A few months ago we took our son to the local high school to watch a robotics competition. In addition to the robotics, he loved seeing the older students and spent some time talking about how large the school was and what he would learn there.
He asked a lot of questions about high school that day, which made me have to think long and hard about my high school experience. It struck me how quickly the memories came back to me, especially considering that most days I can't vividly recall what I did the previous week. And while I will admit that high school was not the best time of my life, it was also not the worst.
But here's the thing about high school: We are all haunted by it. In that long-form article from Quartz, an evolutionary psychologist breaks down that time of our lives and how it can help shape the person we are today. It also explains how this developmental phase is so important in our lives, it causes our brains to pay more attention to it, resulting in our ability to recall those memories much more vividly later on in life.
When you combine all of that with the time in your life when you are going through puberty, trying to break away from your parents and figure out who you are as a person...it seems like a lot of pressure (and we haven't even considered the academics yet).
I can't say that I'll remember all of this when my son is in high school. I will probably slip up and put too much pressure on him and forget that he is trying to navigate a sea of social groups and learn who he is. But maybe, just maybe, I'll remember to tell him to slow down and savor a part of his life that is important but doesn't have to define him.
Do you have fond memories of high school? Tell me in the comments.