Ageing: Reasons to be glad you’re not a teenager

Glad to be out of my Teens by Tom NashAs you grow older, certain people in your peer group will begin to reminisce about your school days. If you are really unlucky, you will know someone whose life is so depressing that during these periods of nostalgia, they will utter one of the two most soul-destroying phrases ever to leave a person’s lips: ‘Those were the best days of my life’ or ‘I wish I could go back.’ Things have got to be bad if you long for the days of curfews, pocket money and head-lice.

To celebrate entering my 27th year this week, here’s a reminder of why being ‘grown’ is far superior:

Not giving a shit about what others think
When you’re a teenager, you are so deluded that the opinions of other teenagers ACTUALLY mean something to you. If everyone says a certain brand’s latest ugly, over-priced trainers are the mutt’s nuts, then those were the trainers you were begging your mum to buy you in Footlocker the next week. The sensible, reasonably priced Hi-Tecs she proposed got shot down every time. As you get older, you realise that there are better things to spend your money on than £200 trainers and those Hi-Tecs do look awfully comfy…

Of course there are times that you should still give a shit. For example, if ALL of your mates think your other half is batshit and sucking the life out of you, maybe they have a point.

A willingness to learn
The older you get, the more you realise you don’t actually know all that much. A sense of regret builds inside you, reminding you over and over again that you wasted your schooldays being too concerned with looking cool in front of girls. Books transform from instruments of torture and misery into goldmines of pub quiz answers and other interesting things… Unless you’re one of those morons who considers themselves ‘too old to learn’ and takes pride in their ignorance, of course, in which case, I hope you enjoy treading water.

A sense of perspective
You ever listened to a bunch of teenagers at the back of a bus? I mean really listened, not just been aware of the cacophony behind you? Chances are they’re talking about something REALLY unimportant, usually some bullshit about being ‘disrespected’ by someone while showing that respect is the last thing that they deserve. The way they go about it though, you’d think they were a task force handed the responsibility of solving the problems between Israel and Palestine.

Luckily, as most of us age, we realise that we’re not that special, no matter what our mums tell us. It slowly dawns on us that everyone has their own shit to deal with and our shit is no more special that the next person’s. Of course, this isn’t universal. There will always be a few people you know who remain completely wrapped up in their own dull existence well into their adulthood. You will grow to pity them.

No ridiculous slang
I can’t remember how it worked when I was younger, maybe we got more ‘cool’ points the more slang we could drop in to a single sentence, or maybe it was a symptom of our lack of perspective and we thought that what we were talking about was so controversial that it had to shared in code. Whatever the reason for it, one thing was certain; we sounded like fucking idiots. What a difference employment makes, eh?

Not that there’s anything wrong with slang; the odd word slipped in at the right time can spice up any sentence, but you try being taken serious as a grown up after you tell your middle-aged colleagues the girls at the club you went to the other night were ‘bare (sp?) peng’.

More to come, but until then, have a browse through the archive. Got plenty for ya to read.

Facebook: Schoolmates on your friend list

Facebook by Tom NashIn a post I wrote in November 2010 about people you are obligated to have on your Facebook friend list, I detailed ‘The past schoolmate’. This entry focused on bullies and those they bullied, without even acknowledging the myriad of relationships, social groups and class issues that went hand-in-hand with everyday school life in the UK’s state-run comprehensives.

This post should rectify that oversight.

So, here’s a wider selection of people from high school that you may have on your Facebook friend list:


The cool kids
During your schooldays, you would’ve given anything to be them. Somehow they managed to make rocking school uniform look good and they got attention from girls/boys that you could only dream about. Now look at them; no career path to speak of, still going to the same clubs they were going to at eighteen and constant updates on their depressing relationships through barely literate statuses.

I actually encountered a ‘cool kid’ I went to school with a little while back who was pulling the classic ‘I need twenty-p for a phone call’ crack-head routine at the bus stop I was at…

Still want to swap places?

The hot girls
When you were a hormone-riddled adolescent, these ladies were the most lusted after females in the school, other than the obligatory foxy student teacher that they didn’t let near the 5th years (that’s Year 11 to you youngbloods). Before the creation of Facebook, seeing how these girls turned out was the only reason to go to a school reunion. Now there is no reason- you can see just how orange, leathery and aged they look these days from the comfort of your own home.

The fat kids
Unless they were already unnaturally aggressive in their early teens, this person was the butt of many a joke throughout school. Being stabbed in the arm with a pair of compasses to find out if they ‘bleed gravy’ was a weekly, if not daily occurrence and generally they had life made very difficult for them, usually by The cool kids. Chances are they ain’t fat no mo’! If they are male, then since school they appear to have been living in the gym, probably doing so for that chance encounter with those who gave them so much shit years before. If female, there is a possibility that they have since blossomed into…

The late bloomers
Maybe they wore the unmistakable fragrance of urine, maybe they had to deal with acne outbreaks or unsightly body hair, maybe they were just a bit odd looking, having not quite grown into their teeth or something, so they were therefore never considered as a potential humping partner throughout your schooldays. That’s all changed. Now they look good and both you and they know it. If they are male, they will take great pleasure in working their way through the ladies that were once unattainable. If they are female they will take great pleasure in rejecting all the fellas that wouldn’t look at them twice ‘back in the day.’

The nerds
Still quiet in the background, these were the kids who weren’t necessarily good looking and didn’t shine during P.E. lessons but passed every test or exam and got all their work in on time. Well, they’ve kept up this work ethic and have been steadily climbing up the career ladder for years now.

Friend requests from The cool kids are usually accepted for their pure entertainment value. Games like:

  • Guess who thought procreating would be a good idea?
  • How many kids???
  • Are you allowed to use Facebook in prison?
  • How many sunbeds a week does it take to look ancient by your mid-twenties? That many

are staple favourites and can played daily, as there is apparently no limit to the personal information that people you haven’t seen for upwards of ten years are willing to share…

And long may it continue.

More Facebook posts:

Facebook: Status updaters we all know
Facebook: More familiar behaviour
Facebook: Obligation friends
Facebook: Even more familiar behaviour