The Shy Girl's Back-to-School List

It's just about that back-to-school time, folks!  The smell of fresh erasers and #2 pencils will soon be in the air, and everyone will be scrambling to get their hands on the coolest new school supplies...sigh.  I've always loved the non-social aspects of school, but the whole interacting with people thing never quite worked for me.

 Allow me to illuminate you: I'm pretty sure I didn't start developing a personality until my 21st birthday.  I was always the quiet girl at the back of the room.  Always had my homework done on time, because I didn't have a whole lot else going on.  Therefore, I spent my pre-teen and teen years learning to be the ultimate observer.  I watched a lot of movies and read a lot of books about high school, because that was way easier and less scary than making my own memories.  

In this post I'm going to delve into my high school by proxy treasure chest of books and movies to get y'all in the back-to-school spirit!

bookcoverFrindle by Andrew Clements

Oh, Nick.  His cleverness and vibrant imagination provided endless entertainment, and allowed me to see how much fun the world could be if you're brave enough.  I have to admit, I privately tried to make up my own words for a while there.  Where's my binder, you say?  No, no.  That's a 'larsh'.

bookcoverGoosebumps by R.L. Stine

You were nobody unless you had you own stack of Goosebumps paperbacks taking up space in your room somewhere.  These beauties were more than a status symbol for me, of course.  Reading these tales allowed me to believe that there were much scarier things in the world than having to go to the front of the class for a presentation.  


The epitome of living vicariously!  The girls of Clueless were stylish (at 30, I'm still working on polishing my look), popular and completely unafraid to be themselves.  Cher showed me that knowing who you are and owning it every day is totally worth the effort. Totally.

bookcoverHarriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh  

Harriet M. Welsch. I kind of identified with you. I was definitely an observer and I did my fair share of writing (though my writing was usually really sappy poetry), but you were so edgy and brave. You taught me the importance of being determined and staying true to your vision. You taught me that there are two, three, sometimes four sides to every story and that humans are only human after all.

bookcoverThe Breakfast Club

My mom, for one reason or another, played John Hughes movies on repeat all throughout my childhood.  The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles became familiar to the point of being white noise and I can still quote them to this day.  I think we can all find a bit of ourselves in each of these eccentric characters from Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois. Some days I'm Claire (the princess), but most days I feel like a mix between Allison (the basket case) and Brian (the brain).

Welp! Good luck navigating adolescence, Houston!  :0)

Lauren W.

P.S. -- Here are a few back to school pointers from me to you:

  • Memorize your schedule ASAP.
  • Establish your best/favorite writing utensil and never leave home without it.
  • Find a kindred spirit to keep you grounded, but don't be afraid to talk to non-threatening folks in other groups.
  • Try not to take yourself too seriously.  


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