Feb 8, 2009 personal
I don’t know why, but the term “sophomore heaven” came to mind the other day. It has been well over a decade since I’ve heard or even thought of this term, and some reason I flashed on it.
What is it?
Sophomore Heaven was a common term used back in my high school. In my district, to help with school population freshmen actually attended middle schools as the senior class (I can’t remember if that was state-wide or a county thing), so sophomores were the underlings, and thus the ones who received the blunt of all the junior and senior hi-jinks. One tradition was that during school assemblies, sophomores were required to sit in the balcony of the auditorium, while the main floor was reserved for seniors and juniors. If a sophomore was caught trying to be stealthy and sit on the main floor, a spotlight was placed on him and he was not-so-graciously escorted back to “sophomore heaven” by the Usher Squad (of which I was a member in both my jr. and sr. years) with much fanfare and heckling from all members of the audience.
It’s interesting that as you get older, the ages of people you associate with mean less and less. In high school, most kids would only associate with other kids of the same class. Sometimes the junior class would hang out with seniors, and sophomores with the juniors. But rarely did you see sophomores and seniors in the same groups together. Some of those lines still remained true during college. But once you enter the workforce, age difference means less and less. I’ve reported to bosses and business owners younger than me (and I was in my 20′s), but I’ve also employed people older than me. Socially speaking, nothing has quite been like the experience that high school was.
It’s funny, that social sites like Facebook are starting to work as an active memory for those old social lines. In the past few weeks, I’ve had many high school and college friends add me to their friends list. It’s weird because I haven not spoken to most of them since our graduation party, and some of them since before then. Once I graduated High School, I never really turned my back. I was gone. Along with many of the great friendships that I had created. I embarked in search of a new life, found it, and moved on. (I haven’t even looked at my yearbooks in the 11 years since graduating.) But, as with any part of my history, my high school past is still a deep part of me. And thanks to Facebook, its starting to catch up with me.
One of my favorite shows is Friday Night Lights. Not because I used to play football (4th or 5th string defensive end if I recall correctly), but because I really enjoy how accurately portrayed and well written the story lines are. Watching that show has brought a flood of memories back to me that I thought I had suppressed. From traditions like pep rallies, dances, and student elections, to teenage stresses such as studying, worrying about graduating and getting into college, and tests, to high school drama such as girlfriends, fights, cross-town rivalries, and cliques. I always thought high school was rough for me, but as I got older, I realized it was rough for everyone. Some while they were there, others once they left.
Knowing this is written publicly and anyone from my past can run across it at anytime, I’ve got to say something: To the 1996 class of Layton High School, thank you! Thank you to those who I played football, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball or baseball with, to those I ran track or threw boomerangs with, to those in video productions, business clubs, and programming, to those girlfriends and girls-I-wished-were-girlfriends, to those tight-knit group of friends, to the teachers, coaches and staff: THANK YOU! I am who I am because of you. And I’m doing just fine!
Tags: high school
Sidenote: One thing is for sure, Sports marketers get it. I see them all over the social grid. They are where the fans are!