Tag Archives: high school

Accomplishment recalled

Writing prompt today from Daily Challenge by Me You Health: Recall 1 event or accomplishment that made you feel proud of yourself when you were younger.Think of an event or accomplishment that made you feel very proud when you were younger. Perhaps it was acing a test that was very difficult, setting a new record for your school’s team, or landing your first-ever job. Take a few moments to recall how it felt and what people said to (and about!) you.Why it matters: Everyday adult life doesn’t always afford us opportunities to feel excited and proud the way our childhood and young adult years do. But by recalling and reveling in some of these moments, it can underscore everything you’re capable of. It may even motivate you to seek out and take on new challenges.

Your freshman year of high school can be challenging. The transition from junior high to high school is a big jump, and the pressure is on to be successful. The next four years can make or break what happens upon graduation. Will you get into college? Will you fall short?

Past that, there is the social side of high school that is just one big stressball as well.

My freshman year, I discovered Journalism, and I competed in Journalism UIL. (University Interscholastic League is explained here.) I took 3rd place in Headline Writing at the District Level, moving me to Regionals.

The crazy-long bus ride to Kingsville, TX, paid off with a 1st place finish and a trip to State competition. I will never, ever, ever forget seeing friends running full speed down the hallway at me, holding up a #1 for me to see. I will never forget shrieking with shock and glee as we all crashed into big bear hugs. Such an amazing, amazing moment.

That State competition? Yeah, I took home 2nd place. Not bad, huh?

I still remember the award ceremony at the end of the school year, where everyone was acknowledged for various successes that school year. It took forever for the principal to read off my UIL awards, and he ended it with, “And she’s a FRESHMAN!”

I wish I could say my next three years stood up to the my freshman year… but I still think back on those wins with a smile. I still have my medals, and they still remind me of my abilities. Hey, I’m still writing!

Generational music

As I was driving home last night, it hit me. It’s happened. I’ve become THAT person. You know. The person who gets stuck on the music of their teens and won’t leave it.

Well, okay, its not that I won’t leave it. I do like a lot some of the new music out today. And I am HUGE fan of 70s rock. Huge. And I can dig some of the 80s. But an interesting phenomenon occurs these days in my truck any time I am driving around town alone.

I am almost always tuned into 90s on 9 or Prime Country (Channel 61 on Sirius Satellite Radio). I was born in 1980. I went through my junior high and high school years in, of course, the 90s. Then, of course, college in the early 2000s. So, any rock music post-2003 is pretty much lost on me.

I mean, you know, except for your huge mainstream people that you can’t turn on entertainment news and not be blasted with their music and every make-up and break-up. I know who Lady Gaga is. I know about Katy Perry. I’m even aware of Justin Bieber. But I couldn’t name any of their music outside of their biggest hits, and even then I’d probably stare at you blankly for 5 minutes before it all clicked into place.

So all of that being said, I’ve found huge joy in reclaiming the music of the 90s. Not a trip goes by in which a great memory doesn’t come flooding back at me all due to the song playing on my radio. Especially if I happen to be on some two-lane road when maybe an early Matchbox Twenty song comes on the radio. Suddenly I’m 18 again, cruising home after band practice. Or I have Prime Country on and Bryan White sings “Sittin’ on Go” and I’m suddenly back at UIL competition waiting to compete in my News Writing event.

Music has a way of taking us back in time, and I think that’s why the phenomenon of sticking to the music of your teens occurs. I contend that those are not the “best times of life” but they are definitely the ones in which you experience the most change. You’re learning not only from the books, but you are learning about life. You’re making memories that you will NEVER experience again. You live in some element of bliss, and while you think life just couldn’t get any more stressful, looking back you realize you were never as free as you were then.

And maybe, as a song plays on the radio and you go back in time in your mind, you are able to recapture some of that freedom… even if it only lasts three minutes and its abruptly stopped by a bad commercial about consumer debt or some magic pill guaranteed to help you lose weight, gain hair and sing like an opera star. Those three minutes are like a little dose of medicine for the mind and spirit.

So forgive me if you see me cruising down the road singing “Baby Got Back” followed by  “Time Marches On” followed by “Zoot Suit Riot” (complete with arm motions trying to remember the old flag routine). It’s just me time traveling for awhile.