Oh high school! some may consider it the best time of their lives, and some may remember it as a hellish nightmare due to how cruel teenagers can be.
From experiencing extreme trauma and turning ones life around, to the bully girl who is now afraid of her current boss, former high school students share the most significant life changes they saw in a classmate over the years.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
One guy, legitimate child prodigy/genius type, in a super-competitive STEM program. As in, most of us are in 11th grade doing calculus and he’s about twelve, having skipped a grade or two and then is sitting in on a higher grade just for math class. His parents had a professor from a major university tutoring him after school, pushing him to do math competitions, the whole nine yards.
His senior year, he’d had enough. He dropped out of the STEM magnet program and switched to the creative and performing arts magnet program. His physique was very much a computer programmer’s more than a dancer, and he had zero experience with song and dance.
He graduates, goes to a small private West Coast school instead of Harvard/Yale like his parents had planned, majors in musical theater. After a year or two, that changes to journalism. Takes a leave of absence from school two years in to convert to Mormonism (did I mention his parents were hard-core atheists?) Even though Mormons don’t make converts do mission trips, he did a mission trip. To India. For longer than the usual mission.
The last I’d heard from him, he was married and having lots of kids somewhere on the West Coast. He’s a fantastic guy, but if you’d asked me in 11th grade where I thought he’d end up, it would not have been anywhere close to “failed musical theater major & Mormon missionary.”
This one girl was super smart, in all the advanced placement classes, was on school council and all the smart kid clubs, always picked for any special outings like campus visits and symposiums. She came from a pretty well off family, successful parents and all.
I went back home to visit my parents and she’s working at the local subway with track marks on her arms. I really didn’t expect that from her.
Super nerdy guy who got bullied a lot is doing extremely well in his career and super confident. It was great to see him so happy. I didn’t interact with him much but he’s doing well despite the bullying he faced.
Class valedictorian went to an ivy then another then was almost killed by an abusive significant other. Scary how a tough and smart person (or anyone) can end up in that situation.
In high school this kid was the typical super athlete, alpha male who had a mean streak but always seemed to direct it towards the openly gay students.
Came back to our 10 year reunion and was about as gay as could be. When I was talking to him he came out after we graduated and he started college where he met his husband. He actually went as far as to apologize to everyone he bullied.
Was laying tile at a guys house who I went to school with but was a year under me, his brother was in my older brothers grade. His older brother was the biggest drug guy I knew. He did any kind of drug he could since about 6th grade. He never graduated, his younger brother did and was not into drugs. I asked him what his older brother was doing now and he told me he owned his own insurance company. Could not believe it. A few years later I hear the younger brother had been left by his wife and he chased her down at a drive thru and shot at her car and she sped away causing him to run after her shooting. He was eventually killed by the police.
A girl I sat next to in homeroom for 11th & 12th grades was always really mousy and quiet, long brown hair, same jeans and t-shirt every day. At the five year reunion, there’s this totally hot lady in black, high-heeled boots, dyed blonde hair in a razor cut… it was her. No one could believe it.
I was lucky enough to move in the same social circles as she did for a few years and get to know her better, she was always a really cool person but it was nice to see her come out of her shell.
There was this one guy who was a little awkward to say the least. Short, creepy, not the brightest academically, and was often the butt of every joke. Well it turns out straight after high school, he borrowed a large sum of money from his grandpa and started a construction company. Company took off, and he is now living a very comfortable and flashy lifestyle.
One girl, kind of plain looking, gangly. Once set the football field on fire during a baton twirling half time show. Always teased.
After high school, her father sold his business. A chain of grocery stores most americans would recognise. Got millions for it.
At our 10 year reunion, she is unrecognizable. 100K in plastic surgery. Married a rich executive at her father’s new company.
Absolutely gorgeous. I mean playboy bunny gorgeous and sweet as can be. Unbelievably happy.
The smartest girl in my high school class earned a scholarship to a highly prestigious women’s college in New England. She lasted one year, said her fellow students treated her badly because she was black and from a working class family. She then tried a year at an historically black college but the classes werent challenging. I tried to talk her into attending the state university, but then lost track of her. Turns out that she never finished college, met and married a man who’s a minister, and ended up living in a small town in a rural area of a southern US State. Had ten kids and now sells herbal supplements and shakes to make ends meet while her husband preaches.
My graduating class (early 1980s) also had two people go through gender reassignment. One was a young man who from a young age wore as feminine clothes as he thought he could get away with. It wasnt a surprise that he transitioned. The other person was a young woman who transitioned to male. No hints whatsoever. Best wishes to them both, I hope they find peace and happiness.
This guy from my graduating year was pretty popular, but a total stoner skater type. Ten years later hes a cancer survivor having undergone several organ transplants but hes engaged to marry the girl of his dreams and he seems really happy. I hope his health doesnt decline again.
