Oh wow. The last part of the last assignment of my last fall semester at the University of Michigan. Can you feel the anticipation/relief/exhaustion radiating out of your computer screen? My hands are practically shaking with this weird combination of too tired and too awake—I can’t wait to nap for a million years, but first, I’m so excited to introduce the reason I haven’t been sleeping for the past few months!
So, like, high school. What even was that, amirite, ladies? After spending this past summer reading a bunch of books about feminist theory and adolescence and the feminist theory of adolescence, I began to wonder why I entered college so incredibly determined to forget everything that had happened in high school. What was I so afraid of? Had those four years really changed me all that much?
The more I learned about adolescence within the context of gender socialization, the more I wanted to learn about my fellow former teenagers’ high school experiences. Was I the weird one for letting the societal pressures of high school “get to me?” How did my peers feel they’d changed as a result of their teenage years, for better or for worse?
I really value the time and effort my interview subjects (many of whom I didn’t have enough time to write about) put into this project, and I feel like I’ve learned so much from our conversations about their journeys. I hope you find their perspectives as interesting as I do, and I hope it inspires you to ask a friend about their adolescence or share your own story here.
(Huge thanks to T Hetzel and the rest of my Capstone cohort—you guys are truly the best bunch I’ve ever written with.)