After the frenzy of prom passes, the rumors and stories lose their juiciness and the school year winds down. Everyone moves on with their carefully edited Facebook pictures as the only remaining evidence of the ever-so magical night.
Reflecting on this reality led me to think back to my prom night and to what a select few referred to as the "good old days." I have never understood that phrase in reference to high school — what could possibly lead someone to regard the high school days as the "good old days"?
Don’t get me wrong; I have a plethora of fond memories from high school, full of mischief and questionable decisions. I’d take back the easy classes, lenient due dates and awesome metabolism any day of the week. However, if those were supposed to be the best days of my life… lord have mercy.
Seriously, spare me.
When I imagine my good old days, I’d prefer they not include a vast spectrum of unflattering haircuts and a not-so-darling smile of metal and crooked teeth.
We all know the kinds of people who insist on referring to high school as the “good old days.” These are the same people who made us feel like the scum on the locker room floor back in the day — whether they did this intentionally or not is still beyond me.
These are the people who had way too much fun in high school for their own good and dreaded graduation day. These are the people who failed to foresee the limitless possibilities and prosperities that lingered beyond the walls of our holding cells (also known as classrooms). These are the people who “peaked” in high school.
Detecting someone who “peaked” in high school is a breeze if you know what you’re looking for. In fact, they stick out like sore thumbs. Here are just a few ways to easily spot them:
They don’t just like attention; they expect it.
High school was a cakewalk for these peeps. Needless to say, they were the cool kids and the lunchroom was their stomping ground. They are used to being noticed and acknowledged, just as they were in the glory days. If they are not basking in the limelight as they did in high school, their moods will surely turn sour, so watch out!
Their idea of mingling at the bar is investigating what sports or activities you did in high school.
Like, come on man, I couldn’t care less that you were the starting quarterback at Whatchamacallit High School and I most definitely don’t care that you USED to have six-pack abs.
They still rep their high school via old paraphernalia.
Don’t get me wrong on this one; school spirit is great and sticking to your roots is even better. However, if you are trying to squeeze your newly acquired college bod — thanks to one too many beers freshman year — into your bedazzled high school cheer spanks, it might be time to revaluate.
They religiously partake in Throwback Thursday on Instagram.
Every now and then, it is perfectly acceptable to reminisce back to when you still fit into your favorite skinny jeans or to laugh at a picture of the great group of friends you had in high school in honor of #TBT.
However, there is a limit to the frequency that you are allowed to brag about your high school awesomeness through Instagram without looking like a tool. We understand that you made the winning basket at the State Tournament about three Instagrams ago — don’t post again. Unfollow.
They are stuck in a constant state of nostalgia and refuse to move forward with their lives.
People who “peaked” in high school insist on treading water constantly while waiting for their posse to return, so they can rule their kingdom of textbooks and football games once more. They continue to look back at what was and refuse to look forward at what could be.
They let high school define who they are.
This one is sad, truly sad. High school is a time when we start to discover who we are. It is a time that prepares us to take on the real world, whatever that is, with full force and vigor. High school should not and does not define who we are or who we will be; it only gives us a glimpse.
So, be yourself.
People who “peaked” in high school allow others to mold and morph them into what they deem to be socially acceptable. The individuals in high school who stood their ground — and maybe even took a wedgie for what they believed — are the ones who graduate with confidence in who they are and what they want.
Whether you were popular, a goon, an athlete, a genius or a hoodlum in high school, you still possess the ability to be whoever you want to be today.
No one can define who you are except for you. Labels are labels and stereotypes are stereotypes. Let them talk; it's not like you can stop them, anyway.
High school is one stage of our lives — granted, a difficult one — but it is still only a portion of the grand scheme of things. Only a portion of the experiences we will endure; only a portion of the people we will meet; only a portion of the lovers we will have; only a portion of the judgments we will make; only a portion of the lives we will lead.
No one is destined to peak in high school and no one should. Stay true to yourself and continue to strive as a student, a friend and a human being.
If you can do this, your chances for never “peaking” are relatively high, which is a pretty damn good thing considering that once you peak, it’s all downhill from there.
Photo via CW Networks