Monday 20 March 2017

What If I Peaked in School?

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This thought fucking terrifies me. It is one of the saddest things I can think of for myself.

I was actually talking about a boy I went to school with who was incredibly intelligent and could have gone on to do amazing things - pretty much anything he chose to do. But he didn't. "It's sad he kind of peaked in school," I said to a mutual friend of ours.

I could be totally wrong here, about both of us. I'm almost sure I'm wrong about him but me? I'm not so confident. I think I peaked in school. In almost every aspect of my life. I'm not saying I loved school and looked forward to it every single morning to fill my brains with more (often useless) knowledge. I actually used to pretend to be sick pretty often to not be forced to go. I don't even know why I did that, because I had so so so many friends. Lovely friends who I had such amazing times with. We had so much fun and they really shaped me as a person - for better or for worse.

That's one of the "problems" at the moment. I don't know where all my friends have gone. When you go to Uni and a lot of your friends are spread over the UK it's just impossible to stay in touch with everyone and that's okay. Friendship groups break up and you keep in touch with a few. Now a lot of my friends have kids and are getting married, they have full time jobs and are moving away and I'm not. I had so many big groups of friends from different schools, different circles and there was rarely a night I spent in alone.

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I miss that so much. It's not realistic and I know most people at the age of 23 don't spend every night walking round the village with their friends,or going for a midweek evening drive to the beach to sit in the car and chat and have a laugh. I don't know, maybe you do. But I just miss it. I've gone from someone with loads of friends to, well, someone without. I love the friends I've got - that's my best friends above. they are incredible people and each one makes my life better in some way, and I suppose I have more than a lot of people. Quality over quantity anyway, right? But I can't help but feel my "popularity", for want of a better word, peaked in school and I'll never be so surrounded so often by people that enjoy my company again.

I'm undecided whether this is more or equally as depressing, but the world was my oyster when I was 17. The only way was up and I was going to achieve big things. I excelled in school, I found it so easy. I may not be musical or creative or sporty or super charismatic but I'm "academic", you could say. So going on to Uni and getting a killer job was a cert, we thought. Having teachers, friends and parents alike drill into you how good you are means you get maybe a little bit overconfident and complacent. I went from a big fish in a small pond to University - extremely average in a pool of excellent workers, gifted writers and scientists, and minds more analytic and creative than mine. It was a reality check for sure. I got my degree and I did well while having fun at the same time, so I can't complain too much. However, now I don't feel destined for greatness. I don't just know I'm going to make a difference or achieve something, I just want anywhere to give me any kind of job so I can pay my rent and buy cat food...

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It's important to note that my life is fine. Better than fine, really. I have Martin and he is anything but average. I have a big, loving, fun and supportive family that many people would kill to have. The friends I have are awesome, too. I've traveled to some awesome places and experienced amazing things. I'm good at things I never would have expected myself to be good at and, most importantly, I still like myself a person. Not all is bad, I don't hate my life.

Maybe this is normal and your teenage years are supposed to be a peak of life. Maybe I'm looking at those years through rose-tinted glasses and my life now is just as good. Maybe life as a constantly upward trajectory is an unrealistic expectation that most of us have and, for many or most, life has to plateau early. Maybe I'm just in a trough and the only way really is up from here or maybe this is it. It's okay if it is, I can certainly make do with this as my life and I'm not complaining. It's just a grim realisation that I may have experienced the best period of my life and I didn't even know it.



  1. I love this post so much. I've often thought the same things! X

    1. It's a horrible thought, but it's quite comforting to know it's not just me having a quarter life crisis!! X

  2. Loved your post, and yes easy to relate to. It seems this dynamic happens most often to most of us, the passage of time tends to make sites like Instagram and Facebook more relevant. These connect us as no other way could imagine (however, I remember a time before social media).

    1. I remember a time before social media, too! Or at least just the conception of social media (MSN and Bebo). People weren't as obsessed then, it's a shame because I can't see it ever being like that again

  3. I like your writing style!! Really wondering about the current school system and how it may look like in a few decades...
    Xx finja |

    1. Thank you very much. That is an interesting thought! X

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