People Explain Which Things Scream 'I Peaked In High School'
Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay

Those who peaked in high school are former students who've had the time of their lives while there – whether as the star of an athletic team, head of the cheerleading squad, or class valedictorian.

While those accomplishments are nothing to scoff at, many of these former students have not had a comparable sense of achievement after they've graduated.

Some of them haven't even left their hometown in pursuit of their dreams and there's nothing wrong with that.

But friends and family members might say those who never lived up to, or even beyond, their fullest potential are non-starters.

Curious to hear of more identifiers about the experience, Redditor Grogenhymer asked:

"What screams 'Peaked in High School?'"

Sadly for these students, the thought of life goals and achievements were never realized.

Gone Way Too Soon

"This is a sad twist to this topic. A few months ago I saw an obituary for a guy we all knew from a nearby town. We all played sports against him and we knew of him because he was a good athlete in high school. The sad part was his obituary mentioned his high school achievements as his best accomplishments in life. He wasn't a bully and a decent guy but it made me genuinely sad that the highlight of his life was high school."


Unknown Futures

"Highschool is probably going to be my peak, which sucks because I am hating it. I believe high school is the only place where I am able to somewhat stand out due to my academic accomplishments, otherwise, in the future I will probably be working a dead-end job alone."


Jealous Much?

"I have an older cousin that gets immediately defensive and talks negative whenever she hears about anyone who is doing well for themselves. Her mom always talked her up in high school about how much of a good student she was. Whenever anyone else is successful, she gets jealous instead of being happy for them. Example: When I got into nursing school, she talked down on the school I got into. Note, she didn’t make it into nursing school and went on a different career path. But damn, grow up and get over it. The world doesn’t center around you other people can be successful too."


Letterman Jackets are a high school rite of passage. Wearing your lettered jacket is a symbol of pride indicating a student has made it, or that they are born of wealthy parents.

For The Uninitiated

"Letterman jackets on college campuses."


"They are a particular style of jacket, usually with faux leather sleeves and a fabric body, typically bi-color using the school's colors. If a student completes certain achievements (for my school it was two years completed in the sport or vocation), they are able to purchase an appliqué letter - usually whatever letter the name of the school starts with - and sew it onto the breast of the jacket."

"If you want to see what it looks like, any movie depicting college kids in the 1950's will usually show them wearing something similar. That's where the tradition comes from, I think."


Worn Out Welcome

"40+ year old guys showing up to a high school homecoming football game in their letterman jackets that no longer fit. A number of them did not have kids at the school. It was also 90+ degrees out at night."


A Jacket's Second Life

"I had no idea what to do with my jacket after high school. On one hand, it was a really nice jacket. On the other, why would I want everyone to know I lettered in band in high school?"

"Mine lived in a closet for more than a decade before one of my younger cousins was at my high school. She lettered, but her parents couldn't afford to buy her one - they are outrageously expensive."

"So I gave her mine, they switched the letter (she lettered in a sport cause she's cooler than me) and it got worn for a few more years, which is cool."


meh chord overstreet GIFGiphy

Students look to the future after receiving that diploma and flip the tassel on their cap to the other side.

But some can't seem to move beyond their high school glories.

Reliving The Past

"People trying to relive their life experiences through their children. Like forcing a daughter to do pageants, or a son to play on the football team."

"My dad likes to tell the same high school stories non-stop, but never has anything to say about life after he graduated. He even has a wooden trunk full of high school relics that I'm not allowed to even look at, because he's afraid I'll destroy something."


Post-Graduate Visits

"Literally just going back to their high school on a regular basis."


The Drama

"Grown people who still try to create teen drama. Making an issue out of every non-issue that other people just ignore, because they've grown up and they know the world doesn't revolve around them. Especially if it happens at their place of work where they should remain professional, but they feel the need to be the 'diva' and / or the 'mean girl', or they're always the victim, refusing to take any accountability and relying on gossip and baseless rumors as 'evidence.'"

"Well, at least that's the kind of people I experienced in high school, and when I see people who still behave like that I think that they peaked when they were 16, and then got stuck there. I unfortunately have met some when I worked in retail."


Hard Pass

"Attending high school football games 10 years later and expecting the coach to invite you to the sidelines."


Holding On To Glory Days

"Or showing up to practices and telling a bunch of random kids about catching the game winning touchdown in a random game."


Still Spreading Gossip

"Grown women gossiping about minors. It’s pretty common in small towns, they want to know who’s sleeping with who, who does drugs, who drinks and parties. Constantly talking about teenagers and knowing all about High School drama screams 'peaked in High School.' It’s honestly kinda sad because they’re so miserable with themselves and life."


Stuck In The Past

"Being 40 and constantly posting high school football pictures and tagging people in them with overly enthusiastic commentary on how everyone should come home and have a beer."


Past Conquests

"Bragging about your hookups in HS when you're 37."


Unfamiliar Face

"Getting annoyed when you run into people who don't know who the hell you are when you introduce yourself as 'Sarah who sat behind you in English.'"


I was miserable in high school. The bullying, the acne, confusion about my sexuality, girls, boys, my ethnicity and where I fit in – it's all a dizzying kaleidoscopic drama.

I knew then I would never look back once I got that diploma – which is why I never bothered getting a letterman jacket. My parents couldn't afford one anyway.

But I have nothing against those who peaked in high school and are content in their adult lives relishing in the memories of their alma mater.

I wonder if they have any regrets, though.

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