Recently, I’ve realized a number of the incredibly wonderful book bloggers I follow are in high school or were in high school when they started blogging. I believe there’s even one who isn’t even in her high school years yet. I’m constantly impressed by all of them, how they balance life, school, and blogging. It makes me wonder what it would have been like if I had started blogging when I was in high school.
My high school years were during the first half of the 2000s. I didn’t even use the Internet much throughout those four years. My school required all students to take a technology course. I took typing (I don’t think it actually improved my typing – being an avid writer did that). Using the Internet for research was frowned on; we were expected to utilize the library. Even when we did our research paper during junior year, we were expected to not use the Internet (I think we were explicitly told to not use computers except to type it up). So it makes sense I wouldn’t even have known what a blog was back then. I’d had an email address since I was 12, but didn’t actually use it until I met people from all across the US when I was in my senior year. Bottom line: the Internet wasn’t a big part of my life, and computers were only useful if they had a Word program I could write my stories in.
But, I do wonder, if I had started a blog in high school, what would it have been like?
Well, during my first two years, I took 7 classes instead of the usual 6, so I think I would have been a little too busy! The next couple of years were a bit lighter, but still busy with Honors and AP courses. Just considering time, I don’t think I wold have had time to blog. Most days I had so much homework I was still working on it until 10pm. Half my weekends were filled with schoolwork. Beyond setting up the blog, well, I would have been one of those eager bloggers that just petered out within weeks. Eventually, I would have forgotten about it. And then would have been scratching my head years after that when I finally found it again. I don’t believe there’s any way I could have balanced everything the way today’s high schoolers have been able to. When I wasn’t actually doing schoolwork, I was trying to convince my parents to let me volunteer, or was helping to take care of my younger siblings since it was during those years that my mom developed an autoimmune disorder called Myasthenia Gravis that made her extremely fatigued and gave her double vision for days on end.
Assuming I did have time to blog, I think I might have enjoyed it, and might have even been better at dissecting the books I had to read. I don’t recall enjoying a single book I had to read in high school, though Crime and Punishment came close, but Emma made me fall asleep (that or I passed out because it became too hot in my room). Since I was in English Honors and AP, I had to read and analyze books over the summer as well as during the school year. Having a place like a blog to write about them and review them would have just added another layer of analysis, another way to think about the literature. I wonder now what I would have written about them, but I’m not about to round up all the books I read in high school just to write reviews on them. Still, I wonder what it would have been like. Would it have matured my thoughts or would I be looking back at them and cringe at how juvenile they sounded?
I think it would also have been an interesting log of what I read outside of school. I developed a habit of reading a book a week in high school. Needing to have a book with me started in 8th Grade, but I think that’s a story for another Friday. I was never social despite having a solid group of friends. My friends and I didn’t tend to be in the same classes, so, instead of socializing with people I shared no interests with (I’m too introverted to want to engage in small talk), I hurried to each class to fit in 5-8 minutes of reading. And then I couldn’t fall asleep without reading. And I’d spend my free time on the weekends reading. I no longer have many of the books I read during those 4 years. Nor do I remember every book I read. I have my favorites, I have some sharp memories of some. But sometimes I wonder what I read. Having book reviews of them all, documenting my passage through those crucial teen years and what I thought of them back then, would have been fun.
What would I have written? What would my reviews have looked like? Would my English Honors and AP classes have had an effect on how I wrote them or what I included? Would I find myself discussing mood and tone, or characterizations and world building (annoyingly called setting back then)? Interesting questions that will never have answers.