My high school class was a bunch of bastards. Our class spirit consisted in hating each other. It was with great relief that we burst out of the Liceo Scientifico di Orzinuovi and went our separate way.
Ah, but you, happy usonians maybe don't know the Italian high school system. I will not go into detail. You just need two facts
- Our classes stick together for 5 years. You never leave the classroom. People progress together at the same speed. And there are no optional subjects. This means that you see the same faces (the same pimples) for five years, day after day. And we go to school on Saturday, don't forget that.
- The Liceo Scientifico is designed to prepare you for University, not for life. Its diploma is completely worthless, by itself; when you come out you know Latin and some Calculus and other wonderful things, but you can't fill in a check.
So, you are stuck with the same people. Imagine the social pressure, the infighting, the pervading acidity of the environment.
To make things worse, in my particular case, this was in the countryside; in an area where conformism is a basic survival technique, there is a lot of fog and people from twenty kilometers away are considered strange.
People were openly commenting on how great it was going to be to get rid of the class, around February of the last year. After the final exam (amusingly called Esame di Maturitá, capital letters and all) we never met. Prom ? Ha. Graduation party ? Never. Class reunion ? ROTFL.
Each one went his own way. I kept exactly one friend from high school.
Which was a good thing, because the boys in the class were largely louts (fitting perfectly in with local culture, that values 1-money 2-your car 3-money again 4-football 5-pussy 6-money again), and the girls were ... actually some of the girls were pretty decent. I could communicate with them with books. I already was an avid reader, and we would discuss books, and that was the extent of our relationships.
Of course, with the airheads there could be no communication at all.
In the middle of this fine collection of unpleasant people, I fit in perfectly well. At that time I had just spent 8 years in an all-male school (with the Salesians). I was absolutely fucked up, and I fell in love (or so I thought) with every single girl in the class. And since -remember- classes stay together, my mistakes were common knowledge and I would face them every day.
All in all, leaving high school was great.