I’m torn. I have always loved school, and there was no particular grade I did not like. Like everyone, I had those awkward teenage in-between stages where your skin is greasy and your hair is uncontrollable and your limbs don’t seem to match up or coordinate with the rest of your body, but that’s okay. I’m not sure I wouldn’t go back to those times even (more to follow).
I loved kindergarten. Those were good times. But I would probably want a little bit more independence than that.
Junior high was probably the toughest in terms of cliques and cruelty from other kids, but I came out okay, and some of those challenges made me who I am today. So I wouldn’t want to change those years too much.
High school. I had a lot of fun. I could have tried harder, and I could have been a little bit nicer. I wasn’t some super mean bully or anything, but I also stood idly by and let bullying take place, or didn’t step in where it would have been easy, or didn’t proactively stick out my hand and help someone through a tough time. It would have been so easy to do just a little thing, a little kindness, here or there, that would have made someone else’s life monumentally easier. Monumentally better. I did some of this, but I could have done more. If I went back to these high school years, that’s what I would do.
I used to be a confident little guy, and I know that was fun. All the way up through elementary school. That was a good feeling, and I would like to feel that again.
But then in junior high, we all get self-conscious for some reason. No one has any real confidence, it’s just a question of who is better at pretending. Sometimes, often times, the least confident pretend the hardest.
So really, it becomes a question of why you are going back. If I was going back to make the biggest changes, I would go to high school. If I could go there, particularly taking all the confidence that comes with adulthood, and a knowledge that (a) it’s going to turn out okay, and (b) so much of what seems so important ends up mattering not at all, then that would be good.
But just in terms of going back to the easiest, happiest, most enjoyable time, it would be a toss up between second and sixth grade. Second grade, it seemed like I was starting to feel my flow, I had friends and school was fun and life was easy and I enjoyed everything through a happily naive little lens. Sixth grade, I was right on the cusp of so many things, I was becoming increasingly fascinated with girls, I felt like I was learning so much and doing so much, I felt very comfortable and capable and confident and happy. No cliques yet, no worries. Good times.