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(New York Magazine)   Psychologically speaking, we're all trapped in the social awkwardness of high school no matter how many years go by   (nymag.com) divider line 61
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4057 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jan 2013 at 9:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-28 07:27:08 AM  
Interesting read, thanks subby.
 
2013-01-28 07:32:54 AM  
A good reason to go away to college, make new friends, earn respect for who you are now rather than get dragged down by the disrespect you earned in high school.  And rarely, if ever, go back.

People like to think they have other people figured out.
 
2013-01-28 07:51:50 AM  
Sometimes I think I was the only person who just went to high school for 4 bland, uneventful years and promptly forgot all about it immediately afterward.
 
2013-01-28 08:08:41 AM  
Not me, subby. I'm totally over those self-conscious, insecure years.

And please, someone respond to this message. I desperately need the attention.
 
2013-01-28 09:09:33 AM  
kid_icarus: You're not alone. It's always annoying to hear contemporaries talk about high school when that was nearly fifteen years ago: How am I supposed to remember or care about what happened while we were teenagers?
 
2013-01-28 09:09:43 AM  
Grandpa: Are you gettin' any?
Richard: Dad!
Grandpa: You can tell me, Dwayne. Are you gettin' any?
Richard: Come on, please.
Grandpa: [Dwayne shakes his head] No? Jesus. You're what? Fifteen? My God, man!
Richard: Dad!
Grandpa: You should be gettin' that young stuff.
Richard: Dad!
Grandpa: That young stuff is the best stuff in the whole world.
Richard: Hey! Hey! Dad! That's enough! Stop it!
Grandpa: Will you kindly not interrupt me, Richard! See, right now you're jailbait, they're jailbait. It's perfect. I mean, you hit 18, man! You're talkin' about three to five.
 
2013-01-28 09:17:38 AM  
Didn't Bowling for Soup write a song about this years ago?
 
2013-01-28 09:20:49 AM  
I remember several years after high school, running into a guy I had graduated with. I didnt really know him very well so we shared an awkward and hello and then he said 'you were that jock, right?'

That has stuck with me. Yes I ran three seasons a year, but I was also an editor of the school paper for two years, and was the only student in my school to take the AP art exam.

It's remarkable how differently we see ourselves from what the world sees. And how little either viewpoint matters depending on who you are.
 
2013-01-28 09:21:25 AM  
Having been neither popular nor a total loser in high school: meh.

I doubt I will go to my high school reunions.  They're 250 miles away.  I could much more easily grab a couple of college friends and go out on the town here and not worry about getting a DD.
 
2013-01-28 09:22:58 AM  
Author is projecting very, very heavily.

/Ric Romero reports that some peoples lives peaked during Highschool, more at 11
 
2013-01-28 09:24:50 AM  

Earguy: A good reason to go away to college, make new friends, earn respect for who you are now rather than get dragged down by the disrespect you earned in high school.  And rarely, if ever, go back.

People like to think they have other people figured out.


Bolded for emphasis.

Get out of your comfort zone, people!
 
2013-01-28 09:26:53 AM  
In my case this doesn't hold up. In high school I was a lonely, stupid, directionless loser, but now as an adult I'm....good article.
 
2013-01-28 09:26:55 AM  
I can see this in a lot of people, though I was never really awkward in HS myself. I was just a badass. heh.
 
2013-01-28 09:28:02 AM  

Alonjar: Author is projecting very, very heavily.

/Ric Romero reports that some peoples lives peaked during Highschool, more at 11


Not really. This may be the first time it's actually been studied in any depth, but people have known about it for many years. It's been fairly obvious for at least as long as high school as we know it has existed, and analogous phenomena have existed at least as long as mass media. There are some powerful arguments to be made that it's even older than that: one can find evidence going back to the ancient Romans and beyond.
 
2013-01-28 09:28:27 AM  

kid_icarus: Sometimes I think I was the only person who just went to high school for 4 bland, uneventful years and promptly forgot all about it immediately afterward.


You're specifically mention in the article, Kid! FTFA: Not everyone feels the sustained, melancholic presence of a high-school shadow self. There are some people who simply put in their four years, graduate, and that's that. But for most of us adults, the adolescent years occupy a privileged place in our memories [...]
 
2013-01-28 09:30:07 AM  

MayoSlather: In my case this doesn't hold up. In high school I was a lonely, stupid, directionless loser, but now as an adult I'm....good article.


