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At Some Point, High School Can't Matter

November 25th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Not too long ago, I asked a 25-year-old woman if she ever cheated in a relationship. “I have,” she said. “When I was in high school.”

“Oh, that doesn’t count,” I shot back.

“Why not?” she asked.

I then explained to her my philosophy of how very few things we do in high school should be held against us as adults. If she were to tell me she cheated on the last boyfriend she had, two weeks ago, I can gather she probably has some commitment issues. But cheating in high school? I cheated in high school, that’s not the problem. I’m 28. I cheated when I was 27. That’s a problem.

Unless you’re a freshman in college, or your senior year of high school was the apex of your cool (to which I would feel sorry for you if that were the case), any experience regarding relationships in high school should be swiped clean from the record. It doesn’t matter, good or bad if it happened in high school. Anything you did back then goes the way of your letterman jacket, and you don’t still wear that do you?

The truth is, even if we throw away the letterman jacket, some people still want to wear the experiences they had in high school on their sleeves. They will say high school matters, and of course it does, but so does middle school, and elementary school, and the first steps we ever took. In the grand scheme of things, every single day of our lives matter.

What I’m talking about is allowing high school to matter more than any of the other times I mentioned. In 2010, I’ll have graduated high school 10 years ago, and I can’t think of one thing about me then that is the same today. Not one.

I changed since high school. I don’t look the same, dress the same, talk the same. I don’t even think I’m the same height (a little bit taller). When I graduated from high school, I was 18. Do the math and add up the common sense. Nothing about me is the same, except for my name, and therefore, nothing about me back then can apply to me now.

We can talk about high school love affairs, and things like losing one’s virginity (for those of us like me, who at least waited until high school) until we’re blue in the face. But why should I expect anyone to take seriously, a period in my life where the biggest step involved sharing my locker with a girl, when since then, I’ve actually shared an apartment with a woman? I give consideration for those who went through four years of hell in high school, whose lives changed in ways that impacted their core and shaped them forever, but such seismic events are not the ones I speak of.

The events I’m talking about are things like cheating on a girlfriend or boyfriend in high school, or getting one’s heart broken in high school. Those are the types of things that don’t matter to me. As a matter of fact, if ever I am dealing with a woman who is still hurt over losing her high school love, I am going to feel obligated to check her ID and make sure she’s not getting me into an R. Kelly type of situation.

And for those who are wondering: Of course all of this is coming from someone whose high school years were largely uneventful. Some of my high school classmates read my blog, they know like I know, I wasn’t that popular, and while I did my lose virginity in high school, I wasn’t a ladies man of any sort (not to say I am one now). I played in the jazz band. I went to my senior prom with a pretty girl who also happened to be a dear friend of mine since the first grade. Prom King, I was anything but. Yet, I’m pretty sure, even if things were different and I was more Zach Morris than Screech Powers, I would hope to learn much more about life after those four years of seven period days were over.

Who we were in high school and what we went through in high school are nothing more than memories worth sharing from time to time. I learned a lot back then, but since then, I’ve learned so much more.

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  • Babs

    I feel the same way about college. Who cares what you did when you were 20? But then again, I’m 35.

  • Kelsey

    Too true. I have to admit I can be that girl who occasionally brings up the high school love (my first love). He put a pretty big dent in my heart. But I truly have learned a lot since, and I’m only 23!

  • sleepingbeauty


  • Zorah Hahn

    I can definitely relate, Kelsey. The guy I wasted two years on in high school really did a number on my heart too. He cheated. ANNNNNNND about two years ago he and my best friend (who was also my best friend when he and i dated ten years ago) decided to date and even got as far as to get engaged a few months back. The wedding never happened, but talk about adding insult to infury.

  • Zorah Hahn

    By the way…..
    Am i the only one who thinks it’s a BIG NO NO to date a friend’s ex no matter how long it’s been????? Just wondering.

  • Skye Blue

    Check the link below and you’ll see that you are not…

  • Skye Blue

    Agree with Babs, and even take it a step further…

    Anything I did before I hit 25 is off the list.

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  • Leah J

    I hear a lot of women say this, and I personally don’t see why this is an issue. Your ex is an ex for a reason, and unless you’re still carrying a torch for him, why would you care? If they had a better shot at being happy, you’d deny your friend that because of your own ego? I don’t get this.

  • Leah J

    I know 37-year-old men who still talk about their “Glory Days” in high school. That is sad on so many levels.

  • Zorah Hahn

    @ Leah…..uh no. To me, it’s a matter of loyalty and boundaries between friends. I can’t wrap my head around going behind one of my girls and layin’ up with somebody she’s been in a relationship with….no matter how long it’s been. She was around us as a couple and knew all the details of our relationship. Heck, she was the one who helped me get through the breakup!!!! That’s nasty. There are MILLIONS of available men out there without having to go behind someone that you call a friend. But, hey…..there are obviously women out there who can’t put their hormones on hold long enough to make a sound moral decision, so i suppose that’s why guys like my ex get so much play from women like my girl. And as far as still holding a torch for him… way. He tried for two years to get back in my good graces, but wasn’t having it. So, it’s definitely not ever as clear cut as you’re making it seem……

  • BrwnButterfly

    @Zora: I agree with you 100% as far as the ex and the best friend go. I think that your friend is shady and she had ulterior motives from the beginning. Anyone who can be your shoulder to cry on during the breakup and then run right to “him” once the smoke clears is foul and shady and they can’t be trusted. @Leah: while it is true that your ex is your ex for a reason, it is also true that your friends are supposed to hold you down no matter what. I don’t care what you say, if she’s a true friend she won’t be running behind your leftovers.