LinkedIn recently turned 15 and prompted users to recall [what they wanted to be] when they were 15. I couldn’t remember 15 exactly. But a few things stand out from that blurred together block between 15 and 18.
For example, I know in fourth form we got two new teachers who made me imagine myself as an adult woman for the first time.
When I was about 17, I wanted to be somebody’s girlfriend. Not just anybody. There was a particular boy in school. I didn’t even know what being somebody’s girlfriend entailed. I just knew that I wanted to talk to him all the time.
Here are the things I remember effortlessly from that time:
- I wanted that boy’s attention.
- I was always late for school.
- I felt very comfortable at school.
- I wanted to stop being so nervous in debating matches.
My whole life was centred on school. I hardly thought of what the next big thing would be after school. Perhaps I am not unique in that respect. You knew you had to be at school. That was that. At school, I could do just the things I wanted to do, which was pretty much everything except Maths. The friends, the ‘studying for exams’ gatherings over long weekends at my house, the clubs, Literature class. I was really into it.
Better yet, I could sum up those teen years by saying I was so into myself. Nothing else mattered. In the good way. I was lost in myself, my pursuits. It was great. Then I went to university.
Here’s the lesson I recall effortlessly from that first year:
- Attractiveness is a thing.
There was a boy. We got on. He met my friend later. They got on much better. My friend was more attractive than I was. That was the first time I had thought about my attractiveness, and the first time I had thought about it in relation to somebody else’s.
I now realise that this was just a continuation of the spirit of those latter high school years.
Not quite fit for LinkedIn, but when I was ‘15’, my eyes started to see.