This is the story of a girl with a late fall birthday who spent the first 18 years of her life trying to catch up with her peers. She spent preschool and kindergarten thinking everyone at recess hated her because they wouldn’t stop chasing her (her teacher informed her that was, in fact, called “Tag”), elementary school avoiding sleepovers because she missed her parents too much at them, and middle school and junior high avoiding boys and school dances at all costs.
You might be thinking, “That poor girl! She must have felt so out of place and shy!”, but alas, she had NO CLUE WHATSOEVER that she’d totally missed the boat and was oblivious to the high school social scene. You see, for better or worse, Sarah never did a single thing that was edgy or devious in her entire high school career…not because she was such a goody-two-shoes, but because she somehow…just missed that part. She was too busy throwing herself into academics (where she was right on track), figure skating, volunteer work, chamber choir, and art.
Sarah was really into figure skating. In fact, she wore her awesome figure skate necklace (pictured above) every single day for the majority of her high school years. She continued this hobby long after it was cool, assuming it ever was cool to begin with. She skated in many an ice show, and volunteered her Saturday mornings as an assistant in the youngest “learn-to-skate” class.
Sarah was the kind of high school kid who was friends with everyone, but only close friends with a few people. She never had even a sip of alcohol in high school, and she never smoked a cigarette. Because she was so young, she wasn’t even old enough for “18 +” nights at fine establishments such as the old “Club 2001” on the Berlin Turnpike that the cool kids would go to until the end of her first semester of college…when it was no longer cool. She didn’t drive until senior year of high school.
In school, Sarah fortunately (or unfortunately?) didn’t get that it wasn’t cool to be a nerd– shocker, right? She took Latin, French and Spanish and tossed around the idea of joining the CIA or FBI as a translator. She then looked into basic training and said “Nope, never mind.”
She really loved Latin, and attended two national Latin conventions with the Junior Classical League– yes, by choice. She joined her fellow nerds from all over the country at Florida State University and UMASS-Amherst as they took academic competitive tests and participated in classical-world-themed workshops. During her senior year, she volunteered as a Latin tutor. She traveled to Italy with her Latin class junior year, which was perhaps the highlight of high school for Sarah.
Aside from her brief birdwalk into being an international (wo)man of mystery with the CIA, Sarah always knew she wanted to be a teacher then a principal. She spent many a Saturday night babysitting, because, what else is there to do on a Saturday night, right guys? Right? On Sunday mornings, Sarah taught kindergarten and first grade Sunday school, and during her senior year, she did an independent study project about how children learn to draw.
On the bright side, Sarah never got into any trouble in high school. However, she did realize, when she got to college and heard everyone else’s stories of fun and mischief in high school, that she’d missed out. Freshman year of college was when she finally caught up to her peers and met her BFF, another youngin’ who also missed the “How to Be Cool” part of high school. So, parents of fall birthday kiddos, remember: It’s not all about the academics. It doesn’t matter if your kid reads, writes and spells at age 4 like Sarah did…she might still not be socially ready to keep up with her peers.