No one is a REALLY cool freshman. People may tolerate you because you are either really good-looking, rich or an amazing athlete but for the most part? LOSER. I have been known to act impulsively from time to time, then of course regret my quick decision-making almost before it is too late to make a change BUT, I deal with it because I am a lemonade person.
There were the times that when propositioned to stand in the center circle and speak to over 100 of my peers I of course was eager to please and responded with an enthusiastic “yeah, that’s awesome”, but at that moment with hundreds of faces staring at me, my inner voice was screaming, YOU ARE THE BIGGEST IDIOT ON THE PLANET! My face would be pasty white, dry mouth/fuzzy tongue appeared and my heart would race a mile a minute. I was a shy, well liked child. I was not made for public speaking. So people were patient and I usually stood there for a few seconds turning, getting my bearing, psyching myself up. As soon as I started talking though I found my groove and got smiles and cheers afterward. I am fairly certain it is because of this that I was encouraged time and again to agree. It made me bold.
So summer of ’86 I was happy to have been hosting my super cool first cousin from Florida. She was going to be a counselor with me at summer camp and I was so excited. She showed up with a hairdo that I thought looked wicked cool on her and so I decided to mimick the look. While it was certainly unique and style appropriate for the ’80’s, and was super fun to play with I pretty much looked like a fool. While she was tan being from Florida with naturally stick straight hair, I was snow-white, with wavy hair, or what was left of it. I thought I looked cool that whole summer, until I got the bunk photo back. I am seriously surprised that people even talked to me. I made some really close friends that summer too, looking back at the photos, the other kids looked NORMAL. Not me though.
Summer flew by and high school was about to begin. It was then that I realized what an idiot I was. Where was my sense of individuality? Maybe with my cousin next to me we looked okay, but as a freshman, standing there meeting all these new people for the first time with spiked hair like a porcupine?
Freshman Orientation, Dr. Krug played Simon and Garfunkel to teach us some sort of lesson totally lost on me because I was so embarrassed and just wanted to hide at home for about 6 months to see some normal growth. Oh I was a rock, I was an island. I was an IDIOT! We were brought into a large room where we played human bingo (good try but pretty lame – I didn’t learn anything about anyone I had not already known) and then the lights dimmed, thanks were praised to the man upstairs. “Hello Darkness My Old Friend”, the song began…and I connected. For a few minutes no one was looking at me, darkness was my friend. (Being completely honest, no one was probably looking at me before either). I relaxed and thought about ways to cover up my mistake until it would grow out a bit. I thought about the bandanna look, wondered if hats were allowed to be worn at school, and even if maybe Miracle Grow was only for plants. I did love the look while I had it though, thought it was “choice” and used my fair share of gel working those spikes, baby.
No one is a cool freshman, especially with spiked hair. I had my friends, even though we were in different classes, I survived. My brother was a senior and I was pretty much ridiculed. I was the meat in a Freshman Sandwich (bread being 2 seniors, who’d come from behind and squish me). There was a game called Walling Down The Freshman (where the seniors would rush in a straight line and then accordion you to the nearest wall – SQUISH). I was even once thrown in a locker until a friend heard me calling for help. I know what you’re thinking. Cheri is so sweet, why would anyone do that? – Um because I was a freshman with a hairdo meant for dummies.
Why would I cut my hair that way?
I looked so cute in 8th grade, very preppy. I could have entered a really awkward stage not bringing attention to myself, which I was great at. I was the quiet one. My girl friends would sit on my lap, I never ran to the back of the bus, I just wanted to pass through mostly unnoticed. IdiotSpikeDo was not my coolest move by far, in fact it was hellacious, lame and I looked like a total dipstick, but thankfully there are very few pictures, that I know about anyway.
We want to look cool in the eyes of our peers and sometimes act impulsively and foolishly. Being true to yourself will give you all the confidence you’ll ever need. It wasn’t long before my hair started to grow out. It’s not like I was one of the few of my friends who thought having one side shaved and the other side a bob giving this weird lopsided look, and I wasn’t trying to rock a mullet. I wasn’t wearing a pocket protector or braces. I was a freshman. If I could have 1 year to truly be a blundering idiot so this was it and I was going in full force. Most know about the bathroom story and the principal so I’ll probably leave that one in the vault, but of course it happened that year. My hair eventually grew to a somewhat normal style and my freshman year finally passed. I was tired of being a poser, after that year I was back to my regular self. Sweet, quiet, shy Cheri. I mean, hey, I was still totally boss and kept my collar up you know, after all I had a reputation to preserve, being a preppy at heart. It was time to match my hairdo to my plaid skirts and penny loafers!