21 Jump St : Could you go back to High School?

Who were you at high school?  The cool kid, the shy kid, the nerdy one, the anxious one, the one that flitted between types, the one that didn't care?

We were all someone at high school, and it is such an awkward stage of life where we are all just trying to find our little way in life, our place, where the heck do we fit in with it all - but then, so is everyone else.  Everyone else seems so sure of themselves, when you don't, and they have things that you don't .  Their lunches contain weird and unusual foods, or just plain and simple foods, when you have the weird and unusual.  The disparities of us as individuals all come out at this time and we just want to fit in or we just want to stand out.

I was lucky enough to win tickets to the advance screening of the 21 Jump St movie on Monday and it got me thinking about the whole notion of going back to high school and how our old versions of ourselves would be seen as now.

I was a nerd at high school.  I had hand made or hand me down clothes (or they came from the op shop, Venture or Fosseys - does anyone remember those shops?) and my family recycled everything (literally), made everything, we had to work in and around the house and the only holidays that we went on were camps.  I still carried a lunch box when everyone else was carrying a paper bag or buying lunch orders.  I wore glasses ("Four Eyes").  I had a school bag that wasn't standard issue, it was an ex-army one that I had drawn on and sewn patches on from Aussie Disposals.

In the eighties that was really uncool.

Now it would be seen as cool (well at least in my suburb it would).

The world at some stage between the eighties and now turned upside down and the uncool became ok.  I just peaked too early.

I spent the whole of my high school years sitting on the edge of friendship circles as I didn't really fit to any mould  that had been pre-set in anyone's head.  They liked me (I knew that), but given that I was a bit freaky and weird (I had no TV for instance to add to the other odd things which meant I couldn't converse about whatever the pop culture was - and still can't recall back to the "good-ol'-days"), the girls couldn't work out which group I should belong to, so I drifted between a few.  I luckily had a couple of good friends who stuck by me and my social disabilities, my awkwardness, even seeming to enjoy my seemingly weirdness (one great friend remarked one day that she loved how my house always smelt of food, and that our afternoon tea was great because there were jars of dried fruit and nuts open to eat).

How would I go now?  I don't know.  Times have changed so much.  Now it is more ok for people to be different. There is more expression of individuality.  There is more openness and discussion about difference.  Ok for some people to not have a TV (or not to watch it - but then is it ok not to have a computer?).

People in high school will always feel awkward or socially disabled for some reason or another.  Perhaps that is a true reflection of our community - the haves and the have nots.

xx Meg

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