Damn, beat me to it. I can't even better this guy.

/cuts wrists....
 
2013-01-28 09:31:27 AM  
Let me guess...the ones who will call bullshiat are under the age of 30, with the majority under the age of 25.
Wait until your 40's and you will see how true it is, granted some way more than others.
 
2013-01-28 09:31:41 AM  
No emotional trauma or anything from me. HS was the ultimate time to not give a fark socially. I played D&D during lunch with teh nerdz, wore shiatty clothing because it didn't matter and allowed me to save money, and generally took advantage of every hs program there was (sports year round, learned music, quiz bowl captain). Life was good, but I moved away and college was better.
 
2013-01-28 09:34:24 AM  
I can only wonder if the people that do these studies are the ones who never move on.
 
2013-01-28 09:35:25 AM  

cretinbob: Let me guess...the ones who will call bullshiat are under the age of 30, with the majority under the age of 25.
Wait until your 40's and you will see how true it is, granted some way more than others.


Idk, what about those of us who had a moderate amount of fun in high school but weren't in either extreme of super-popular or super-loser?
 
2013-01-28 09:40:13 AM  
I had a great time in high school. Didn't get laid, so maybe that's what they mean but there was never any awkwardness.
 
2013-01-28 09:41:30 AM  

Millennium: There are some powerful arguments to be made that it's even older than that: one can find evidence going back to the ancient Romans and beyond.


Well, sure, but things were a lot different back then because you had to count with "i"s and "v"s.
 
2013-01-28 09:44:34 AM  
I sold drugs in high school, everybody liked me
 
2013-01-28 09:45:41 AM  
It works the other way too. If you're still caught up in the same person you were at 16, then your classmates probably are too.

I remember just out of college turning down a job for one reason - walking back out to the parking lot from the interview, I ran into a guy from high school. Dude gave his roommate's girlfriend a ride home one weekend, slept with her, then proceeded to knock boots with her behind his so-called best friends back for a few weeks. Not the kind of guy I wanted in the cubicle next to me.
 
2013-01-28 09:53:39 AM  
The thing I'm really grateful for is that we didn't have Facebook back then. So much drama that escaped being permanently recorded.
 
2013-01-28 09:57:35 AM  

Nurglitch: kid_icarus: You're not alone. It's always annoying to hear contemporaries talk about high school when that was nearly fifteen years ago: How am I supposed to remember or care about what happened while we were teenagers?


Word. All I can really say about my high school experience is that it was kind of boring. And I'm gay...nowadays I hear all these horror stories about kids like me who were bullied constantly to the point of suicide. It almost makes me feel guilty to admit that my years in high school were relatively bland. I didn't get bullied...I wasn't an outcast...I was just an average guy.
 
2013-01-28 09:59:20 AM  

God Is My Co-Pirate: The thing I'm really grateful for is that we didn't have Facebook back then. So much drama that escaped being permanently recorded.


Oh hellz yeah...I've thought about that before. I can't imagine what it's like to have the drama of high school amplified via social media. I'm glad my high school experience was before that...back then, it wasn't even (yet) common for everyone to have a cell phone.
 
2013-01-28 10:00:11 AM  
LOL No, I'm MUCH worse now.
 
2013-01-28 10:00:48 AM  
I forget who said, "I spend 4 yrs in high school making an ass of myself, then 4 yrs in college realizing that I had. When I finally got out in the real world, it was just like high school."

/Woody Allen?
 
2013-01-28 10:03:19 AM  
What I find odd in my case is that most of my current friends I met at or through the part-time job I had in high-school, yet I talk to no one from actual high school. I probably want to forget it more than I have, Not that I was traumatized, I just resented the whole monotonous people-factory aspect of it all.
 
2013-01-28 10:05:30 AM  

kid_icarus: Nurglitch: kid_icarus: You're not alone. It's always annoying to hear contemporaries talk about high school when that was nearly fifteen years ago: How am I supposed to remember or care about what happened while we were teenagers?

Word. All I can really say about my high school experience is that it was kind of boring. And I'm gay...nowadays I hear all these horror stories about kids like me who were bullied constantly to the point of suicide. It almost makes me feel guilty to admit that my years in high school were relatively bland. I didn't get bullied...I wasn't an outcast...I was just an average guy.


Were you open about your sexuality back then, though? I went through high school in the mid to late 90's in a rural-ish town in North Carolina, and I dared not to be open about it back then. It would have caused.. . difficulties.
 
