CCHS: The Life

Countless movies of all genres and stories have been made about High School.  There’s even a reality TV show about what happens when you reunite all the labels of “Prom Queen,” “The Geek,” “The Jock” etc. and put them together in a house and see who hooks up with who.  All this randomness notwithstanding, how often do you hear people talking about their High School years before their 10-year reunion?  How often do you hear people say that their four years of High School was better, (A LOT BETTER) than their four years of college?  (Or five years for me.)  Well I’m one of those people.  To this day, I consider my time at Christopher Columbus High School the best combination of academic and social years of my life.

Christopher Columbus High School is a Catholic High School for boys that has been around since 1958.  Many of the students now who attend there had fathers, uncles, cousins, and brothers that graduated from there and are proud to help keep a tradition of being a CCHS alumni alive.

There are lots of “rules and regulations” over how to survive High School wherever you are.  To be honest, no one masters them all before graduating.  (I don’t care how “cool” you think you are.)  But for CCHS, the school resonates a very specific sub-culture and lifestyle that is unlike any place else.

It’s essentially a Frat House.

Like all the incoming Freshman, I was obviously new to the school.  Coming from a very small Middle School and the fact that there were nearly 2000 students and it wasn’t co-ed was obviously a big change.  Within the first few days, all Freshman attend the Freshman assembly where you are basically on display to a handful of Seniors.  I assume it’s the same as a pig being judged in a pig beauty contest.  You line up where you face a small panel of Seniors, they look you up and down, and assign you a nickname.  They usually try to make it as embarrassing as possible.  If you’re the younger brother or relative of an upperclassman or students already know who you are prior to your initiation, it can be either a lot better or a lot worse for you.

When you attend CCHS, you will have endless opportunities to go to dances, parties, trips, and clubs that are always paired with several schools (co-ed and all-female) practically everyday if you know where to look.  I was in the Drama Club, the school mascot, and a member of the Jazz band.  I also wrote for the school paper and played Chess… I didn’t like to be bored.  Which brings me to my next point: if you just go to class and then go home, you’ll likely not have the best time at CCHS.  But if you keep yourself busy and average an 11:00 PM return home time nearly every day for two of the four years, you’ll have lots of wonderful memories.

Then there’s Walk-A-Thon.  The yearly fundraiser the school holds as every homeroom battles for bragging rights over which class can raise the most money for the school.  Meeting the school’s yearly requirements meant random “school holidays,” half-days, and other perks.

Prom is always considered by nearly every High School student as a certain right of passage and a celebration of the upcoming end to a very big chapter of a young person’s life and the start of another one. Rest assured, I had a hot date. 😉

My time at CCHS kick-started my life.  I’m certainly not the same person because of my time there, the experiences are priceless and irreplaceable, and if given the opportunity, I would so do it all over again.


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