I think I’m supposed to have hated high school, right? Everybody seems to. After all, the teen years can be pretty unforgiving and hormone-filled. But the reality is – I loved high school. I did well in school and had a solid social life, though I wasn’t one of the “popular kids.” But, most importantly I think, I was lucky enough to be enrolled in a school that had excellent programming to match with my interests.
I may have always been a bit of a drama queen, and our school had a really strong drama program, with excellent teachers coming from professional theatre backgrounds. Actually, many of my friends from Drama Club have gone on to solid careers in theatre, film and television, in front of and behind the scenes. Drama Club, and the various productions we wrote and performed, was a major factor in my positive high school experience. It gave me a place to share a passion with like-minded kids, and a chance to explore where I was coming from and where I was going.I fit in there, and my creativity was nurtured. This school activity formed the basis of my social group, my safe space, where I was both accepted and engaged.
On top of that, our school was quite open to supporting new student initiatives. During high school I was involved in an outside youth group that sought to raise awareness and educate other youth around global issues of peace and disarmament (it was still the era of the Cold War, after all). We were anything but radical, but we did bring in speakers to my school and others. My school not only provided space and time for the speakers to come there, they also recognised the skills that my friends and I were developing through running these events, and doing our own speaking. My school allowed us curriculum time to visit other locations and handle logistics of these tours (so long as our school work didn’t suffer). The activities were personally fulfilling and a superb learning experience.
The key to my positive high school experience, and to my amazing memories, was attending a school that was a great fit for me. Academically, the school was strong for sure. But, especially in the rather delicate years of high school, finding a school that also offered the extra-curriculars to keep me engaged was key. Don’t forget to research these offerings, and the school’s overall philosophy around extra- and co-curricular activities when you are looking to find the best school fit for your child.
I’m participating in the Our Kids Private School Expo Blog Hop. Yesterday’s School Memories post can be found at Funny Things Are Everywhere. Tomorrow, the fun is happening at Playground Confidential.