scholarship, which I'm very thankful for, but let me put it in was for the local college (Firelands aka Rye Beach High) and it was for being involved in music.) In addition, don't go away to college, because "it's the thing to do"

Thankfully I didn't fall prey to this supposed rite of passage. One of the best decisions I made was to attend Firelands, even when people looked at me and said, "You're going where???" as an attempt to insult me. I got my core courses out of the way for a fraction of the cost....and I didn't have to deal with the college scene, which I never had the desire to partake in.

And all of those awards, Top Ten, etc. that I didn't acquire. In the scheme of things it means nothing....especially now. I got to admit though, having it embedded in your head that "you want this award/position because it's the right thing" or "it will look great on college applications" makes it hard to stomach when it doesn't happen.....even now. But the bottom line? Who gives a rat's ass?!

As for making personal choices on high school decisions, on whether to go with the crowd or do your own thing....I made many decisions that weren't the most popular. At the time it hurt, but looking back I wish I had the confidence and made those decisions sooner. It would have saved a lot of hurt. All I can say is, look at the entire picture, do what you want, go with your entire heart, and don't look back. Have the confidence to stand up for yourself and the decisions you make. As they say, "Friends who matter don't mind and friends who mind don't matter."

Oh the things you learn through your life.


Monica said...

Heidi, you're awesome. That's all I have to say. :)

Heidi said...

Thanks Monica =)