The Good Old High School Days
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11/23/2018

The Good Old High School Days.

In just a few days the class of 2018 will complete their KCSE exam, and bid farewell to the high school period that lasted four years. A period of our lives that seems more meaningful and memorable than any other. It’s quite funny, isn’t it? The years pass by, but our memories remain intact.

High school was a unique experience for everyone, each and everyone has different stories, events and triumphs that they recall. Nevertheless, they are simple but meaningful moments of joy and laughter the good old days indeed that we can all relate to when thinking back on our transformation years from teen to young adult.

What is it about this period that makes it more meaningful and memorable than any other? 

We were all novices who knew so little about the world, but it was fun. We jumped for joy occasionally at the slightest of achievements. In bliss whenever we interacted with a member of the opposite sex and laughed at almost everything including our own mistakes and stupidity.

Here are some of the notable experiences;

• The First Day

The first day of high school was undeniably a big deal. At the time it seemed like an essential step of your life. Walking in through the school's gate with all the weird and scary high school stories that had earlier been shared to you took a lot of guts. The goal was simple. As long as you made it through the day without being bullied commonly referred to as ‘monolization’ at the time by senior students, you could then consider day one as a high ‘schooler’ a success.

Monolization was bad or fun depending on which school you attended. 

•    Outings/ funkys

An opportunity to step out of school just for a day was one to die for everyone wanted to join clubs that got the most trips invites all year round. The most popular clubs for outings were Scouts, drama, debate, wildlife, science and mathematics.

The real test came when the club officials who were mostly senior students compiled a list of the students who were to represent the school in particular outings and activities. Here you either had to be so instrumental, popular and if not had to have some cash or other means to convince the club officials to enlist you failure to which the nearest you could get to the school gate was on closing days and midterm breaks. 

This was perhaps the most coveted of opportunities with students coming back with all manner of stories most of them exaggerated but those of us who were not so lucky to make the list listened keenly and relished the stories as the gospel truth and could only imagine.

• The cheering squad

First term and the second term of high school consisted of different sporting activities be it football, basketball, volleyball, hockey name them. A few students were always handpicked and their sole duty was to cheer on the school team while intimidating the opponents.

The cheering squads chanted slogans that would boost the school's team morale. Slogans like “steam panda…” “Na keeper wao ni kichungi”, “si uchawi ni mazoea.” Chants and songs we remember with nostalgia.

• High school crushes and love letters

Let’s face it we all passed through this fleeting phase. We can all think about this particular guy or girl that we couldn’t help but think about after the first encounter during inter-school games, club activities, or from your brother or sister school where you interacted from time to time.

For most of us our creativity came in handy, and the grammar we tirelessly learnt in the classroom was finally put to test and was of importance when crafting letters to our high school crushes. 

This was more than writing it was an art that involved more than one process; we had the crafting where you would finally put the dictionary to use in a bid to find bombastic words to express your affection, second of, we had the entrepreneurs who made a pretty penny selling of unique and well-decorated sheets of paper where the message was to be penned down by the best student with the best handwriting on your behalf and of course for a fee or your piece of loaf for breakfast.

Lastly, we had the artist whose skills were unmatched theirs was the envelope, here they designed all types of calligraphy in writing the names and address this too, of course, was at a fee (the onset of entrepreneurship) Students who got replies were the epitome of envy and gained fellow students respect.

•    The music festivals (FESTI)

This was the crowning moment for all school activities. It usually took place in the second term. Most students would try and find a fit for their different characters and talents be it the school choir, percussion, traditional songs category etc.

The festivals brought a different kind of ambience in the school with different groups rehearsing their presentation in a bid to qualify for the next stage all the way to the national level. Preparation did not stop at the rehearsals but also included the dressing; one would pick out the best of his uniform or borrow from the form ones as theirs was newly issued and mostly have it tucked in between mattresses as a way to iron them. Perfection was no compromise.

These and many more experiences that included; the mayhem that came with prep time, nicknaming teachers depending on their characters and physical appearances, the entertainment day that would see blaring music from the dining halls and students breaking into all manners of dancing styles, the punishments and mischievously mixing and drinking chemicals in the lab made high school memorable!

Whenever we reminisce of our high school days, it’s never about the studies or concepts that we learned in the classroom, but it’s always about these special memories that are burned into our brains.
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