Girl in my graduating class was destined to be the first female president. Very smart, head of the debate club, artistically talented, charismatic, etc. She dropped out of college and is now a stay at home wife. Oh, and her husband is her best friends divorced Dad.
Short stereotypical kid from our Junior AP Calculus class stereotypically goes on to becoming a Portfolio Manager of an Investment Fund. The guy literally pulls up in an Audi R8 and becomes the life of the party. He used to get bullied and made fun of in school for being short. High School was messed up, man. If I could go back in time, I would’ve stood up for the guy. He always seemed like a genuine straightforward guy to me. Never talked with spite, anger or resentment. Teenagers are cruel. Guess he showed them up in the end.
One guy I went to school with was always kind of a typical teenager. But always assumed hed smarten up and grow out of it.
A few years after graduating a friend of mine send me a link on Facebook and it was a wanted poster on our cities police site for above mentioned guy. He was wanted for assault. He ended up running after he was found out by police and was on the lam for a few weeks before turning himself in.
Always thought he was an idiot but not that much!
The two mean, cruel and nasty girls have both found happiness, and are now good friends. I’m even ashamed to describe their former selves—that’s how lovely each of them has become and how much I love them.
Life is weird.
I knew this one guy who was short like me but he was 100 lbs heavier and everybody made fun of him. Nobody liked him and he smelled bad but he and I were really good neighbors. Everybody saw him at the reunion and he was in dressed in blues (the Marines.) He was awarded the Navy Cross in OIF I and II. I know this because I witnessed his bravery serving along side him. He’s now a drill instructor in MCRD San Diego.
She was the hot one. Always had a boyfriend that was a little older but was the typical hot guy. Senior year she was still the popular one. Pretty much one of the “plastics.”
She won’t make it to our reunion in 2020… found out yesterday that she died from pills and heroine. I guess a couple years after we graduated she started hanging with a new crowd. I’m assuming over a boyfriend.
Her best friend from high school told me that she just disappeared for a while and last year she wanted to get in touch. She opened up about her problems. Asked for help. Her family wanted her to go to rehab but she refused. She was clean for a while but that changed a couple months ago.
I knew an extreme no cursing, no caffeine, seminary at lunch type of girl who always dressed super modestly (turtlenecks and a gold cross), never did anything that wasn’t church related, who after high school, only wanted to get married and be a stay at home mom.
It drove me nuts to hear that because she was the smartest, sweetest, most chipper little thing who was capable of whatever she wanted – you know those types that make everyone else look like incompetent toddlers? That’s her.
About 10 years after high school, we run into each other at a bar and this modest little mouse is wearing makeup, a low-cut, no backed top, ordering whiskey neat and cursing like a sailor, having ditched her old ways and becoming a successful career girl in an amazing field.
God damn, I was proud of her!
Super sweet girl I had a huge crush on in high school. She was so cute, stylish, had huge eyes that were so pretty. I talked to her every once in awhile but not knowing if she would like me (I didnt ask if she liked girls, I was just too shy for all that). I just shook it off.
Few years later, I was on her Facebook and found out she had died of a heroin overdose on New Years a few days earlier.
The bleached-blonde head cheerleader who “dated” all of the football players actually did well for herself. In high school she would act dumb on purpose thinking that’s what the guys liked. She was in the class below me, so I wasn’t super close to her. I know she moved in with some guy right after she graduated. I was having a conversation with someone who mentions this girl’s name. It’s very unique and recognizable. Turns out she was finishing her paediatric residency near where I was living (nowhere near my high school). My jaw nearly hit the floor. Good for her! Funny what happens when the high school pressure to be cool is gone.
My high school bully used to be the toughest, most intimidating girl in school. At our reunion, me and another girl were sitting together and the bully asked us if we wanted a beer. We both said no because we were both (quite obviously) pregnant. When bully girl realized it, she was so embarrassed and apologized more than once. Later bully girl was talking about her boss and what a scary lady she was. It made me realize that she was still just a scared kid. It felt kind of good since I grew into my self confidence and she left all of hers in high school.
I went to a pretty big high school. There was this group of 10-20 girls in three-ish different groups. (circa late 90s). They were just regular kids. Got decent grades. Sometimes played sports. But were overly popular. Well liked but not really hitting it up with the fellas. Many of them went to dances alone or in their girl group.
Now? They all turned hotter with age. They hit that late 20s stride and are all now hot. I think it has to do with the fact that they all enjoyed being active. But didn’t play sports that FORCED many of us to be active. They ran because they liked it .Went hiking because it was fun. Swam, joined yoga etc. So they stayed in shape.
About half are happily married with kids, the other half enjoying life. Owning businesses. Basically just a bunch of successful beautiful people.
