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Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Regret Associated With Being A School Club Shunner

There's an old saying that exists that seem to describe life brilliantly.  That saying is "live life without regret".  I have no idea who originally came up with that saying though.  Maybe it was Benjamin Franklin.  Maybe it was Albert Einstein.  Maybe it was Britney Spears.  Whatever the case, all of us try to go and live our lives and regret nothing about any of the decisions that we have made in our lives.

But how many of us actually do live life without regret?

I hate to say it, but regrets?  I've had a few.

For instance, I regret not having done more in my life by the time that I turned thirty.  I know that life is not a competition (unless you're an Olympic athlete, an "American Idol" contestant, or one of those scary women from that show "Dance Moms"), and I know that everything happens for a reason.  I just sometimes have a difficult time figuring out what that reason is.  Happens to the best of us.

I regret not finishing university and getting a degree even though the program I was in was essentially a dead-end one anyway, and nothing likely would have changed much even if I had gotten that certificate.  Of course, I can always go back if I choose to, so I'm not really all that regretful about it knowing what I know now.  Truth be told, I wished that I had gone to a community college instead of a university.  I think I would have liked that set up a lot more.  And really, the only pro to a university degree is more money, and honestly as long as I had enough money to live semi-comfortably, I would be fine with a basic college education.

Hell, I regret not punching all the kids who used to tease me at recess in the nose when I was younger.  Would have likely gotten thrown out of school...but again, knowing what I know now, that actually might have been a good thing.  And, hey...maybe I wouldn't have spent so much time being a doormat or a pushover.  But, hey...some lessons take years to learn.  That was one of them.  Of course, I would only do the nose-bopping as a last resort.  And only if I were severely provoked.

Of course...that's not the only regret that I have when it comes to school.  Certainly I do wish I could have stood up to both classmates and teachers back in those days, but there was something else that I wished I had done.

I regret not taking part in more extracurricular activities.

And right off the bat, I feel like I've compromised my integrity here.  I hated school and I hated everyone in it, but yet I wished I could have taken part in more school activities?  Wouldn't I have felt the opposite?  SHOULDN'T I have felt the opposite?

Yes, I should have.  But I didn't.

Truth is, I wanted to take part in a lot more activities in school than I actually did.  Granted, I did a couple of things during my school career.  I played in the concert band, I entered the science fair a couple of times, I took part in the "Reading Buddies" program, and I took part in a couple of assemblies at school, but that was about it.

Looking back on it, it's a wonder I was even accepted to any colleges and universities at all.   Schools look at extracurricular activities more than they did when I graduated from high school fifteen years ago.  By the time I graduated high school, my extracurricular activities rounded a big fat zero.

So, here's the million dollar question.  Why didn't I just suck it up and join the school clubs?

Well, here's the million dollar answer.  I didn't fit in to any of the clubs.

I was already considered an outsider in school.  If I joined any clubs, I had the feeling that I would be completely ignored and judged, and in all likelihood, I would have dropped out after two weeks anyway.  It's so easy to look back on it now and think that I was being absolutely ridiculous and jumped to conclusions over it now.  But the teenage me was admittedly a lot more damaged than the now 33-year-old me.  I suppose only former school outcasts could really understand how I truly felt back then.

Still, I missed out on a lot of fun opportunities while I was in school by not taking part in clubs and activities, and I always regretted not doing at least one or two things for the school.  Who knows?  It may have completely changed my whole attitude towards the student body, and I very well could have enjoyed myself.  Perhaps I may have even made a couple of friends along the way.

Alas, I will never know.  But I suppose there's nothing wrong with doing a little bit of speculation over what school clubs I could have joined.

Now, right off the bat, I could eliminate any sort of activity involving any sort of athletics.  I can't dribble, shoot, kick a field goal, score a touchdown - heck, even remembering the school cheer was a challenge.  Then again, when our school had their pep rallies, I used the time to take a nap.

And, I would never join any club that involved singing.  We already established in several past posts that I can't carry a tune.

That said, here are some of the school clubs and activities that I wish I had taken part in.


Granted, the reason why I never actively took part in this club was simple.  I didn't have a camera when I was in school, and money was tight in my family, so there was really no way I could afford one.  But if I had my own camera back then, I think I would have found solace in this club.  I always was someone who liked to express themselves in a creative manner, and certainly photography would have been a great way to do exactly that.  Considering that my school never had a writer's club, photography was really the only way that I could have showed creativity.


I think that I regret not joining this club the most in school.  I always did well in desktop publishing, and really, how hard was it to assemble thousands of photos of the 800 or so students who attended high school into a convenient volume of 160 pages?  I think that it would have been a lot of work, but so rewarding in the end.  Again, I regret not joining the yearbook...but at the same time, I don't think it would have worked out.  You of the members of the yearbook staff was a person who I never could stand in school.  I could only have taken so much arrogance and snobbish behaviour before I crammed a camera down their throat.  But if I could do it over again, I would have joined the staff and made this person eat their words.

(Figuratively - not literally.)


Now, Key Club was an interesting club in school.  For those of you who may not know what it was, it was a club that allowed students to showcase leadership skills through performing community service both on and off campus.  This is another club that I absolutely regret not joining.  I knew a couple of people in the club who I probably could have gotten along with and the faculty advisor was one of my favourite high school teachers and she would have more than welcomed me into the group.  But for whatever reason, I never did take part in that club.  I suppose it was really my insecurities about myself that really wrecked it for me.  The teenage me thought that if I couldn't get along with the kids at school, how the heck could I get along with members of my own community.  The adult me wishes he could slap the teenage me in the face and dragged him to the meeting - especially since the adult me is more than making up for lost time.


Ah, yes...Reach For The Top.  The high school quiz game that tested high school students on a variety of subjects.  And in grade nine, I tried out for the team...only to realize that my trivia skills were severely lacking and I was embarrassed by all of the other eggheads in the room.  Still, I regret not going back in later years.  But hey, I suppose I could always try out for "Jeopardy!".  Being on a game show is on my bucket list!

Okay, I think I'll stop there.  I don't want to make it sound as if I wanted to join every single club that existed in my school.  But truth is, I cheated myself out of a lot of fun experiences at school.  And it's only now that I realize that the only person who can be blamed for it is the very person who just posted this blog post.

Sure, there were some other factors in play when it came to not joining clubs.  Some were not the right fit for me.  Some clubs had members whom I could not work with.  And some were completely way out of my league.  I'm looking at you Computer Programming Club.

Ultimately, the blame lies with me.  I couldn't get over my insecurities about myself to actually have fun with school clubs.  If I could have only not let people get to me, I could have had found a way to find some enjoyment in a place that only seemed to bring misery.  And that is my biggest regret.  Not being able to rise above the bad to find the good - especially when I was a teenager.

But times have changed, and I'm all grown up now.  And I suppose that with taking part in charity events through work, writing articles for a comic book publication, and even doing this blog for nearly four years straight...I suppose that could be considered making up for lost time.

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