Are You Cooler Than a High Schooler?

August 19, 2009 at 9:56 am 19 comments

My old junior high and high school started school today. It’s weird having a job like this. Summer comes and goes and I don’t notice a single difference around here. I don’t like that very much. I especially hate it during the holidays. While all of the younguns get a week or two of vacation, I work up until noon on Christmas Eve. It’s not right.

It’s this time of the year that I get nostalgic. I wander down the school supplies aisle and dream about pink spirals, sharpened crayons, college-ruled notebook paper, and (when I feel like going way back) Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers. I got new school supplies each year. It was a like a new, fresh start. I loved it.

I wonder what it would be like if I went back to high school. I don’t mean if I rewind and do it again. I mean if I woke up today and instead up putting on my jeans and pink top, I put on khakis and a kelly green polo and headed back to my high school. If I sat it the class with the students, did the same work, listened to the same lessons, kept the same schedule. What would it be like?

I definitely wouldn’t have any friends. I’m sure they’d all get excited at first since I’m well over the legal drinking age. They’d invite me to the cool kids’ parties and ask me to buy them some Boone’s Farm. I wouldn’t, of course, because that’s illegal and the only time I break the law is when I don’t fully stop at stop signs in my neighborhood. And I remember high school. Nothing good happens when Boone’s Farm is involved. So they’d start to realize that I’m not very cool. Then we’d go to class and I’d get annoyed that they were all texting under their desks while we were trying to discuss chapter one of Les Miserables – which, of course, they didn’t read and, of course, I did and took notes and highlighted my book. They’d be texting about how much of a suck up I am even though I have no interest in sucking up, I just have an interest in learning.

They’d complain about their homework and how they have no life and can’t wait until they are grown ups so they don’t have to deal with algebra, tucking in their shirts, and hall passes. And then I’d laugh in their faces because they have NO IDEA what’s in store. They go to a school where the teachers genuinely care about them and care about their lives. They have the opportunity to get involved in anything they want to try. They have vacation. The teachers walk around with trashcans at the end of lunch to collect trash. Their lives are easy. But they have no clue.

So they’ll think I’m lame. And I’ll think they are dramatic and whiny.

I remember one time in college, I went to play Laser Tag with a few friends. I’m not quite sure why we decided to do this. I’m not one to enjoy running around in the dark in a germ infested room that smells like recess. But we did. I had only done laser tag once before, many years before. I don’t really like running around in the dark, shooting at spots on vests. Probably has something to do with only using one eye, not having any depth perception or aim, and my tendency to get headaches from heightened heart rate and anticipation. But as with most things you do in college, it sounded like a good idea at the time.

We suited up in these vests that have been continuously sneezed and sweated on. They filed us all into this room to go over instructions and rules. Everyone there was male and under the age of 15. Besides the 4 of us. Apparently this mob of boys come here often. They don’t need to hear the rules. The dude at the front says, “Now do we need to go over the rules?” All the boys act so cool and say, “No man!” He asks again, “Is there anyone here that hasn’t done this?” I raise my hand. I’m the only one. Even my friends had done this. (Feel free to judge them. I did.) In complete synchronization and with utmost frustration, all the boys let out a huge sigh. They rolled their eyes and groaned.

I can’t say it didn’t hurt. The guy went through the rules. I didn’t pay much attention. I was too busy eavesdropping. Half of the boys were getting excited because I wasn’t on their team so they knew they had an advantage. The other half were royally pissed off that I’ve decided to come to Blazer Tag and ruin their Friday night. I wanted to scream “It’s just a game. Shut your face!” at them but decided that stooping to their level was not the solution. Either that or I’m scared of confrontation and even more scared of being cornered in a dark room and being shot at by my own team.

Anyways, it was scarring. I’m not good with bullying.

So while I may be nostalgic about all the students going back to school today, I’m not jealous. I know what it’s like to have all the younger folk turn on you. I think it would be much worse the second time around. I’m not confident enough to deal with catty girls, even if I do weigh 50 pounds more than them and could surely win in a meeting by the bleachers. And I’m not strong enough to deal with the tough guys who would probably call me “mom” after I tell them to slow down when they pull into the parking lot and pull up their pants because they look like punks.

It would take a lot to make me go back there. Lisa Frank doesn’t even have that much power.

Entry filed under: Chelsea, Getting Old. Tags: , , , .

Oh, The Anticipation Do You Have Any Thoughts or Feelings?

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lyndsey  |  August 19, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Did I play laser tag with you?

    I fantasize about going back to college all the time. I think about electing a major that corresponds with what I want to do… like finance. I think about studying because I want to learn and going to class because I am interested and asking questions and taking notes. I think about all the fun we had and how EASY it all was. I think about skipping class on a Tuesday afternoon to catch a baseball game, and intramural sports. Mostly I think that college is wasted on the young. We could not appreciate it.

  • 2. Caroline  |  August 19, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I wish I got a Christmas and summer break. I love school supplies. And I too wonder what it would be like to go back. I wouldn’t want to, but I think about it. I miss the Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers.

  • 3. Pippy  |  August 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I loved Lisa Frank………but no way would I go back to high school for her!

