My 1988

Pick a random coin, look at the date and write about what you were doing that year. That’s this week’s wanafriday blog theme.

Rather than dig through my wallet, I went for the $2 coin I knew was rattling around in the bottom of my handbag. I could have grabbed one of the coins in the car, but this one was closer.


As you can see, the year on the coin is 1988, and I know exactly what I was doing that year. These days we call it year 12. Back then it was Form 6. The final year of high school.

I recently came across the journal I kept that year, as it happens. It’s 100% unprintable, but it has served to remind me of what my life was like that year. And what I was like. My rambling scrawl is full of:

  • Homework . . . lots of homework. It seems I was always under this massive mountain of homework that just kept getting higher and higher.
  • Rage. I was very ranty about all sorts of stuff.
  • Friends. Seems I had a much more active social life than I recall. Also teen angst about whoever was/wasn’t/didn’t appear to be talking to me.

I shouldn’t be surprised, but in that 1988 journal I sound like such a teenager!

Looking back, the whole year was something of a blur, really. But I do recall that by the end of November I had finished all my year 12 exams and I was freeee.

One of my huge frustrations of that year was feeling obliged to read all the English novels — and there were a bunch of them — instead of what I wanted to read. The moment my English exam was over (it was the first one of six), I celebrated by grabbing one of my favourite novels and reading long into the night.

I don’t remember what the book was, but I remember it was good.

I was happy to see the end of 1988. It was a tough year and I was more than ready to leave school; not to mention excited by the prospect of going to university. The transition from 1988 to 1989 was a major turning point in my life.

If you were born in 1988, what were you doing? What was the most memorable thing about your final year of high school?

I’ll update with links to other posts on this theme as they come in.

9 thoughts on “My 1988

  1. I can so relate to your teenage angst because I, too, was in my last year of high school in 1988. I’m sure if I dug out my journals from that year I’d find similar things written in it.

    The big deal that year for me (as best as I can recall) was filling out all of the university and scholarship applications and stressing about getting into one of them. It was also the year my family moved into a bigger house and for the first time in my life, I had my own room. šŸ™‚


    1. How awesome that you finished school the same year as me.

      Our tertiary system operates quite differently from yours. We didn’t have to fill out individual applications; for the courses I wanted to do (engineering) it was 100% based on my grades. These were all converted into a single score, which determined whether you got in to your course of choice . . . or not. Also, because we tend to go to university as locally as possible over here, the choice is MUCH more limited. I only ever seriously considered two different universities, both in Melbourne. This made the emphasis all on achieving the grades I needed to get into my one course of choice. Which I did.


  2. I was in middle school in 1988.

    My senior year of high school was in 1994. I also have a journal (I had one every year from 6th grade on) and in that journal, I had some pretty dark stuff. I was coping with my first boyfriend, friend issues, working, homework…and the usual senior stuff. Didn’t go to Prom. Was super-relieved to have graduated. Ready for college, which I started that August.


    1. Sounds like our final years of high school were a bit similar, Erin. We don’t have the same Prom culture as you, though. We had a ‘formal’, which involved getting dressed up and taking dates if you wanted, but there wasn’t quite the same pressure.

      I was really excited to leave school and make a whole bunch of new friends at university.


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