I changed a lot over the summer between my first and second years of high school. If my scanner worked I could scan in the photos. They are pretty telling.
More than any other young teen, I became really self-absorbed. I was so focused on not being miserable and maintaining some sense of normality in my life that I was really quite abnormal. I had a few close friends, and I just assumed that everyone else hated me! Now, I probably would have felt that way anyway, being a monster nerd. I have since learned to wear that label proudly (I also claim "geek" and "dork" quite readily, with a self-deprecating snicker), but in high school it's far from a badge of honor.
I never took the time to think that the other kids had their own worries and troubles... it seems like a lot of the four years just occurred around me, and I muddled through, a somewhat arrogant twit without much thought for others. But then, maybe few people noticed.
Sure, some kids were mean. I was the 'star' of more than one rather cruel cartoon, and there were some pretty nasty pranks playing off my rather sad over-attachment to my dog (I know that's totally surprising given how pet-focused I am to this day) and the yo-yo weight thing... 30-ish pounds on and off at least twice during the four years. I always blamed it on being 'sick' and it took a long time to gain the perspective that, hey, high school generally sucks in some major or minor way for about 99% of kids, and maybe my high school would have been no different if I'd been the portrait of health. (But I sure would have drunk more!)
One of the miracles of the internets, though, has been the opportunity to re-connect -- even tangentially -- with people who made it through St Joes in my cohort. They are all the most amazing adults - with varied and totally impressive careers, good lives, and a certain generosity of spirit, curiousity about other people, and a sense of comeraderie which I really didn't expect.
Maybe this proves that I'm still pretty self-focused, and I need to grow out of that more. I've changed a TON in (oh dear) 22 years (ohhhhhhhhhhhh) so why wouldn't everyone else?
In many ways, though, I still let my family get away with treating me like I am 15...