Were mum and dad right? Was high school the best time of our lives?
If you’re anything like us, you spent the first 17 years of your life desperate to become a card-carrying adult and break free from the shackles of your oldies and the asbestos-ridden dump called a school, to become a contributing member of society. Well, a member of society nonetheless.
With a breaking voice that kept the dog on high alert, a colony of pimples, and pants full of newly sprung weeds taking more territory by the night, the promise of adulthood brought sweet relief on those sweaty nights spent trying to tape Gangsters Paradise off the Top 40 with the dual-tape boombox.
This hack’s primary motive to move out of home was to indulge in a jar of Nutella, without the assistance of siblings. But it was only a matter of months before reality – and Type 2 diabetes – set in.
And as the years go by, the work hours increase, the bills build up, house prices explode and the waistline expands, one can’t help but wonder if the parentals were right – were the high school years really the best years of our lives?
Outstanding working conditions
Six hour work days with at least two guaranteed breaks and 10 weeks of forced holidays per year; school schedules are enough to make even the fiercest of unions proud. And let’s not forget free periods, work-free weekends and rain days to boot (snow days if you were in Victoria).
Better yet, meetings that could have been emails didn’t exist, and if one boss/teacher was causing you grief you could change classes. And sick bays for a lie down, people! Can we please introduce sick beds to the workplace already!? We need our afternoon kips.
Parties were better
No one’s arguing the Halloween house party you threw for your work colleagues last year wasn’t a real hoot. And you’ve all sure as fuck hit plenty of good parties over the years, often on work’s dime. But Friday night high school parties remain unrivalled. They were almost always unsanctioned, everyone was under age and the planning required not event managers, but a combination of wit, cunning, dare, stupidity and skill. Scoring the booze was a thrill alone, playing paper-scissors-rock with your friends to see who had to beg the creepy pizza guy to buy the Passion Pop, UDLs and VB throw-downs. Combined with the fact there was always at least one high school band willing to butcher some punk rock covers, unsolicited nudity and first kisses, fights and fucks, high school parties were unbridled debauchery at its very best.
Be honest with yourself, every party you’ve ever thrown has been in an effort to emulate the best party you remember from school. Plus, school friends will always be cooler than colleagues and clients.
Hooking up was way easier
Hormones ran wild, boobs and biceps emerged from previously barren body parts and everything was new. A moment’s silence please for some of the more creative school uniform modifications the girls rocked. And the stealth rig Craig from Maths B unveiled at the Year 10 swimming carnival. Better yet, sexual partners weren’t limited to the stuffy confines of your 22nd floor accounting office – there was an entire school population looking to experience love and lust for the first time. And while nerves and being absolutely scared shitless at the proposition of talking to your crush were a constant, you had three-to-five years of shared classes to work up the courage. And if you were lucky, to practice elsewhere – likely at the cinema, your first foray into under-the-pants stuff in public.
And just quickly, remember rubbing one out for the first time… That was in high school.
Yeah there were exams and assignments every 10 weeks or so, and the odd half hour of homework, but compared to the reality of a working life they’re about as significant as a tinny in a yacht race.
Remember a time when ‘rent’ was a word you associated exclusively with Blockbuster Video and you couldn’t name three service stations let alone quote the price of fuel? That was school.
GC finance repayments didn’t exist. Your pushie didn’t need rego and insurance. And drink riding was an unpunishable offence – there was no licence to revoke. And even if liquor and grass did put you on your ass, no one gave a flying fuck – because hangovers were just an old wives tale.
Career best shape
Prisoners get it and high school kids get it, but criminally, yard time is something most employees can only dream of. But phys-ed, plus sanctioned basketball, netball, touch-footy and soccer matches on the clock made for an effortless good body. Sure, puberty was harder on some than others, and many have bloomed since. But for the majority, their physical peak was in high school. It didn’t cost a cent and you didn’t have to set foot into a gym. And it was long before the temptations of alcohol and driving 500m to the shops set in. Or the copious amounts of McDonald’s obliterated your metabolism. You could eat what you want and faux gluten weight gains were but a glimmer in Belle Gibson’s eye.