The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

The Wonder Years Not So Wonderful

3 min read

It’s not rare to hear someone utter the words, “Those were the good old days.” Now, it depends on how you define “old days” to explain what you’re talking about. My late 100-year-old great grandmother would consider the good old days to be any year following the Great Depression. As a college senior in the 21st century, my idea of the old days isn’t quite the same. I guess for me, the good old days would be high school, but quite frankly, I wouldn’t go back to high school if you paid me.

What do you get when you cross a jock, a science fair nerd, a loner and a cheerleader? You get a whole lot of drama. Without a doubt, cliques are the definition of high school. I have yet to meet an individual that didn’t have a “group” they hung out with, or a specific lunch table that they sat at every day of the week.

Just the other day, I happened to go to a local high school football game with a friend. As I walked down the hill toward the stadium, I missed those days for a moment. Reality set in when I had to literally push my way through the crowd of rowdy teens to find a seat on the bleachers.

Looking around, I saw half-naked girls with their bodies painted, little children running around aimlessly and angry parents shouting near obscenities at the referees on the field.

Not that everyone’s high school experience was like this, but the pattern of events seemed vaguely familiar. Don’t get me wrong, I loved high school at the time, but like many others, I could not have been happier to get out.

There’s something about high school that makes guys feel invincible while making girls look simply crazy. I used to think it was something in the water or that it was just my school that had this problem. I soon learned that this mode of thinking could certainly be generalized.

Remember that time Tommy thought he could get away with dating two girls at once? Remember when Debbie and Sandy found out that Tommy was dating them both, and instead of getting mad at Tommy, they ended up in the cafeteria having an all-out catfight complete with hair pulling and nail scratching?

I can imagine this scenario, or something similar, was often the hot topic of the week, unless the news about Sarah dating a college guy or Logan vandalizing the boy’s bathroom weren’t sent to you first via text.

While I would never go back to my rebellious days of sneaking out and meeting boys on the weekends, it did seem as though things were simpler back then. There was no stress about finding a “real” job, relationships at the age of 16 were much less complicated, and studying didn’t seem to consume your life, that is, until senior year when your parents informed you that college doesn’t like slackers.

So although we complain about pulling all-nighters, having two midterms in one day, and going on extreme coffee binges just to keep awake in our 8 a.m. classes, it could always be worse. We could be stuck in a time when ignorance was bliss, all we did was gossip, and when our lives revolved around whom the football quarterback was dating.

If you still reminisce about the person you were in high school or wish you could go back, well, I don’t know what to tell you. As for me, I wouldn’t trade a minute of college for the so-called “good old days.”