6 Things I Wish I’d Done In High School


1. Joined the Chess Club

Chess is the gentleman’s game. A quiet, sophisticated battle of wits that challenges one’s critical thinking and strategy skills (which, turns out, are useful things to have later in life) and allows one to lord over all those who’ve only a rudimentary sense of the game. At my high school they were also the only club that regularly ordered out and also got an extra free period. There was also a -gasp!- shocking lack of women and I might have been Princess of the Chess World for all I know -this sounds appealing, judge me not.

2. Pretended to Care About Student Council

I had a fabulous habit in school of never really involving myself or applying myself to anything other than reading (while a worthy endeavor, it doesn’t exactly get one asked to prom or find something to do on a Friday night when you’ve re-read the fourth Harry Potter book for the sixth time). I thought very little of what colleges actually looked for in potential students beyond a GPA, though I’m sure someone told me sometime, probably after I’d perfected the ability to pretend to listen to others while I was reading. But, in retrospect, I would have liked to have been involved in the Student Council, at least then maybe I could have spared my graduating class from our senior prom theme of ‘Starry Night’. Ick.

3. Get in a Fight

I have never been in a fight, part of me believes this indicates I have missed some vital learning, or growing milestone. There were several girls I grew up with whom could have used a well placed punch or two and I would have done the world a favor, I believe, by administering them. Unfortunately I have a chronic habit of either being too well liked or generally overlooked to warrant much hostility. I still have hope for a drunken bar brawl someday, but I won’t hold my breath.

4. Partaken in Alcohol Consumption

Not a sip of alcohol passed these lips till I reached the American age of apparent maturity at 21 (you can vote for the next U.S President and join the military at 18, I’m just saying). And by then, the illusive world of beer and hard liquor had lost much of its allure. After all, how much fun can drinking be when you’re able to do it publicly and they don’t even card you? Where is the danger, the mystery, the quiet gagging while you wonder incredulously why ANYONE would drink something so heinous?

True to my roots, I do love Whiskey. Every sip feels like glorious, hard won maturity.

5. Actually Tried at Sports

I played basketball in High School but like everything else (as mentioned above) I didn’t try very hard. I played well enough but I never really gave it a shot –hah…ha!- and again, I think I may have missed something vital there. I even made up a chronic knee pain so I could get out of some of the running drills. My father still asks after this condition to my everlasting shame.

6. Ditched School

I was not an ideal student by any stretch of the imagination. My grades were so lopsided in favor of English and History my Math teachers basically passed me so they wouldn’t be forced to try and teach me basic fraction principles two years in a row. I was however, chronically punctual, an illness I have carried into adulthood. I had friends that ditched school fairly often that would return with glorious stories of what the local mall looked like before noon and how much better bowling was while the sun still shone. I wish now that I had skipped out, had my parents called, engaged in the sort of wild activities you see in obviously unrealistic portrayals of American teenagers. I mean, if I couldn’t be a straight A student why not the class bad ass?