You Won’t Be 17 Forever

Posted: February 25, 2015 in Age, Life
Tags: , , , , ,

Age 17: You won’t be 17 forever…

I loved 17. It was SO much better than age 16, when the spoiled rich kids at my school threw taco shells at me because U drove my parents’ mini-van to school (not that I’m complaining. I was proud to own the only mini-van in the parking lot, and it definitely made it a lot easier to find my car). And it’s DEFINITELY better than 18, with all of its impending responsibility.

Yes, when I turned 17, I was finishing up my junior year, which was undoubtedly the worst year of high school. Looking back, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was at the time. But gone was the endearing wide-eyed innocent youth of freshman year. I realized that band was the worst and high school was something I was excited to leave. I found that the world was a cruel place to live, as was evidenced by the existence of the ACT (not the standardized test… “ACT” is actually an acronym for “Angry Chemistry Teacher”) and the success of shows like Two and a Half Men.

But at 17 I also started my senior year of high school. I loved senior year almost as much as freshman year. Even though the cynicism I had developed in my sophomore and junior years was still very much alive, I just loved being at the top of the school (not literally, of course… I would not trust the roofs of that poorly-constructed school to carry my heavy bones) and knowing that I was about to be done with high school forever. Adulthood was just around the corner! And I was completely oblivious to how insanely difficult adulthood would be, so I was excited!

What was more, I got HOT in my senior year. Because we had record-breaking temperatures that year, and it was Arizona, which means it was REALLY hot. Oh, and also that was the first point of my life where I realized that I could possibly be seen as “an attractive person.” Per my older sister’s desperate pleas, I got new clothes (i.e. shirts that you could button up and did not have footballs or scenes from Star Wars on them) and started putting gel in my hair (instead of just rolling out of bed and hoping that my hair looked OK, which usually resulted in someone yelling, “It looks like you just had sex!” at me across the classroom, much to my embarrassment–mostly because my Mormon-induced sexual repression made me cringe at the word “sex” even at age 17… and probably up until age 23, to be honest). People started noticing me and saying I was “good-looking.” My mind was blown. Take that, nerd table that rejected me in 7th grade! Who’s laughing now? Actually, probably still them… most likely they are more successful and a lot richer than I am. (Bows head in shame). Nevertheless, I was finally good-looking! Still incredibly awkward, but good-looking, so the awkwardness was endearing now! Oh, and the popular girls started talking to me. Granted, it was mostly to tell me that I was in their way. But still, they talked to me, instead of just pushing me to the side like they used to!!!

Needless to say, 17 was a great year. It was, for me at least, the last year of innocence in some ways. It was the last year I could just be a kid… even though I would have probably hated it if you had called me a kid at the time. “I’m not a kid!” I might have exclaimed. “I’m 17! I’m a senior in high school, which means I’m mature! Also I have almost TWENTY dollars in my wallet!” Now I realize that I was not mature at all… also, maturity is overrated, and I hope to never be accused of possessing that quality. If anyone ever calls me mature, I will most likely start crying and screaming, and maybe pee on the spot to put the proverbial icing on the cake of immaturity.

But most of all, 17 is a time to make mistakes. Oh wait, that’s every year of life. But I feel like 17 is the last year you can make a mistake and just blame it on the stupidity of youth. “I know I crashed a car through your house, but give me a break, I’m only 17!” sounds infinitely more reasonable than “Yes, I broke into your house and ate all your fruit roll-ups, but what can I say? I’m only 24!” That’s why at 17, we need to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy, as Ms. Frizzle of The Magic School Bus fame would say. After all, you won’t be 17 forever.

Me at age 17

Me at age 17


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