2013-01-28 10:10:24 AM  

God Is My Co-Pirate: The thing I'm really grateful for is that we didn't have Facebook back then. So much drama that escaped being permanently recorded.


===================

Yup. I've tried explaining this to some kids but without any success.

It's tragic when someone who was a high school loser can't get over it. It's even more sad to see someone whose glory days were in high school.

I did learn some important social lessons from my high school days. #1: You know everything you need to know about a person's character based on how they treat people when they don't have to be nice to them.

I never went to a reunion. Not angry or bitter.....I never missed high school. Besides, it wouldn't make me happy to see the cute girls I lusted after all fat and beaten down by life. I prefer to remember them the way they were.....young and fine.
 
2013-01-28 10:19:41 AM  

Cythraul: kid_icarus: Nurglitch: kid_icarus: You're not alone. It's always annoying to hear contemporaries talk about high school when that was nearly fifteen years ago: How am I supposed to remember or care about what happened while we were teenagers?

Word. All I can really say about my high school experience is that it was kind of boring. And I'm gay...nowadays I hear all these horror stories about kids like me who were bullied constantly to the point of suicide. It almost makes me feel guilty to admit that my years in high school were relatively bland. I didn't get bullied...I wasn't an outcast...I was just an average guy.

Were you open about your sexuality back then, though? I went through high school in the mid to late 90's in a rural-ish town in North Carolina, and I dared not to be open about it back then. It would have caused.. . difficulties.


Nope, totally not out...I was in rural Tennessee, so same general atmosphere. Far as I know nobody suspected me. But it just wasn't an option then like it is now.
 
2013-01-28 10:22:56 AM  

kid_icarus: Cythraul: kid_icarus: Nurglitch: kid_icarus: You're not alone. It's always annoying to hear contemporaries talk about high school when that was nearly fifteen years ago: How am I supposed to remember or care about what happened while we were teenagers?

Word. All I can really say about my high school experience is that it was kind of boring. And I'm gay...nowadays I hear all these horror stories about kids like me who were bullied constantly to the point of suicide. It almost makes me feel guilty to admit that my years in high school were relatively bland. I didn't get bullied...I wasn't an outcast...I was just an average guy.

Were you open about your sexuality back then, though? I went through high school in the mid to late 90's in a rural-ish town in North Carolina, and I dared not to be open about it back then. It would have caused.. . difficulties.

Nope, totally not out...I was in rural Tennessee, so same general atmosphere. Far as I know nobody suspected me. But it just wasn't an option then like it is now.


Yeah, I understand. I had been 'called out' for it before, but rarely. I didn't feel like being open about it having to worry about suffering through even more bullying than I already was subjected to just for being odd in the first place. So decided to stay 'in the closet' and avoid throwing any fuel on that fire.
 
2013-01-28 10:57:12 AM  
I pulled the short straw parent-wise. They messed me up pretty good inside. I'm not sure if it was a good or bad thing to grow up around middle class and upper middle class kids who had pretty decent, functional parents. I was the penultimate outsider, totally screwed up emotionally/socially. I was told I was good looking and I was always bigger/stronger than average but never really had the confidence to use those to my advantage. I couldn't join 'em (too messed up) so I tried just keeping to myself but that made me a target for bullies (bigger kid who won't/can't defend himself). It was not until my sophomore year that I started lifting weights and got BIG. That gave me the confidence to stare down bullies and even start to do well academically. The last 2 year of high school we awesome only because I finally found the ability to not care what anyone thought of me.

Other than being obstacles to overcome, the people in high school meant nothing to me. I guess that's still largely true today.
 
2013-01-28 10:58:39 AM  
I'm glad the only thing from HS that's left is the geek part. The rest is long gone. The drama bullshiat tends to go away the day you the attempt to murder you fails.
 
2013-01-28 11:01:37 AM  
I cannot possibly imagine everything I do today drawing on experiences from age 16. I was in an entirely different world at that age.
 
Skr
2013-01-28 11:01:52 AM  
Heh FARK filters have damaged me, my mind froze a second when the article stated ,"like Kenji, he too is attractive and successful today"


Anyways, I had a mixed bag of experiences in H.S. that shaped who I am. Life is built up from the foundation so it is rather pointless to dwell on things that cannot be changed. Fairly simple to reinvent the self if you didn't like the person high school experiences made you. High school isn't always a great place to find like minded individuals, and honestly finding people you mesh well with is one of the best ways to reach your potential.


