I found myself looking through the profiles and friends lists of some people I used to go to school with on Facebook. At first it was curiosity that lead me to scroll through hundreds of people in various friends lists, hunting for people I recognised or used to be friends with before I left school. I found out a couple of things. First, that I didn’t really know any girls in my school. I remember lots of names and a few faces, but I don’t really remember knowing any of them. I didn’t really talk to any of them, mingle with them or really make friends with any of them. I don’t know precisely why this is, but I think it was because I was aware at even a very young age of how very little I had in common with any of them. I liked rugby, cricket, hockey and shooting. As far as I was concerned, girls liked netball and that was it (ignorance as opposed to sexism).

Second, I realised that I was quite reserved throughout school, especially in the early years of secondary school. I don’t think I started to fit in until much later on, maybe fourth or fifth form and even then I only had a few close friends. I often found myself confused or scared of other people in school; I was never very tough or imposing, cool or exciting and as such I never really had many friends. I was clever, though. I often scored highly in tests, participated in class with knowledgeable answers and explained things to other people sat about me in class. However, I did disrupt classes quite often. I’d been diagnosed as having ADHD the year before starting secondary school and my parents and teachers put my disruptive, erratic and (as Mr. Phipps, my IT master put it) eccentric behaviour down to my disability and recommended my dose of Ritalin be increased. Thankfully my school masters weren’t my doctors.

But as I looked at more and more profiles I started to realise something else. I kept seeing the words ‘Oxford’, ‘Cambridge’, ‘Kings’ and ‘Goldsmiths’ over and over again. I also started seeing ‘Postgraduate’ every so often and on two occasions I saw the acronym ‘PhD’. I saw people with wives and children and photographs of people I haven’t seen since age 13 in places I can only dream of visiting.

I started to feel quite rubbish. The more I looked the more I realised how little I’ve accomplished. I started to go through all the choices I’ve made in the past seven or so years, trying to find out which decision was the one where everything changed, that pivotal moment in my life. I started thinking about what I could have done and how it could have been different. I started thinking about the things I could be doing and all the things I would have done by now. The more I looked the worse it got. Name after name after name popped up on my screen and each one seemed to bury its way into my skull, pulling and tugging on the part of my brain that makes me think I’m quite shit.

So I closed the browser window and stared at the screen of my laptop for a bit, thinking about what I’d just put myself through when my smallest cat jumped up onto the sofa next to me and started nuzzling into the side of my right leg. It was at that point that I instantly dismissed what just happened as one of those ridiculous episodes we all go through every once in a while. I don’t have time to waste thinking about what could have been; about universities I could have gone to or places I could have seen. I started thinking about all the great times I’ve actually had, and while they may not be particularly exotic or prestigious, they have still been great. I started thinking about all the wonderful people I’ve met and the things I have done as opposed to the things I haven’t. I realised that I don’t regret the majority of choices I’ve made over the last seven years. Sure there are some things I’d do differently if I could go back, but those are the things I’ve learned from and we all have those at some point. I’m certain of that.

Maybe she knew I was having an episode and she wanted to make me feel better. She put this whole scenario into perspective. She made me feel good about myself.

I don’t know how she did it, but Miko sure is clever.

  1. I often have this exact experience. Facebook can be so cruel. My advice, balance your friends list with some bottom-feeders. They come through and do a good bit to counteract some of the damage from all of those successful types.



    • jenny
    • February 14th, 2010

    You don’t have to live up to anyones standards but your own 🙂 *woooooooo* (cliché cops)

    I ended up deleting the majority of school people I knew, but not for these reasons (our school was not made of high achievers). Often it’ll be a flash of memory along the lines of “oh hey I remember you now, and how you contributed to making my life hell” or “your opinions are unerringly dumb and my facebook is cheapened by your presence” or just “I genuinely care nothing about what you do with your life and never will”.

      • Disgustingly Vapid
      • February 24th, 2010

      Bahaha! “Cliché cops! Don’t move”

      Thank you for the support!


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