Today on my lunch break I spotted some teenagers sitting in one of the city malls, skateboards in tow, each tucking into their plastic bottled energy drink of choice. I updated my Facebook status saying “oh to be a teenager on school holidays”. A friend replied saying “So you can complain how bored you are? 😛 Much better to be a Uni student (with a car and disposable income) on a break”.
I just realised how very different we are.
I may have had my share of the usual teenage problems, but I was never bored. I had a bike, which took me everywhere I wanted to go. It was what I would now call a BSO or Bicycle Shaped Object, but it did fine and it was never stolen. Maybe something to do with the colour?
I would go and shoot hoops with my mates for days on end. We went to State Basketball League games and collected vouchers for $2 burgers, then bought them all at once and pigged out on the couch watching TV (more basketball I think). I walked the family dog with another friend who was also walking his family dog, and we were usually gone for hours. I sat in my room and listed to music, and drew cartoons, and read and wrote.
In contrast, my Uni breaks often involved working as many hours as possible in order to finance my life. I did get to explore some more far-flung places, with the biggest Uni break trip being a short bike tour in Europe. I only sporadically owned cars and very rarely had spare money. One of the cars was a clapped out Holden Gemini wagon, in the background of the photo below. Yes, I had whacky hair. I was enjoying not having to be responsible-looking, as I was only doing night-fill work at the time.
The Malvern Star was about 20kg unloaded. I rode it to Uni about 3 times a week. I still have the bike frame in the shed.
Anyway, high school and uni days certainly had their charms – and they almost always involved a bicycle. A car and disposable income certainly weren’t required to have fun.