Flashback to Freshman Year

Over the weekend, I engaged in a bit of hodgepodge life including doing some reading, getting a pedicure and flipping between episodes of “Beyond Scared Straight” and “Hoarding: Buried Alive.”  Well, after  a few hours in, I became a bit spooked to the point that I started tooling around my home office and looking at things to purge. 

My eyes settled on the wooden tower of audio tape glory.  The majority of the collection is from my days in high school as a satisfied BMG Music Club member getting box loads of discounted albums.  The short goal of this spur of the moment project was to sort the tapes into music I’ve already acquired in digital form (thus I don’t need to old tape) and music I still need to get.  Yet a few handfuls in and I was sitting on the floor surrounded by piles representing the soundtrack to the joyous and at times embarrassing years that were high school. 

Flashback to ninth grade.  The big events I remember are “The Simpsons” cartoon, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Phantom of the Opera” starting (loved Oprah and The Simpsons, hated Phantom).  I evolved into an artsy-type, immersed in writing, dancing and theater, that dressed in all-black and jean jackets covered in metal pin back “statement” buttons.  I then tucked the jackets under an oversized black wool coat swiped from my father.  

I spent hours copying song lyrics into my journals and–thinking I was the deepest 15 year-old to ever exist–memorizing the most twisted Sylvia Plath stanzas to quote back to English teachers when I became bored.  It was then I started to embrace my love of jewelry and the adornments ranged from costume pieces to paperclip bracelets to bandana wrist bands. 

My hair was a mass of Michael Jackson inspired jheri curls that I yearned to straighten, and, like Prince, I could do some wicked things with black eyeliner and leggings.  I channeled “The Breakfast Club’s” Allison Reynolds with wannabe John Bender tendencies stopped only by my teachers’ kid “better be good” fears.  Mid-80s emo if you will.  My Walkman was a constant companion, my body hunkered in a permanent sulk mode and this was one of the songs I had on repeat. 

So do tell:

Who was your ninth grade self?  Come on, share away…we won’t laugh (too much).

What would serve as your freshman year theme song?

When did your wallow in the muck of  teen angst start?

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6 Responses to Flashback to Freshman Year

  1. I was always on the outside trying to find the door inside. I never really seemed to fit in anywhere, but I tried to compensate by wearing the cool styles, trying to be friends with everyone, but it was an epic failure. I was a Hollywood child (commercials and modeling) so my mother tried to keep me apart from pretty much everyone. It wasn’t until I went to college that I was able to really become me.

    • I can relate Diana. I was someone that most in my grade knew, but I only had my core circle of close peeps. And smacked against the three grades above me, I was invisible. So to hide my awkward feelings, I became “deep girl.” Heh.

  2. I was homeschooled through junior high and high school, something I am very thankful for. I didn’t care for the drama I saw on TV and read in books. Most of my friends at that time lived in other states, so socializing was quite a different experience for me. I was immersed in my writing and didn’t have the opportunity or need to put on a different self in order to fit in.

    • Thanks for sharing Angela. The homeschooling perspective is great especially you being able to tap into the worlds of your diverse friends. Looking back, even those of us rallying to be unique were conforming a bit.

  3. Ninth grade? I had a close group of friends whom I’m fortunately still good friends with, but I always felt like an outsider because my family had moved from a metropolitan area to a small rural town. We didn’t attend church (it was the bible belt of CA) and most of my friends had known each other since kindergarten.

    I was one of the few minorities in school, too. That didn’t make it easy socially, but thank God for my friends. Looking back, I credit their parents for raising such intelligent and accepting women.

    My interests…books, old WWII movies, history and music from the sixties set me apart, too. I mean, how many kids know all the words to Johnny Mathis’ songs? 🙂

    I love nostaligic posts like this! Have a great weekend!

    • Johnny Mathis! My first grade teacher was a big fan and, when we were bad, made us listen to him. “Chances are ’cause I wear a silly grin…” 🙂

      The move you mentioned does sound hard. Some districts do have well-gelled groups of kids who have been together almost from birth. Breaking in on clicks like that must be torture when paired with the general craziness of the teen years. It sounds like you have a cool group of friends. Long-time friendships rock.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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