Flashback to High School

[[Side Notes: Flashback to High School

As part of NEDA week this week, I’m going to do some entries on my experiences in high school. 

I know that high school can be a very hard time for many girls and boys, as they are in the height of puberty, adjusting to academia and making new friends. I want to remind you that I did not have an eating disorder at this time, but signs of it were present and the main thing I want to discuss is the time it takes to adjust, show how things will pan out, and that high school can be one of the best experiences around!  Everyone talks about college being the best four years of your life, but I think my senior year of high school rolls over every year of school I’ve had, no questions asked!


I went through several phases during high school.  Some were good and some were bad…but all in all, a good time.  Each year was unique in it’s own right, and stands out in how hard it is to grow up, become a woman and see the potential the world has.

I started my freshman year as a terrified 9th grader.  Not only was it high school and I was with three years worth of older kids, but I was also not attending the school I was supposed to go to, so I had very few friends (my parents, god bless them, got me an inter-district transfer because this school was deemed better = less gangs and higher test scores) and was not happy about it.  Most of my friends, including my best friend since kindergarten was not going to school with me and I didn’t know what was going to happen.  Add in I had just started to go through puberty…so you can imagine the horror that erupted in my brain.

(This is actually from 8th grade, but I looked the same into 9th, minus the glasses, thank goodness…)


Although I did not have an eating disorder at the time, and truthfully had no idea what one was, there are signs of it’s lingering existence.  Puberty was a huge hit for me, “You want me to become a woman?  What the hell are you trip’n on?  I sure as hell do not want to give up my “girls slim fit” jeans for…hips and boobs?! Say what?!”  It was not an easy transition for me to say the least, and therein began the first phase of HS: Shame. I remember distinctly hating what was happening to my body.  it was like it had betrayed me by growing up faster than I was ready and could adjust.


(Oh man…I never liked this photo…but alas…Freshman HS Yearbook Picture)

In came the clothing style change from my slim fit jeans and tops to the baggiest things I could get my parents to buy.  Most of the time it consisted of baggy-ish jeans, t-shirts and Hawaiian shirts to cover the t-shirt.  Yes, Hawaiian shirts…  I can only imagine what people thought when they looked at me, and at the same time I thought my puka shell necklaces were oh so cool.  The funny part was underneath it all, I was most disgusted with having boobs.  No joke.  To say I didn’t like them would be an understatement: I thought they were revolting.  I wore the tightest sports bras I could find to keep myself as flat as possible, and was prone to excessive slouching to keep them from showing.  In  reality I had very little to even make having boobs my center of attention ,but non the less…it was hard times.  And add getting braces and acne to the picture, I was a raging teenager of a mess!

By the time I got to my sophomore year things were much better, as I had made many friends and now had a core groups of people to hang out with.  I had also joined the school’s cross country team, which made dealing with things a bit easier, as I had gained weight my freshman year since PE was a joke and most of the time we sat underneath a tree in the shade!  I was excelling in my honors and AP classes and having a great time.  Don’t let me steer you wrong though, as being a girl was still a big issue for me.  I dressed like a tomboy and never presented an ounce of girliness to my lifestyle.  I was in part, pretty ashamed to be a girl. I simply didn’t like the pressure and attention it brought with it.  This picture of me going to Winter Formal that year was a push…it was the one time I really felt like a girl.  The one time that year.

hi schl 5 001

(Sophomore Year, Winter Formal)

Junior year was much of the same with my cross country and track team taking priority in school.  I had trained had all summer, dedicated myself like I had nothing before and finally started to see improvements (I was one of the slowest and older girls on the team at the time, as many girls the two grades below me were state ranked; talk about a blow to my running ego).  Unfortunately due to my clumsy self, all that dedication was killed off when I broke the middle toe on my left foot and was sentenced to two weeks on crutches and then almost two months wearing a hard shoe.  Not the greatest thing for a runner.


(Junior Year Prom)

My running career shot out the door and I was devastated.  I cried at the ER, thinking back to the first and my only race of the season where I smashed my old 3 mile personal record by minutes, settling at 23:08 (yeah, can you believe I used to run an average 7.30-7.45 mile?  Now I’m lucky if I get under 8 min for one mile!…but I also don’t run 50-60 miles a week like I did back then…).  But I gained something out of it all: a greater, stronger bond with my couch and teammates.  This is where the second stage of high school started: courage and strength.  I may have been deemed the team “gimp’ and couldn’t run a race, but I never missed a practice, meeting or race.  I was up at the crack of dawn on the weekends with everyone and was the informant, as I always knew the schedule and who was running what or where.  I took every split for every mile and became my coaches right hand woman.  I started to become a leader that the varsity girls the grades below me looked up to and best friends with the lead boys for years to come.

hi schl 1 001

I came back from that injury with vigor and was ready to start track season with a band, training hard to gain back my endurance.  But disaster struck again when I caught strep throat early in the season, go figure right?  I spent time out of school and running and missed most of the season, but still tried to participate where I could.  On the other hand, it gave me extra time to concentrate on a love I never thought I had: Art History. Not wanting to take your typical drawing class I settled into AP Art History for the year and loved it.  I may have had a textbook that weighed 12 lbs but I didn’t care because I loved it, which reflected on my AP score in the spring when I got a 5 along with the rest of my classmates as we scored the highest cumulative score for an AP class that year.  It was an awesome experience and one I hoped I could pursue on the side in the future after high school and in college.

