The Deception surrounding being a school cheerleader

How life takes unexpected turns.

The Deception surrounding being a school cheerleader

When I began junior or high school in seventh grade, Carol was in the eight grade. She was a pretty girl, about 5”7 inches tall slender and popular. She had shoulder length blonde hair and hazel eyes and was a cheerleader. She was actually the captain of the group. Looking back I would say she resembled Marcia Brady from the television show The Brady Bunch, only a few inches taller. I would see her walking through the halls of school with her hair bouncing on her shoulders, often with an enterauge of other cheerleaders with her. I was a shy teen and would imagine what it must be like to be so pretty and popular.

I admired Carol from afar and never had a conversation with her. She was on the honor roll and the homecoming queen and it seemed she was living the dream life. I was told her family was prominent in the community and one of her uncles was a high school guidance counselor. Carol was in multiple photo’s in the yearbook, in several clubs and I believe in the volleyball team. It’s amazing how these details come back after 47 years. This young lady seemed confident and self assured and poised to take on the world. She had a sweet personality and was not stuck up. I’m certain that was part of her charm and why many considered her a role model.

The year I went to eight grade, Carol went to high school. There were two in the county where we lived and when I graduated from 8th grade I went to the other school and did not see Carol again. I gave her little thought during my time in high school except once or twice when I saw her uncle working as a guidance counselor. This past summer, however the girl I admired in junior high cane back to mind. I was reading the obituaries in the local paper and saw that a woman named Carol had died and the face looked vaguely familiar. This woman had five last names and I was thrown off because her second one was the same as what should have been the maiden name of the Carol I knew. Usually the maiden name comes right after the first name in obituaries so I was not sure if this was the same person.

I did some checking on Facebook and found out that the deceased woman was indeed the young lady I had gone to school with. I was stunned, and not to speak ill of the dead, but this death spoke volumes. Carol had seemed the type of girl who would go on to college, marry her high school sweetheart, raise theee or four children, and live to he 90. Life happens but I would never have even considered her as a divorcee, or married four times. I’m sorry she died at age 62 from cancer and that her life took so many turns. I was stunned for quite some time, because this is not what I expected.

I thought back on all the girls who admired the cheerleaders and those who cried when they did not make the team. I pondered how we all make certain day motions about life that don’t always pan out. I’ve watched television programs where the cure cheerleader ended up myrdering her spouse or becoming an adulterer. I’m certain somewhere out there is a woman who was popular, the captain of her cheerleading squad who did marry her high school sweetheart and live happily ever after, but there are probably a lot of Carol’s out there.

I began to process why the teachers and other staff emphasized students like Carol and encouraged other students to he like them. I remember in 8th grade the football coach came to our Home Economics class and talked to us. He pointed out a cute girl named Cindy and said that boys really liked girls who dressed as she did. Cindy’s clothing always matched and she wore a ribbon in her hair that was the color of her outfit. Cindy became my Facebook friend not long ago and she is using her maiden name. I don’t know if she has ever been married, is separated or divorced but she does not mention a significant other.

Another girl who was in our Home aEc. class who had unruly hair and was not so popular got married in ninth grade and is still married today, 47 years later. I know two couples who were married in high school and are still with each other today. Life is strange like that. I’m sure someone expected those young couples to not be able to make it and they were wrong. The bottom line is people are individuals and being popular in junior high which is now called middle school has no hearing on the rest of your life. Being a cheerleader is just that, leading cheers. It really does not have anything to do with the road you take and the choices you make in later life.

fact or fiction
Cheryl E Preston
Cheryl E Preston
Read next: The State
Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former newspaper columnist. She is currently pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Tips are greatly appreciated.

See all posts by Cheryl E Preston