I’m eternally grateful that smart phones weren’t permanently grafted to people’s hands when I was in high school.
I’ve lived through many awkward adolescent moments in my time, moments that definitely have no business finding their forever home on the world wide web.
There’s the many times I stepped onto the school bus with my hair wound up in an ornate cluster of butterflies, flowers and chopsticks…and the many times the nuns promptly confiscated it all as soon as I stepped through the school gates.
Then there was the time I toppled into a creek during Year 10 camp and was then locked out of my cabin, condemning myself to a night spent shivering in damp clothes and mud splattered socks. Or the glorious day I accidentally removed half an eyebrow during an ill-fated makeover attempt (thanks for nothing, Cosmo) and had to fish an old pen out of the deepest depths of my school bag and try to etch in a replacement.
Needless to say, the result was less Cara Delevingne and more Cruella de Vil.
Thankfully, a lot of things have changed since those old high school days. These less-than flattering tales now only emerge on the occasions when my high school friends and I get together and only then am I forced to deal with my teenage self.
That’s the wonderful (and sometimes terrible) thing about having your world filled with people who knew you during a dark time in your life, a time when you truly believed temporary glitter tattoos were an edgy fashion statement.
It’s been years since we walked out of those school gates for the last time, and since then whenever our conversations take on a ‘now vs then’ vibe, we all admit that while our school days were hilarious and wonderful and memorable, we’re happier with the people we are now.
In many cases we’ve swapped angst for empathy, uncertainty for decisiveness and DIY eyebrow maintenance for professional assistance (thank God).
But now, as we reach the end of our 20’s, we’re finding our lives stuck in a mundane cycle of grudging acceptance and endless routine. Suddenly, the lost traits from those idealistic 15-year-old girls of school days past aren’t looking so bad.
Instead of that age old question “what do you wish you could tell your high school self?” the question we’re asking each other has suddenly become “what do you wish your high school self could tell you?”.