If you've ever struggled to navigate office politics, faced a catty clique at church, or felt left out of a social circle and thought, "This feels like high school," you are not alone.
Since we develop our identities during those formative teenage years, there's a part of us that stays there. A recent New York Magazine piece explained "Why You Never Truly Leave High School." According to the article, even when high school long behind us, it remains at the front of our minds:
The adolescent years occupy a privileged place in our memories, which to some degree is even quantifiable: Give a grown adult a series of random prompts and cues, and odds are he or she will recall a disproportionate number of memories from adolescence. This phenomenon even has a name—the "reminiscence bump"—and it's been found over and over in large population samples, with most studies suggesting that memories from the ages of 15 to 25 are most vividly retained.
Vivid might be an understatement. I remember standing with my back to the biting February wind, smoking behind the school with the rest of the misfit kids because the social taxonomy of my high school had me slotted into the genus "freak." The smoking area was the place where the freaks lit up between classes. Jocks and cheerleaders ruled the football field. The library was the home of the brainy kids. Thespians owned the warren of rooms surrounding the school's theater space.
I home-schooled my three children through high school hoping the experience would provide a more inclusive, less socially segregated frame of reference. Even within the more individualistic home school community, fairly typical cliques and ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more