I don’t remember much of my teenage years, but I remember 15. This was the year of freshman year, new friends, and freedom.
When I was in middle school, I didn’t have many friends. In fact, I struggled making them. High school was different. I made friends instantly, and can thankfully say that many years later, I’m still good friends with a large chunk of them.
I entered high school at 14, but with my birthday in January, 15 was half freshman year and half sophomore year. It really sat on a sweet spot.
My memories from my early high school years were fond. Mainly because looking back, I didn’t have as much responsibility, my friends were always around, and life wasn’t as complicated as it is now.
High school was definitely unique; I ended up going to an Early College High School. It was a school that basically gave us the opportunity to gain an Associates degree while finishing up our high school diploma. So I started sitting in on college courses by the age of 14. By the time I was 15, I considered myself a professional college kid. I had the college thing down by that point.
Because my school held us to such high standards, all of us had to complete volunteer hours as well. To help, our school set up a half day for us to volunteer every school year. As a freshman, I heard we were going to the Zoo to clean up, but by the time we got there, it was apparent that there was a misunderstanding.
Long story short – we weren’t going to be volunteering. Instead, we just ended up having a reserved field day at the Zoo. A bunch of my friends and I got food, climbed tree branches, and just hung around the rest of the day. Keep in mind, this trip was unplanned, but skipping school for an accidental zoo trip, was probably the best highlight of the time.
As a freshman, I was also a part of the Yearbook Committee which to me meant the world to me. When I was younger, I had always dreamt about being a journalist, so when high school came around, I was head over heels excited to be joining Yearbook. I was the only freshman at the time that joined and stayed so I ended up making a ton of upperclassmen friends. Unfortunately, I don’t keep up with them today, but back then, they helped a lot when it came to prepping for junior and senior year. (So if you’re reading this and you were one of them – Thank you!!)
WHAP was another great highlight. World History AP, but everyone just called it WHAP. I had a really cool teacher, my friends were all in the same class, and I really enjoyed the subject back then. There’s a lot to cover when it came to history, but I always found it fascinating. Not to mention, if I had any trouble, I was always able to pass a note or two across my table to get an answer from a few good friends.
I also ended up presenting on The Beatles twice. We had to pick a time period that had greatly impacted society and I always chose the British Invasion of the 60’s. I remember being so enamored by the 60’s and how different British music, style, and culture was back then. I still think I was once a Brit in a past life.
By the time I was 15, I was already plotting my way to my license. Driving meant freedom, but driving didn’t happen until you were 16. I was close though, I had my permit. I was so excited to start driving, but my dad wasn’t as fond.
For my first driving lesson, my dad took me to an empty parking lot and had me go around in circles. The trick was he didn’t want me to press the gas. So here’s mini me, with my dad, going around in circles, without pressing any adrenaline.
We kept this up for a few weeks until my parent’s finally set me up for Drivers Ed. Thankfully, there they let me press the gas. But because I had absolutely no clue how fast a car could actually drive, I became the chaotic driver in my peer group. I may or may not have accidently hit another kid in my class – those details are irrelevant.
Moving onto music, the music back then were bangers too. This was when One Direction started growing and everyone I knew slowly became obsessed. I had a different boy band obsession though: Big Time Rush. Literally, no one, I mean no one, could sway me from BTR to 1D.
Not even going to lie, I held a small grudge on everyone that made fun of me for liking a boy band back then. Because the moment One Direction hit the scene, everyone was on a boy band craze. Still not mad. I think…
Sometimes I think back and wish I was 15 again. Everything seemed more lightweight and fun. It was really a time of its own. But life continues and now I try to make every year a memorable one in its own way. Don’t know if it will ever top the feeling of being 15 though.