A few weeks ago someone posted an old school photograph on facebook. I looked at it briefly, showed Andy my terrible haircut and went off and did something else. In the meantime the photograph of me got tagged as someone else (!) and everyone I went to school with crawled out of the woodwork to reminisce about how wonderful school was and how we should have a reunion.
I’ve found a number of things about this whole situation utterly baffling, the first being how many children my former classmates have accumulated between them! This shouldn’t be a surprise given that at least one girl in my year was pregnant before we took our GCSEs but somehow it is.
The second thing that confounded me was the amount of nostalgia for high school. I’m the first one to stand up and say I loathed almost every minute of my time there but I cannot believe that none of these people have done anything more enjoyable with their lives in the past twelve years. That bunking off school, bullying anyone who looked at you the wrong way and possessing a vastly inflated sense of your own importance for a few years over a decade is actually all some people can pinpoint as the high point of nearly three decades on this planet. I’m not claiming my life is any kind of glittering trail of achievements but everything I’m proud of I achieved once I left school…
The final thing was how irrelevant my school days now seem to me. It used to be a big deal that I hated school but as I’ve got older I realised that most people had a horrific high school experience. I literally never think about it these days, there are no repressed memories – it just has absolutely no relevance to my life.