In 1000% Duh news, new research tells us that high school is both completely traumatizing and utterly memorable. Thanks, science!
This phenomenon, dubbed a "reminiscence bump" has been found over various populations, and suggests that the years from 15 to 25 are "most vividly retained." This might explain why your mom still listens to (1) CDs, (2) from her high school years. And why there are so many TV shows that chronicle the high school experience—from Freaks and Geeks to Dawson's Creek (on Netflix!) to The O.C. to Gossip Girl to The Carrie Diaries... just to name a few.
These years being memorable is great for those of us that have 100% carefree, fun, anxiety-less high school years. Which is no one, not even the people you think are having a great time or have no problems. The study found that caring about popularity makes teens more prone to aggression—and having aggression directed towards them. Thus, popular kids face tons of aggression. Think: Regina George in Mean Girls, hopefully without the pushing-in-front-of-the-bus thing.
The fact is, even people with seemingly "easy" lives in high school experience tons of rejection, self-doubt, fear, and other drama throughout those teenage years. It's just part of being an adolescent—it is natural to have anxiety and be awkward and do stupid things.
One reason high school is so memorable is because....uh... we make a lot of memories in high school. High school is the time we often experience a lot of "firsts"—not unlike that baby book your parents kept of your various accomplishments from age 0 to 2. Throughout high school, you struggle to find your identity... which is further thwarted by the fact that you do not have much to identify yourself with. Sure, you know what bands and TV shows you like, but you're still figuring out what you're like.
And there are simply way too many opportunities to do embarrassing things. Like forgetting to wear deodorant. Which isn't that embarrassing. But might as well be the end of the world if anyone notices. (Having sweaty gym class anxiety flashbacks, brb.)
In conclusion, thanks a lot, brain, or whatever, for making those years the most memorable. Fortunately, those years also include college and young adulthood, which is about 3 zillion percent better than high school.
What do you think? Is it great or totally terrible that these are the "most memorable", but definitely not "best" years of your life?