After the disaster which was my junior year, senior year started it was the best one ever…but we’ll leave that for tomorrow night.

Do you remember much of high school?  Did you struggle at all with making friends or trying to fit in? ]]

This entry was posted in Side Notes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Flashback to High School

  1. falafelwaffle says:

    I loved secondary school (Irish equilivant of high school). I went to an all girls school so I meet some mean girls there, but I met more nice people than bad. Unfortunately my eating disorder forced me to pull away from the majority of nice people that I met.
    The hatred of the newly developed body is something that I can completely relate to. I developed earlier than everyone else and so I was left feeling bigger, larger an taller compared to all my classmates. Also, I hated the attention that I gained from it while other people were jealous of my womanly body. Xo

  2. Kisnni says:

    High School D8<
    It's weird, I've only been out of high school, for almost two years now, but I actually don't remember much of it…'cause it sucked for me. XP I remember some stuff, but since my disorder started wehn I was 14, it kinda killed that experience..I don't think I was revolted by being a women- I didn't like it, but I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it, so I tried to kinda just accept/ ignore it/ go with it..

  3. proudpatriot07 says:

    This was really interesting to read! Don't be embarrassed by your pics- I have tons of really horrible ones from those days too, I think everyone does. Body issues were just crazy, though. I hated my hips- that's what I remember, but that was in like 7th grade, and being super short I just looked funny. Fortunately I actually grew another inch or two by high school and started to fit into my new body. So no, I didn't have an ED then but definitely had enough body image issues (and image issues in general) to go around…

    Oh, and I love that you were in band and played the flute- I did too! It was pretty much my life :).


  4. Kara says:

    I think everyone hates pictures from middle school and high school. I know I wouldn't even post mine, so you're braver than me :)

  5. Gabriela says:

    I loved my high school. Loved, loved, loved. I have amazing memories there, despite it being right in the middle of my ED. Personally, it was one of the darkest times of my life, so I can't imagine what it would have been like had I been miserable at school. I can totally relate to the body changes, too. My mom and I don't have a good relationship, so I remember being horrified to ask her for a bra in 6th grade. She wouldn't let me shave my legs, either, so paired with my growing body insecurity and the fact that I was gaining weight due to a cafeteria full of junk….I felt like crap about myself. Ugh. Whenever I look at pictures from those days, I just console myself with the realization that NO ONE really looks good during puberty!

  6. Jenna says:

    Do you remember what I looked like in Junior High? It was seriously bad… And I remember sitting next to you and Jerome in 9th grade English the first day and being so relieved that you remembered me and would talk to me… I did the big t-shirt thing for a while too…

  7. fittingitallin says:

    Totally agree that highschool years are some of the best!
    I definitely had some awkward stages, rough patches with friends, and the start of my ED, but over all high school was a blast. I wish I could go back!

  8. Abby says:

    Hey, I played the flute too :) I remember struggling with friends a little my freshman year but after that I had a great solid group of friends and I really enjoyed high school, though you couldn't pay me enough to go back. My ED didn't start until college either and the sad part is I was on the heavier side in high school and I never really cared that much or hated my body or anything. I do wish I could go back to that mindset at least!

  9. eliz@thesweetlife says:

    Goodness, middle and high school is just HARD, isn't it? I wonder if we'll look back on other periods of our lives as being hard as well?

  10. Freya says:

    I had the WORST time in high school – I had one friend, and if she was off, I was alone. Noone talked to me cos I was shy and tall and awkward and I think they thought my shyness was rudeness :( girls in the year below me were mean and people would snigger and talk about me if I walked by. I hated it :(

  11. Katy (The Singing Runner) says:

    High school was rough for me and I think it carried into college a little. I had issues fitting in with people at my school, and 99% of my friends were from outside of my school (from community theatre). I was very involved in school- multiple sports teams, drama club, Latin club, National Honor Society- you name it, I was in it. But I still didn't have many friends at school. The one friend I did have got pregnant her senior year (and at a Catholic school- go figure!) and after she had her baby, all of the so called "popular" kids wanted to be friends with her and she ditched me for them. I started to become sad and pulled away from people and REALLY got involved in a lot of activities to distract myself in order to cope.

    Flash forward to college and I find myself still having the same problems. I'm not as socially awkward as I was in high school, but I withdraw too much. Over the summer, it got bad and my ED issues really came to head (I suspect that they were always looming in the background during high school now that I look back). I coped in a way that was not healthy for me and I'm still struggling with it. Some days are worse than others and obviously this is something I need to work on, but not many people in my day to day life seem to be able to relate.

    I'm going to stop now because I don't think I'm making much sense. ;)

    Thank you for this post! I look forward to the senior year!

  12. mymarblerye says:

    I think I always wanted to fit in but realized jr or sr year that f*ck it. It's not worth it. Guess I'm lucky that I never wanted to fit in when I got older! Hardest time was middle school. :(

  13. Krista says:

    High school was long ago for me and for the most part, I don't care to remember it. I didn't like the (small) school I was at, we had to wear uniforms which I detested and to top it off, I spent most of it in a bad relationship. Makes me cringe just to think of it!!

Leave a Reply