Ah, high school; either it was the best time of your life or similar to a few scenes from Mean Girls. The good news is that you are no longer that 16-year-old praying for those braces to come off or wishing that a certain someone — who you honestly can't remember the name of anymore — would notice you. Gone are the days of relegating yourself to small boxes created by people who think that the outside of you can compensate for all of the layers of your identity. And good riddance!
Reflecting on those days, hopefully, you can laugh at all of those things. Adulting has its challenges, but would you honestly trade your newfound independence for a curfew and sub-par make out sessions? I didn't think so. But the funniest part of remembering your high school days is looking back on all the things you wanted to be. Some of them you're still working to make come true, and the others were drive-by dreams that were fun to think about.
Back to a simpler time when all you wanted was the discount and maybe enough cash so that you wouldn't have to ask your parents, you probably thought of the following as the ultimate dream job:
1. Working at a candy store or movie theater.
We've all been there. It seemed like the coolest job in the world, because who doesn't like discounted tickets and free candy?
Admit it! When you were a teen, you wanted that discount and the cool job at the mall. It's OK, we've all been there.
3. Café barista.
Am I the only one who thought that being an aspiring writer and working in a café was straight out of a movie? If you still have this dream, it's perfectly OK, in my opinion.
Nothing says smart and sexy like working at a bookstore, right? Even if you never run into your soulmate in between the stacks re reading a book of poetry, a girl can dream. *sigh*.
5. Your favorite restaurant.
There's nothing quite like the idea of free food and a little cash when you're 16 to make you want to send in that application and some form of a resume (because we weren't quite sure what adulting meant yet). When you think about it, it's actually the dream at that age: you save money on your favorite place to eat and get paid to share your favorite dishes with other people who don't quite know what to order.
6. Babysitting (for someone famous).
If you didn't grow up reading the Babysitter's Club series, this sounds a lot less cool. But nonetheless, if you've ever thought about what it would be like to babysit for your favorite celeb, this is for you! As a teenager, simply being in their presence would be the ultimate high (that, and wondering what they keep in the fridge).
7. CD/record store.
Ah, the good ole days when we bought those thin pieces of plastic and replayed them for hours on our Walkmans. In order to stay up on the latest girl group music and impress all of your friends with that sweet discount, this was the perfect gig after school. Now that we've traded brick and mortar stores like Sam Goodies for streaming services, there is still a little magic left at that cool, weird local record store. Never be afraid to live out your inner teen, even if it's just for a summer.
Now that you're all grown up and trying to adult without completely losing your cool, these past jobs are either dreams on hold or a funny thing to think about. Either way, it's completely OK to revisit your teenage years — even if it's only in memory — to think about how proud you're making that girl in this moment. Go, girl!