/changed my name shortly after high school and haven't really looked back.
 
2013-01-28 11:02:11 AM  
I showed up to class, graduated, and never looked back.

I don't want anything to do with my high school experience. I reject all Facebook friend requests from people I knew back then, and toss out any reunion letters that find their way to me.

Screw high school, and everything about it. It was a total waste of time.

Come to think of it, I feel the same way about my college years.
 
2013-01-28 11:06:34 AM  

PrivateCaboose: cretinbob: Let me guess...the ones who will call bullshiat are under the age of 30, with the majority under the age of 25.
Wait until your 40's and you will see how true it is, granted some way more than others.

Idk, what about those of us who had a moderate amount of fun in high school but weren't in either extreme of super-popular or super-loser?


There are still a lot of personality traits and preferences that are formed at that age that stay with you all your life. It's not all bad.
 
2013-01-28 11:10:22 AM  
I've been "trapped" by a few things. High school wasn't even in the top ten.
 
2013-01-28 11:14:01 AM  

doczoidberg: I showed up to class, graduated, and never looked back.

I don't want anything to do with my high school experience. I reject all Facebook friend requests from people I knew back then, and toss out any reunion letters that find their way to me.

Screw high school, and everything about it. It was a total waste of time.

Come to think of it, I feel the same way about my college years.


You remind me of the guy who told me he was an atheist because he was mad at god for killing his wife
 
2013-01-28 11:20:31 AM  
As someone who is finding it increasingly obvious that my life peaked in high school, I... fark it, I have no idea what to think. Very interesting read, though.
 
2013-01-28 11:21:57 AM  
High school in the 70's were great. All the drugs, booze and loose girls that were around. No one gave a crap about anything except having a good time.
 
2013-01-28 11:35:50 AM  
I did realize I still remember names of some kids I didn't even know well and hadn't thought about for 12 years. While I can't remember the name of one of the guys in my 5-person department at an old job from 4 years ago.
 
2013-01-28 11:36:28 AM  
I got my heart broken in high school, and I carried that chip on my shoulder for far, far too long. It really colored far too much of my teen years going forward, and was a terrible distraction. I'd have done a lot differently (wouldn't we all?), but I wish I'd learned the lesson from it, since I basically repeated the same mistake in college.

/I got over it
//Happily married now
 
2013-01-28 11:49:17 AM  
I floated through high school (graduated in 1991). Not "in a drug-induced haze", but basically in the sense of attending classes, doing my work, and then going home. Once I finally opened a Facebook account, people apparently recognized me as they "Friended" me. They haven't "said" anything or posted anything specifically for me, but ah well.

So yeah, I guess High School is forever. College was much less memorable.
 
2013-01-28 11:56:59 AM  

INeedAName: I remember several years after high school, running into a guy I had graduated with. I didnt really know him very well so we shared an awkward and hello and then he said 'you were that jock, right?'

That has stuck with me. Yes I ran three seasons a year, but I was also an editor of the school paper for two years, and was the only student in my school to take the AP art exam.

It's remarkable how differently we see ourselves from what the world sees. And how little either viewpoint matters depending on who you are.


Favorited as "that jock"...
 
2013-01-28 12:02:24 PM  

Deep Contact: High school in the 70's were great. All the drugs, booze and loose girls that were around. No one gave a crap about anything except having a good time.


Like subject/verb agreement? Hmmmm...??
 
2013-01-28 12:02:37 PM  
Yeah, I was just "there" in HS. Hung out with the rest of the farm kids (Vo-Ag and FFA) but never got picked on (even though I had nerd tendencies, I didn't go overboard with them, I was the only person in Vo-Ag that knew how to use a computer, and I played a lot of PC games).

Of course, I had fun in HS. Got good grades, hung out at bonfires on the weekends (I didn't drink until I was 17 though, but some of my friends did, but I didn't care). Didn't date, but didn't see the need to. All my friends who were dating seemed miserable.

Of course, I went away to college, and thought I would make more friends (you know, more technically adept people), but I didn't. They seemed either too high strung or full of themselves. Either trying too hard to "re-invent" themselves, people who were too sheltered or "good for their parents sake" who went crazy being away for the the first time, or were just jerks. I have a low tolerance for fakers and tools.
 
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