I should’ve been held back in the second grade and been made to repeat that year. Always playing social catch-up. This became painfully obvious once I reached high school because my lack of curiosity and social interaction was a very costly shortcoming by then.
I witnessed behavior changes in all the students, except myself and there were all these newfound interests and curiosities that I never heard of and didn’t know existed. I had lost any academic ambition I might’ve had to that point, which wasn’t a lot, but I had managed to get mostly B’s through the 8th grade without any particular passion for schoolwork.
As a result, my other fatal flaw was taking less ambitious classes with less ambitious students, many of whom were older and more rowdier. I was in very few classes with my own grade level. My lack of curiosity meant I was not part of any clique or peer group, and I was too passive. I was pushed around daily by older students, and I took it all, foolish as that was. I was scrawny beyond belief, and I thought turning the other cheek would do it – yet another bad decision.
I was not a jock, a nerd, or a metal head – metal was big in the 80s, but I was scared to death of it. I graduated in 1985 and literally ran home with my diploma following the graduation ceremony as fellow students were crying and hugging and shaking hands.