Twin girls. In high school they were totally heshed out rockers, massive teased out hair, denim jackets and rocker boots. No one had any interest in either of them. They did everything together and the few friends they had were utter outcasts like themselves. After high school most forgot they existed.
Ten years later they improbably returned, presumably for the sheer sake of delivering their comeuppance. As before they were virtually identical but now absurdly hot. Blonde, well dressed, incredible bodies, including what were clearly large (yet seemingly identical) breast implants. They flirted with every guy there, mostly those who were least likely to give them a passing glance back in the day.
After a few hours of pissing off just about every woman in the place they left just as they always had been, alone but together.
A girl in my year was a pretty typical high school girl. She was in our advanced stream, made good grades, and religion-wise she was a very casual Roman Catholic (the way that many Italian-Canadians are.) I had many classes with her including world religions so I knew she wasn’t a super devout Catholic. She started off taking a liberal arts program in college, then I sort of lost touch.
Fast forward 2-3 years and I see that at some point she transferred to a super conservative Bible College in the states, met a guy and got married, and now lives in the middle-of-nowhere Bible belt where she’s basically a housewife and part time secretary of a super traditional Baptist Church. She’s not an American citizen so couldn’t vote, but she’s a Trump supporter now. I mean, that’s absolutely unheard of where we are from.
I’m so curious about this obvious shift in her lifestyle but I don’t know her well enough to ask “What happened to you?!
A girl I went to school with was always picked on because her parents were poor, her mother worked in a minimum wage job and her dad didn’t work at all. To be honest, I don’t know how people even noticed her enough to bully her as she was always quiet and came in and out of class unnoticed.
At school she always… I hate to say this, took the bullying and never once ever complained, that’s the best way I can describe it. I remember her as always of average looks and intelligence while we were at school. Once we left school everybody went their separate ways.
Last year she surfaced on Facebook with a family, and also a degree from Cambridge university. It turns out she had joined the army and went through officer training at Sandhurst and is a captain in the army air corps. She has pictures of her tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The quiet girl who got bullied was a very intelligent tough person, who I suppose we all wanted be ourselves. It was nice to see.
Not my classmate but an upperclassman. I used to go to a public high school where everyone was poor or middle class, absolutely no rich kids. This is in a province in a third world country, so when I say poor, I mean down and out dirt-poor. I made friends with this older guy who I always see on my walk to school. When I ask him where he lived he would always point up to the mountain. I always thought of it as a joke but when he didn’t show up for class after a really bad storm, rumors spread that his family’s house in the mountains got destroyed. He stopped school after that and I haven’t talked to him since.
He finished high school the next year and applied to a prestigious university in the country. He took a finance course but had to stop a few times because of financial issues. He graduated, 6 years later, with honors nonetheless.
Now, he’s a regional office manager for a bank and he also owns a small travel agency. The scrawny kid from the mountain became a big time businessman.
I stayed in my hometown till I was 24 – six years ago and 4 years since I visited. So most of the changes I’ve seen have been through Facebook.
The biggest change would be in a girl – let’s girl her Sara – who I’d been friends with since we were 9. She was always odd but that eccentricity turned into full on madness. She got heavily into drugs and by 16 she got into sex work and a whole array of other horrors.
Anyhow, around 22 she had a kid and totally turned her life around. Before I moved, I bumped into her and we hung out a few times. One night we got drunk at our local and I told her how proud I was of her and I said: “I can’t even imagine what you went through…” and she grabbed my hand and the pain in her eyes was like shards of glass into my heart. She just said “You have no idea. No idea…” and that was enough to indicate the level of trauma she experienced. She’s 30 now and is still eccentric but is a devoted mum and a successful local photographer and special event planner. Major kudos to her.
A guy I went to school with was always popular. The girls always liked him, he was super smart, funny, athletic… He was a golden child. I on the other hand was very nerdy though I blossomed in college. After college a few years later I went to a party back home. I ran into this guy at it and it was great seeing him. The first thing he said was “I don’t know why I’m here, this party is too cool for me.” I was aghast. The smoothest, coolest, most confident guy I had ever met was now this self doubting timid guy. We talked for awhile and I think he secretly was super nerdy and shy, but back then he forced himself to fake it. In college it seemed he finally was okay with just being himself. We started talking about old classmates and he said one of the nicest things I ever heard. He told me he didn’t really keep up with anyone, but I was one of only a handful of people he was ever interested in running into over the years. He’s still a great guy and he’s one of the most intelligent people you will ever meet, and I gotta say… He may not be “cool” anymore but he’s awesome in my book.
My high school boyfriend was the captain of the soccer team, held the record for the 2 mile run, was on student council and was voted Best Character.
He dropped out of three different colleges, law school, and the ESL program in Korea he was trying to teach. Hes also done time in prison for sexual assault.
I will always wonder what happened.