Myth Buster – High School Edition

feaa3136c2467fb3937d02a894a4397c-1You know what no one has ever asked me to do? Deliver a high school graduation speech. Not even when I was graduating high school did I make the “give a speech” cut. So, I didn’t have a stellar GPA and wasn’t going to Harvard. And yeah, maybe my dad did have to, as he so succinctly put it, “pick up the phone” to get me into Baylor, but still I had some good things to say back then and now, well, hello to years of wisdom that could benefit the 17-18 demographic.

Guess what all this means? Oh yeah, I’m going to “gift you” with the high school graduation speech I wish I could give. Don’t panic, I promise no reflections on my teenage glory years primarily because there weren’t any. Here it goes and lucky for you I’m feeling a little lazy so consider this the condensed or mini version.

Give me a second to get in the mood. I’m humming my high school’s fight school as inspiration. Now, I’m clearing my throat and imagining myself walking to the podium while getting one of those super braggy introductions that makes everyone sitting in the audience hate you just a little bit.

Okay, I made it to the podium. I didn’t trip and I managed to swing my hair. You know, one of those flirty, kind of sassy hair swings. A sort of look at me, I’m smart and have voluminous hair so go ahead and hate me some more.

Yes, I know I’m not that smart and my hair has to be coaxed into voluminous territory with a shopping cart full of product and the art of the extreme back comb, but it’s my faux reality and/or dream sequence and I say why not imagine the best. Seriously, who would want to visualize the “authentic truth?” It sounds like some goofy thing Oprah would say.

Enough of the visualization nonsense let’s go straight to the speech. Where did I leave off? Oh yes, I was at the podium. I look out at the audience, nod, smile and begin by dropping a bomb. I’m talking a big bomb, like the crowd gasps and then one lone member of the audience stands up and cheers, “You tell it sister!”  And another person spurred on by the “you tell it” jumps up and hollers, “Amen!”

I gain back control and then swing my hair again, just because I can, and begin to explain, some might say even justify, the bomb I dropped. To do this I have to repeat the bomb again because I’m nothing if not a lover of dramatic effect (and really who isn’t?).

As I’m preparing to repeat myself for second time I’m hoping the school marching band in attendance would give me a drum roll. Oh yes, a drum roll would be ideal, almost goose bump inducing. Wait, if this is my imagination of me giving a high school speech then why can’t I have a drum roll? Hmm, I totally see no reason why I can’t. Let’s back this story up a bit and now add in drum roll.

So just to review, I’m at the podium. My hair looks amazing. I’ve dropped a bombshell. I’ve gotten two cheers, so to speak, based on said bomb. I’ve nodded, cued the band for a drum roll and now that the stirring drum roll is over I’m about to resume my speech by restating the single sentence that made the crowd go all “Oh no she didn’t” on me. For clarity purposes no one said “oh no she didn’t,” but that’s what I imagine the crowd was thinking.

I then repeat the 10 words that shocked the audience – High school is not the best time of your life.

You can’t think I’m wrong for fantasizing saying this at every high school graduation? And let’s be honest here, would you want the four years you spend suffering through assemblies and AP exams to be the pinnacle of your human voyage? More importantly, who wants to peak at 17? Who would want the next 60 years of their life to be ho-hum, just sort of OK, compared to lunch sophomore year? Hopefully, no one because it would be a tragedy.

The myth that your high school years will be the greatest life has to offer needs to be eradicated. I consider it part of a teenage mental health initiative. Think of the severe bouts of depression that could be averted if, at the start of each school year, a banner graced the entrance to every high school that read, “Relax, these aren’t going to be the best four years of your life. Trust us, it gets better.”

And it does. It gets so much better. The simple fact that I don’t have Algebra 2 homework every night has increased my joy of life exponentially. Now, who needs a graduation speaker? I’m available.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

5 thoughts on “Myth Buster – High School Edition

  1. AthenaC says:

    When I was in my early 20’s, struggling with a baby and an awful husband, I remember talking to one of my aunts who was then in her 50’s about just this. The thing was, even though my life sucked at the time, no way in hell did I want to go back to high school. The simple fact of being an adult, having control over my life, and knowing that at any given point I could choose something different – none of those were options I had in high school. I was stuck until I was no longer a legal infant.

    My aunt agreed with me, and added that in her experience, life just gets better and better as you get older. Ten years after that conversation, I still think she’s right.

  2. amy says:

    My dad told me this same message when I was a kid, and I thought it was brilliant and a helpful acknowledgment of my actual feelings. Everyone was saying that kids should be so thrilled with their youth, etc. Also. It helped diffuse some of the hype surrounding the faux importance of prom or finding a clique to join. Preparing to leave home for the first time to figure out who you are and define your own path is the most stressful thing people can go through.

  3. Maureen Sklaroff (@BlueBellsCS) says:

    Oh no she didn’t! You tell it sister! Amen! Who does your hair?!?! This is so true for most of us. The people I really feel sorry for are the ones for whom this isn’t true. The ones for whom high school was their crowning glory, who always look back at those four years and find their current life lacking.

  4. Donna says:

    Right on Snarky!!!! High school was def not the time of my life. I went to a small high school in the midwest and hated almost every minute of it. Kindergarten thru 12th grade were all in one one building. I “infiltrated” the school my freshman year. I was myself and refused to cornform to their version of normal. I endured 4 years of vicious name calling from my male classmates and was ostracized by the “popular” crowd. By my senior year I was asked if male X or Y or Z asked me to christmas ball/homecoming/prom or on a date would I go. My answer was always “heck no”.

    I graduated in 1981 and I haven’t looked back. I received an invitation to the 5 year class reunion and nothing since then. Thank God!! At the 10 year mark my mother was approached at her retail job and was told the school had addresses/contact information for every student that had attended the school but me. Thinking it would be okay with me she gave them my address. I received a inivitation from the alumni association at the 10 year mark, and nothing since. Again, thank God!!! There are one or two people I wouldn’t mind being in contact with, but not the whole catty, bratty, stuck up bunch of nincompoops I went to high school with. I no longer live in the midwest and my family is all gone so I have no reason or desire to revisit those miserable days.

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