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“High school is bull s#^+!” May 30, 2010

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

As we approached home, Austin decided to roll down his window and pull alongside a neighbor’s house. A group of teenage boys were outside playing basketball, and he wanted to ask if could join. My gut was already telling me this wouldn’t go well.

“Can I come over?” Austin asked the boy who lived there. An awkward silence followed.

“My mom says she doesn’t want any more people over,” the boy finally replied. He and Austin used to hang out together quite often, even overnights, but that hadn’t happened in a while. Austin simply said, “Okay,” and we pulled away.

The basketball game had already underway about a half hour earlier when Austin and I left the house to head for the local Blockbuster. I recognized a couple of the boys there, so both Austin and I waved as we drove by. I noticed the gesture went unreturned.

“I guess we’re not friends anymore,” Austin acknowledged. I conceded that might be true. I became suspicious of that a month earlier. Austin had seemingly been disinvited from joining a group of classmates in attending the junior prom. He had also mentioned there had been tension between he and another boy over some girl.

“You know, Austin, I witnessed this same stuff with your cousin Leah.” This was 10 years ago. My niece was also 16 when I lived with my sister Pattie in California. There were similar conversation about unnecessary drama taking place at school, and Pattie would encourage Leah to look past it.

“High school is bull shit!” my sister would say. “None of this will matter when you get older.” We would reference this often, reminding Leah by creating an acronym—HSBS.

Austin has confessed a few times recently that he’s grown disillusioned with the daily drama taking place all around him at school, and I use the opportunity to focus him on what really matters—his family, his job, his studies and his future. True friendships will develop over time.

He’s an amazingly upbeat kid, and it didn’t seem to take him long to get past the obvious rebuff from the neighbor. Honestly, it may have upset me more. Austin has endured enough disappointment in his lifetime, so I suppose there’s a natural instinct on part to want to protect him from that.

I also realized it may have reminded me a bit of my own high school years. HSBS! It’s so true.



1. Pattie Stella - May 30, 2010

I couldn’t have said it better myself. In 2-6 months these same kids will probably be trying to be friends with him again. I’m preaching to the choir here. So glad you had some practice beforehand to help you advise Austin. As I always say HSBS.

2. Maureen - May 30, 2010

I agree. I did not have a good high school experience, and HSBS sums it up! High school kids can be pretty cruel some times.

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