I don’t remember exactly how I came across it, but I found a Facebook group that someone had set up for alumni of my high school band — specifically, people who had been in band in the ’90s. As I graduated in 1994, most of the group wasn’t quite relevant to me, although I did see a few posts from people I knew. Mainly, though, I saw younger siblings of people I’d been in band or choir with, or people who had been in 8th or 9th grade when I was a Senior.
As a general rule, I look back on high school and junior high and only remember the weird ostracism and depression I experienced. Somehow, though, reading through this group’s posts and photos made me remember that it wasn’t all so bad.
Afterward, I went to my own photo albums and scrapbooks for photos to add to the mix, since the early ’90s weren’t so well represented — and happy times hit me smack in the face. All of us band geeks would hang out together before school by the band room, since that’s where our oversized lockers were. We’d also hang out there after school and during lunch, and I have the pictures to prove that we were all enjoying ourselves. All of us. Even me.
Senior year wasn’t a cakewalk. Sure, I had some weird teacher crush on my band director, which hit me square in the face when he got married that winter. Sure, one of my friends got asked out by the guy I’d been crushing on since Freshman year. I definitely did have a massive case of Senioritis. I was also spending so much time on music that I neglected my studies, which led to some very awkward moments in the second half of the school year, culminating with my not participating in the graduation ceremony with my class. But those things don’t have to define how I remember all of high school, or even all of my Senior year.
High school still feels like a completely different life, lived by a completely different person. (Hell, even college feels like that a lot of the time.) But it’s good to be reminded that, while high school wasn’t the Best Years Of My Life like some people claimed it would be, it wasn’t as bad as I tend to remember it.