Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 13, 2014

Simpler Times

By Samantha Stroube-Daviss
Corsicana Daily Sun

— As I sit here surrounded by my plethora of anti-aging wrinkle creams, my year books, and tons of memories, I am preparing myself and my old classmates for our high school reunion — dare I say, our 20th. It’s not really my age that is bothering me, because I don’t feel near as old as the number says I am on my driver’s license. I think what is bothering me is it doesn’t feel like it has been two decades since I walked the halls of the old Blue and Gold, filled with Tiger Pride.

At the ripe old age of 18, I couldn’t even fathom where my life would take me. I couldn’t imagine not walking the halls of Corsicana High School, not seeing the faces I saw every single day, smiling, laughing, and stressing over exams and projects that we had forgotten about.

They were the days when that cute boy walking down the hall would throw that simple cool smile your way, and your stomach would flip and your cheeks would emulate the color of a tomato. Or the pressure of keeping your grades up to remain in the top 10 percent, or even top 5 percent of your class to ensure that all the avenues you might want to pursue after graduation were open to you.

Or the times when you thought your world was ending, when that boy you thought was the ideal boy completely shattered your world by talking to another girl in the hallway before 3rd period. Or, losing the hard fight you fought running for student council to an upper classman.

Oh how those trials and tribulations changed our lives forever and molded us into the adults we are today. Whether or not we knew it then, we were learning about life as we walked those hallways, threw our books into our lockers, and faced the daunting world of being a teenager with all of our insecurities and flaws. But we did it with gumption and pride. Unfortunately we weren’t bright enough, or our brains weren’t developed enough, to always make the “best” decisions, but thankfully we all pretty much came out unscathed.

If we had known then what we know now, we would all be such different people. So maybe the course we set out to follow is in fact the one we were intended to conquer. Because I know that the insecure, tall, gangly teenager that I once was, was not strong enough to overcome some of the horrific obstacles that have been thrown in my path of life. But those hurdles made me the resilient, independent woman I am today. If my high school self had known what was “to come” along my path of life, I am pretty sure I would have curled up in a ball and never climbed out of my locker.

But that is the beauty of the unknown — you must face life one step at a time and overcome any glitches that may come your way with strength, persistence, and poise. The stresses and pressures we thought we endured in high school were nothing compared to life’s issues and problems today, but I don’t belittle the problems we all encountered in high school. Just because they happened during a simpler time in our lives, doesn’t make them any less imperative. Because they, too, were learning experiences that we all overcame and struggled through, making us better, stronger, more empathetic people.

So as I reflect on who we all were in high school together, I remember the fun days of all piling into each other’s cars and heading out to the lake on a hot summer day. Or meeting up with one another at the “Shell station” for our typical Friday night fun. And of course who can forget Texas’ 5th season — football season.

You knew everyone who lived within the county lines would be sitting in the stadium hoping their Tigers would bring home another victory. The crowd was filled with mothers hoping their babies wouldn’t get hurt out on the field. Some were cheer moms there to encourage their daughters on the sidelines, some were other students (like myself) that played other sports rooting for my friends and classmates, and some were just there for the “Friday Night Lights.”

As we all get older and carry heavier burdens and navigate through the complications of life, we have to remember that in every stage of life things get more complicated and unfortunately more stressful. But, it’s always good to reflect and remember the simpler times of our lives, no matter the age we were. Those problems are no less significant than the ones we have as aging adults, they just procure a different perspective through our eyes as we travel through life.

Sometimes it’s nice to sit back and remember the simpler times. It’s endearing to remember that all those people you grew up with, those that know you better than anyone, those that knew you from mother’s morning out all the way to graduation, through all the good hair styles and the bad ones, will be your friends for life, no matter how many years it has been since you all last spoke or saw one another.

They are your high school classmates.

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Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Thursdays. She may be reached by email at columnwriter98@hotmail.com. Read her blog at Samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthadaviss1