I’d liked to begin this post with a musical performance by the esteemed David Bowie:

Now while you struggle to get “CH-CH-CH-CHAAANGEES!” out of your head I got to give a shoutout to SammyB for the suggesting this topic. Sam writes, and I quote, “You could do like how people have changed or haven’t, as you leave again. IT’S JUST A SUGGESTION.” Why thank you Sam, your enthusiasm for the subject is charming, and I thank you for your suggestion. It’s an interesting question too, how have people changed since High School?

For one they're not allowed in the Ball Pit anymore
For one they’re not allowed in the Ball Pit anymore

Now I strongly suspect Sammy here was hoping for a person-by-person run down like when I wrote The Last Waltz. Unfortunately for Samantha I’m not going to do that, and there’s two reasons why. Firstly, I’m not going to give a list of all my friends and describe how they’ve changed because then it wouldn’t be the LAST waltz, it would just be another boring old post that I poured my heart and soul into. Besides I don’t want to alienate people who don’t make the list. The second reason will come as a disappointment to you. It’s because people either haven’t changed enough, or because they’ve changed in a few select ways, which is what I plan to focus on now. Sorry to bore you with this lengthy and altogether un-inrteresting  paragraph, but I felt I owed Jennifer an explanation.

Here's a puppy for your troubles.
Here’s a puppy for your troubles.

Alright now where were we? Ah yes, how have people from High School changed? Well I regret to inform you that in the year since High School people haven’t changed all that much. What will happen is an amplification of their personality. You see by senior year of High School most people kind of mostly have their life figured out, not in a what am I going to do with my life kind of way, but in more of a, but from a what type of person am I perspective. So those kids from school who used to go to lots of parties and get rip-roaring’ drunk, guess what they’re doing now? I can tell you they probably aren’t studying. Conversely, you know those people who were always studying, and never seemed to have time for anything else? Well those are the people who are TAKING UP ALL THE SEATS IN THE LIBRARY, the sweet, sweet air conditioned library.

Who let Howard the Duck in here?
Who let Howard the Duck in here?

That is to say that rarely do people suddenly develop rampant doucheness, although it has been known to happen. While I’m sure you will have a friend who decides that the independence of college means they have to do ALL THE DRUGS, most people stick close to their established personalities. But like I said you do see an amplification of personality traits. If you were nerdy in High School you will become more nerdy, if you were one of them jock-types then you will probably get really swol, and if you were a popular outgoing type of person in high school you will probably have a lot of friends. Returning from school last summer I heard plenty of stories, granted they were freshmen stories, but still. Everytime I heard about, oh so-and-so went to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, did you hear about so-and-so, she got suspended for smoking weed, I have the same reaction: ah yup.

yup, nothing out of the ordinary here.
yup, nothing out of the ordinary here.

Now academics is a different story. College has the tendency to separate the men from the boys, the zygotes from the haploids, and the sane from the schizophrenic. I could probably write a book about what I’m about to say next, but I won’t so I’ll just tell you now. Nowadays college is an expectation. When you get toward your last few months of institutionalized adolescence, people ask you not what you plan on doing in the next few years, they ask you what school you are going to attend. Now as the offspring of two academics I would call this a good thing. I think earning a higher degree is an advantageous thing to do. The problem is it’s not right for everyone. A lot of people get grandfathered in to the collegiate system, and it’s usually after the first year that people start dropping out. Most people who drop out are again the people you would expect, but then there are the people you didn’t really expect. And it’s not some fault in their personality or their intelligence, it’s simply that societal expectations pushed them into something that that didn’t align with their goals in life. Nothing wrong with that, everyone’s path is different.

But if you were to ask me, how have the people I grew up with, my friends and classmates, how have they changed since high school, I have to be honest, they haven’t changed one bit: they’re still the same bunch of idiots I know and love.

Cheers boys.
Cheers boys.

Thank you once again Sam for that excellent suggestion, and if you’d like to hear more from Sam you can follow him on Twitter @SamBarrittYes. If you have a suggestion you’d like to hear me talk about send it to, Twitter and Facebook are also acceptable (good luck friending me on Facebook though), and don’t forget, it’s still August Month of Madness and unless I forget again, I’ll be bringing you a new post everyday! So stay tuned and remember, Zebras are Real!

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