I am really happy that high school and middle school are left behind parts of my life. Like, really happy. Middle school was an unhappy, uncomfortable time when I got made fun of a lot, and high school was just way too much drama and angst and feeling inadequate. Even now, if I find myself acting or feeling like a 16-year-old, I feel supremely uncomfortable and I want to hit myself and remind myself to stop being stupid. Last night I felt like high school, and even though it wasn’t that big of a deal, it was bad.
That said, there are a few things about high school that I do miss, friends and simplicity of life put aside.
Dances. This may just be a case of the-grass-is-always-greener, but I do miss going all out, dressing up, having my sister do my hair and makeup, and feeling absolutely gorgeous. No, I never had a date in high school, and if I did things over I think I would have tried harder to be less awkward and have more guy friends, but then again, I probably wouldn’t have so many ideas for short stories and novels if I had had a better high school experience. I digress. There is something that is so, so much fun about looking hot and having a lot of fun with your group of girlfriends. Especially dances of my last two years of high school, where though I was dateless, I finally began dancing with boys and developed maybe a bit of a reputation for being a somewhat slutty dancer. In high school, I was desperate to be slutty. I got over it at the end of the last year, and now I almost miss it, because life without scandal is a bit dull. I suppose I could join a dance group again, but that’s not the same kind of dancing. And I suppose I could go to clubs, but clubs are less safe than proms. At prom, you were with people that you felt comfortable with, even if you didn’t actually like them, and you still had the freedom to show a bit of a new side to yourself. And that’s hard to do. You’re not allowed to change in high school. Nobody understands if you do. I suppose sororities and fraternities still have formals, but they also act like high schoolers.
Sleepovers. I just found a bunch of bags in my room that I should probably get rid of. I like having bags of different sizes, but the amount I have is ridiculous. And I realized half of these bags I only use occasionally to take things to class, and then to stuff things in for a slumber party. Why don’t we have slumber parties anymore? College introduced the idea of sleepovers with boys, as in making out with them and then falling asleep in your twin bed, and that is definitely good fun, but it has also deleted silly girls’ nights, when you just sit around in cute pj’s and giggle about things and watch movies. I don’t really understand why this isn’t a necessity to more college girls. How can you not still have a hole in your heart begging to be filled with gossip, bashing boys who treat you badly and swooning over the ones who don’t or who haven’t yet, and watching embarrassingly, unabashedly romantic movies that you don’t want to admit you actually life? College should be the place for even better sleepovers, because they can have all those things but better stories, because in college you have sex, and you can add liquor to the mix and make silly girly cocktails (because college parties may be about alcochol, but they are not about good drinks. Keystone is unacceptable), and you don’t have parents around so there’s no need to hush up when you talk about the really risqué things. I want to reinstate slumber parties into my life.
Discovering new places. I really, really love that I live away from my parents, because I still see them a lot, but I have my space. We get along much better. But it’s also turned me into a hermit. Everything I need is in my house, and everything outside of my house is expensive, so why go anywhere? I spend too much time inside, and I don’t go to places except to restaurants close to campus. In high school, you’re always trying to find places to go that are parent-free, but that’s not all those places do. It’s like how you need to read lots of different things to be well-rounded or to have good ideas for writing–you need to be exposed to lots of different places just to remember that there are different places, and just to see new things and people and ways of life. I miss nights at parks, in parking lots, outside on trampolines, at bookstores, at strip malls, just sitting in cars in driveways.
I’ve started ordering zines again, and I almost want to make one. I haven’t for probably three or four years. Strangely, now that I have a bit less angst and I’m a lot more comfortable with myself, I miss being emo. I’m sure I still am, but zines are invoking those painful but raw and inspiring moments of angst. Now if I could just have these other three things, I’d be good.