You know that feeling. Not the one they write in the movies or tell you about as you are preparing to graduate. Not that ‘sense of pride’ or ‘honor’ bullshit that people always SAY they feel…even you when your old teachers asks how it is to be back.
What you really feel is a compelling mix of ‘this is weird’, ‘why am I here again?’, and ‘thank heavens I don’t have to go to this prison everyday anymore’. Sometimes there is a sprinkle of ‘yeah, I hate still hate her’ or ‘why does everyone look 12 years old?’ thrown in for good measure.
Don’t get me wrong, I have fond memories of high school, you know, the ‘glory days’ or whatever makes it sound like those were the best years of your life. But high school is just a small slice of the pie. And its a great pie. But to me, high school is like the crusty edge of this pie. It is necessary, it holds the pie together, it looks great from a distance, it even tastes okay as long as you get a little whipped cream on it or something. But it is not what makes the pie, a pie.
High school does not define you. Maybe that’s why for a lot of us, going back feels so weird. We stopped being the person we were in those halls the moment we stepped out of them. No matter how long it has been since graduation, going back to those halls will never feel the same as it did when we owned them. High school is a bubble and the moment you wrap your sweaty fingers around that long awaited slip of paper, the bubble bursts. You will never again be the person you were in high school…and that’s a good thing…usually.
So over the years, whether you willingly walk back through those halls, casually visit to see a favorite teacher or catch a sporting event, or are dragged through by the ankles – it is okay. We can return, we can reminisce, and we can feel uncomfortable. Our high school isn’t the place we belong anymore. At least not the way we used to. So in this case I find it relieving when I’m venturing through those halls and I think…
This is awkward.