A few days ago I got word that they just voted to close my old high school, located in a small little village in Ontario. This is a sad day indeed. After spending years trying to save the school, the people in the area were not able to make a difference. And none of their families’ lives will ever be the same again.
Going to a small high school was a wonderful experience. I wasn’t one of those kids who just wanted to get the heck out of school and start my “real” life, leaving the misery behind. For me, high school was a wonderful time of life and a lot of that had to do with my school. It was small, about 400 kids, so that meant that most of us knew everybody. We were village kids, farm kids, good kids. We didn’t have the same type of cliques that I hear larger schools did. Sure, there were still divisions between us (smokers, sporty types, shop guys, straight-A students) but the lines were crossable. We had friends in different grades, and on the weekend partied with everyone and anyone. Many of us belonged to various groups interchangeably, like student council, sports teams, band, the “paranormal society” (oh, we were creative too!)…we did it all. We experienced it all.
However I’m sure life wasn’t all coming up roses for every kid in our school back then. I do remember that we had a suicide one year and there was a teenage pregnancy here and there. Drugs were around but not very visible if you chose to avoid them. In general, though, I think life was good for most of us. It was a different time, maybe, but it also was a different place. It was our school in our tiny town where we were safe and where we learned to grow up.
I don’t live in that town anymore but many of the kids I went to high school with still do. They’re adults now, of course. They’ve stayed there, begun families there, and when it came time, worked to try to save that school there. It didn’t work. I hope that life will be the same for their children once they start taking the bus for an hour at a time to the larger city schools. I hope they will be able to “find themselves” there as easily as they would have back home in our little school. They will have to I guess, most teens do.
But still, a way of life in that small town is ending. It’s a sad thing.