School Photos: 10 Things I Wish I Understood in Grade School and High School

I’ve tried very hard to black out the entirety of my memories surrounding my grade school education. I was awkward with unusual interests compared to my peers, which brought on a lot of crap. It wasn’t until I was almost out of high school that I realized that my peers probably felt just as awkward. Even my bullies were probably just trying to find where they fit, doing what they thought their peers expected of them and struggling to find their purpose.

That’s how I landed on a topic for the school photos blog hop being hosted at The Waiting. I want to share a list of things I wish I could have comprehended at the ages of 7, 10 and 14. If I could go back and time and talk to 14-year-old TK, I don’t think she would understand any of the below life lessons. If only she did, her grade school life may have been much more enjoyable.

Homecoming 2005 and 2006
Homecoming 2005 and 2006

There aren’t words to describe how much I hate that white dress. What were you thinking high school TK? That dress isn’t flattering at all and you do not have the boobs to properly fill it out. Actually, I remember wearing this dress. I used some kind of double sided tape to keep the top part of the dress from showing too much. Honestly, I had no business wearing that. The blue dress is an improvement, but I’m still not filling it out very well.

10 Things I Wish I Understood in Grade School and High School
  1. Your bullies are just children. They lack the ability to comprehend the mental trauma their actions bring on. In fact, they are probably suffering themselves and are only acting out.
  2. You’re not fat or ugly. I mean, you’re 14 and still growing so don’t expect to meet the standards of teenagers you see on T.V. I know they are playing a kid in high school, but they are actually 25.
  3. Join the band. I know you don’t want to be around your peers any more than you have to, but it will pay off once you reach high school.
  4. Stop trying to be the best daughter, sister, student and friend. Just be you. Even if your parents, brother, teachers and peers hate you for it, you will be happier.
  5. Remember those cameo pants with the dragon embroidered in the right ankle that you wanted to buy but your mom said kids might make fun of you for wearing them? Buy them anyway. Trust me, they will make funofyounomore or less. Be you,andright now, those pants are so you!

    In case you can't tell, I'm Mickey.
    In case you can’t tell, I’m Mickey.
  6. You do not need a man to be happy. The fear of being alone is not a good reason to settle for a man. Don’t let anyone touch you without your permission. Don’t be afraid to back away when they do and tell them to stop. Don’t worry what your friend will say. A guy has no right to touch you just because you’re dating. (note: I was not raped or anything. I was just uncomfortable with the liberties the couple of boyfriends I had taken with my body. These are my boobs, my legs and my butt. You are only allowed to touch them with my permission.)
  7. Not believing everything the Catholic Church says will not send you to hell. Feel free to explore other cultures and religions with an open mind. To get you started, might I suggest Buddhism? The Dalai Lama is pretty awesome.
  8. Don’t read Twilight. I know that you are a religious, sexually frustrated teenager right now and that book matches up with you to a T, but don’t read it. Or, at least, don’t idolize the relationship Bella and Edward have. That boy is a depressed control freak. If a man takes apart your car so you can’t hang out with your friends or admits he wants to kill you, run really really far away.
  9. Don’t ever drive south on 4th Ave. after school when all the buses are coming in. Just do it. You’ll thank me.
  10. You are doing everything right. I see you pushing yourself towards college and throwing yourself into all your interested in. Take care and don’t let your anger towards those you feel wronged by turn into hate. If you hate your bullies, they will have that much more of a hold on you. Go to college and start over. Recreate yourself. Most importantly, realize that all that has happened to you and all you have done up to this moment has made you who you are. Have no regrets and no hate. You are a fantastic person and you are that way because of every good and bad experience thus far.
Senior pictures: I felt like such a rebel in my skull and crossbones patterned polo. Rock on TK.
Senior pictures: I felt like such a rebel in my skull and crossbones patterned polo. Rock on TK.

After reading that awesome list, you can probably see how odd my taste were back then. I mean, cameo pants with embroidered dragons? Really TK? (That’s a joke. If I could find those pants today, I would definitely buy them).

These years are awkward and there’s no way to avoid it. My message to all kids it to just be yourself. Hiding yourself and being ashamed of who you are will only lead to crippling low self-esteem. There is a chance that, if you be yourself, the bullies might be that much harder on you. The pain that brings pales in comparison to the mental anguish self-hate brings.

After posting those photos, I have to redeem myself. Here is what grown up TK looks like.

Aw, look at TK all happy and enjoying life. Way to go grown up TK. High School TK sends a high five.
Aw, look at TK all happy and enjoying life. Way to go grown up TK. High School TK sends a high five.

Participate in The Waiting’s school photos blog hop by clicking the above photo and be sure to check out the other stories while you’re at it!

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6 thoughts on “School Photos: 10 Things I Wish I Understood in Grade School and High School”

  1. Growing up would be so much easier if we had all been as smart as we are now 🙂 Thankfully, Twilight wasn’t around when I was a teen…and I still haven’t read it. Thanks for joining the blog hop this week!

  2. Admittedly, it is hard for elderly me to accept that you’re all grown up… when you graduated in ’08, and so did my daughter! But way to talk to your, um, youthful self! 😉 Now come to me, when some of those twenties and thirties, not to mention 40s and 50s, start closing in on you! And I love the spin you put on this post. 😉

    1. You mean to tell me it gets harder? (j.k. of course it gets harder. Life doesn’t let us stay in comfort for long. How else would we grow?)

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