  • 4. Ashley  |  August 19, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Spending the weekend with two 16-year olds has made me realize how much I don’t miss being in high school. And you’re totally right they have NO IDEA about the real world… I almost feel bad for them and want to be like “ENJOY IT WHILE YOU CAN” but then I’d sound like a mom and that would be even less cool than just being the older cousin…

  • 5. timlinzrowland  |  August 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I loved my Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. I went school supply shopping this year, for my first grader and when I saw the trapper keepers, I can’t lie, I squealed. He, on the other hand, looked at me and said….mom… what is a trapper keeper???(in a… yes your embarrassing me kind of way). If I went back I would be a complete dork for sure!!

  • 6. Autumn  |  August 19, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I LOVE school supplies… always have, always will.
    I often wonder how things would have been different “back then” if I could just glimpse the future.

  • 7. Alma  |  August 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Hey Chelsea,

    This is my take on the Evolution of the Learned.

    High School–blah, blah, blah, blah, hmmm, blah, blah, blah…

    College– hmmm, blah, hmmm, hmmm, blah, hmmm…

    Grad School–uhhh…yeah, uhhh…no, uhhh…yeah, uhhh…maybe…

    Post Grad–yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes

    By the way, love your blogs!

  • 8. New Girl  |  August 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I’m still in school… and still very, very addicted to school supplies… but as much as I love studying and class, I can say with all the confidence of a poor graduate student that if someone offered me a million dollars to re-do high school, that I would turn them down in a heartbeat.

    But… there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a new, colorful pack of pens. You know… for nostalgia’s sake. 🙂

    Love your blog! the layout is beautiful!

  • 9. This Heavenly Life  |  August 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Ah, boone’s farm. *sigh*

    Wonderful post – I enjoyed every word of it 🙂

  • 10. Debbie  |  August 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    heck yeah…loved me some trapper keepers! and boones farm. dont EVEN get me started!

    okay, speaking of laser tag, these people get WAY too into it. i went a few years ago (and havent been back!) for a friends bday party. during the glorious rules portion where we had to watch some cheesy 80s video on safety that no one was watching, some chick on the other team thought i was laughing at her and literally came over and wanted to fight me. okay, she was like 14 and about a foot shorter than me. seriously people. seriously…..

  • 11. Lindsay  |  August 19, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    My school supplies now consists of 2 3-subject spiral notebooks. I bought the solid color $1.50 kind.

    School supplies shopping gets less cool as you get older.

  • 12. The Husband  |  August 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    1) lazer tag rocks! Blazer Tag is terrible…

    2) college is much more fun than high school cause the girls aren’t as flaky or dramatic

    3) college girls are just as dramatic, it’s just that by the time we’re in college, men are just more use to it, so #2 is really just a perception thing…except 13 year olds who squeal and talk incessantly…they’re annoying

  • 13. Pamela  |  August 19, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I teach in a high school. What is amazing is all the drama,the gossip, the cliques, on/off romances, hurt feelings and the questionable attire and I’m talking about the staff!! It seems that sometimes the adults forget that they work in a high school but they don’t have to ‘play’ high school. However, I do so enjoy the smell of a new box of crayons.

  • 14. Mandy  |  August 19, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Today was my first day of school at work, and I was a big nostalgic. Made me think of the simplicity of high school. Back then, school announced there was something new happening, and you either signed up or you didnt…and our parents always made sure we got there. That was the extent of my worries…studying and extra curriculars. Life before bills, family, work etc….So yes, sometimes I miss it…but then I think…the sixteen year old me would annoy me, so I am i gonna put up with all the other 16 yr. old?…no thank you!

    Great blog…definitely sent me down the plaid skort (two inches above the knee) and svhool issued sweatshirt memory lane 🙂

  • 15. Rachel  |  August 19, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Our kids start tomorrow. Feel free to come and take my English IV, yearbook, and newspaper classes… I won’t let anyone bully you and I’ll fully appreciate your insightful comments. I’ll even find you a snap bracelet to go with your Lisa Frank.

  • 16. Jill  |  August 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Boone’s Farm? New school supplies? A girl after my own heart! I sometimes wish I’d been a teacher, but only for the Christmas, spring, and summer vacations…

  • 17. jessica  |  August 19, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    your blog kicks my blog’s butt. i officially bookmarked you.

  • 18. Ginger  |  August 20, 2009 at 12:13 am

    I had the COOLEST Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper! Actually, I bought a lot of stuff back then…but not so much in high school. I still think I might have that, maybe I’ll use it.

    I didn’t find out what Boone’s Farm was until about a year ago. Being allowed to drink makes drinking not so important when you’re young.

    Every once in a while I think, *sigh* High School….and then…
    The other day I hung out with my cousin, who is actually a freshman in college starting next week. She doesn’t have a car and had to get permission to go with me to…well, anywhere. Also, her younger brother got to tag along. This, more than anything, has made me grateful for what little independence I have now. I’m broke, and still in college, but at least I don’t have to ask my mom permission to go out and I don’t have to take James along (although, he’s cool so that would probably be ok).

    GREAT BLOG today. Made me all nostalgic, lol! My pride was my pen collection. I still have it.. …

  • 19. Mom  |  August 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Great blog today! I remember it fondly, taking you to get school supplies – you would bug me for DAYS to do it. Fun memories but THANK GOD we can’t go back – I wouldn’t want to myself and I for sure wouldn’t want any of my kids to do it either! I HAVE 3 ADULT CHILDREN NOW !!!! Woo Hoo!!! (Miss the extra-curricular stuff at times but this is sooo much better!)

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August 2009


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