Questions of Eternal Significance: What did you “do” in high school?

I wanted to lighten things up around here after a week of more serious topics, so I thought I’d throw out a random question. I’ve been doing this with the “Talk Back Tuesday” series and it has been so fun to read responses, but the reality is that every time I try to do a day-of-the-week focused series, I end up skipping and then wanting to post on another day and feeling stunted by my efforts at being scheduled when in reality it just isn’t going to happen. So.  Talk Back Tuesdays shall henceforth be know as Questions of Eternal Significance.  (Disclosure: questions will likely not be significant, either eternally or even in present-day.)

This question was prompted by watching Melissa McCarthy on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. She was talking about what she did in high school, and the fact that she was a cheerleader for a while before giving it up to go “goth”. 

I was dying laughing as I watched because I did the very same thing. I cheered freshman and sophomore year, never really understanding football. Junior year I grew ambivalent because it was hampering my street cred with the punk crowd, especially since we had to wear our uniforms to school on Fridays. (Side note – I love that my high school had a dress code and yet let us wear next to nothing to school if we were cheerleaders). Finally my inner turmoil was resolved when I wore black ripped tights under my uniform to school one Friday, along with black lipstick. My coach kicked me off the team for “defiling the cheer uniform”.  Melissa McCarthy and I apparently lived parallel lives in high school.

I spent most of high school trying to decide if I should model my existence after Cher from Clueless or Enid from GhostWorld.  Both of these characters, unfortunately, were at odds with my ultimate life goal of being a Fly Girl on In Living Color. Adolescence is so hard.

high school identity crisis

While in high school, I also had an unreasonable compulsion to be in nearly every extra-curricular activity. I’m really not sure what compelled me to do this.  Beyond my crippling need to please/perform and my desperation to get into a good college, of course. At some point in high school I was involved in each of the following:

  • Cheerleading
  • Choir
  • Show Choir <--- fun fact: A.J. from the Backstreet Boys was my showchoir partner. He dropped out before graduating to go on tour with some band and I remember telling him what a horrible idea it was. Then five years later he was selling out stadiums.
  • Madrigal Choir
  • Drama Club
  • Newspaper Staff <---- this was the only classroom in our school that had computers. We thought we were very high-tech.

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  • Student Council <--- had I known this meant I would be planning my own high school reunion 20 years later I might have skipped out on this one.
  • Soccer Team
  • Swim Team
  • Amnesty International
  • Keyettes <---- our high school had a sorority. You had to be invited and then “initiated” through a hazing process that started with being kidnapped in the middle of the night and ended with you wearing hideous clothing and Crisco + Fruity Pebbles in your hair to school the next day while doing humiliating tasks for the senior Keyettes. I have NO IDEA how this was school-sanctioned.

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  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • PowderPuff Football

How about you?  Were you active in extra-curriculars?  What clubs were you involved in? Did you play sports? Cheer? Jut chill out at the quad? Do tell.


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