“Which High School Friend Took A Path You Didn’t Expect?” (97 Answers)

Graduating from high school is no easy feat. After all, it’s tough spending day after day in the same building, going from one class to another, handing in tasks and assignments on time, all while trying to navigate your path in life. For four years straight, your hormone-overruled brains try to figure out dreams and make detailed plans for the future. However, it doesn’t take long to realize one universal truth — life is completely unpredictable.

Just because your classmate got straight A’s, doesn’t mean they’ll strive for a Ph.D. Or if your buddy moved through school with no academic success, that’s not to say they won’t do a complete 180 in the real world. To prove that you never know where people will end up, Redditor VirusMaster3073 asked: "Which high school friend took a path you didn't expect?"

The question resonated with many people as thousands immediately jumped to the comment section to share the surprising journeys their friends ventured on after graduation. Below, we have gathered some of the most interesting responses from the thread to share with you, so enjoy scrolling, everyone! Be sure to upvote your favorite replies and let us know about your own stories in the comments.

Psst! If you’re interested in even more high school memorabilia, check out Bored Panda's earlier pieces about the best and worst transformations seen during school reunions right here and here.


Girl in my high school was a terrible human being, selfish and totally self absorbed. I couldn’t stand her. One of the shallowest, nastiest people I knew.

20 years later she sacrifices her life trying to help save three children, unknown to her, from drowning in a rip current at a local beach.

Image credits: StandUpForYourWights


Low achiever, used to goof off in class all the time. Bit of a class clown. Used to tell everyone that her goal was to be a trophy wife so she could watch TV all day.

Has shown her designs at Paris fashion week and has dressed several celebrities.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I was flicking through a copy of Vogue Australia on my lunch break and there was a 4-page article on her in there.

I was so happy, she always had a heart of gold and I feel like her teen self was a reflection of what her family thought for her, she deserved to be much more than someone's wife.

Image credits: 848Des14


Very plain looking nice but quite girl I went to high school with, NEVER would had thought she would go on to become one the the top 20 supermodels of all time. Married a very famous rock star.
She’s a sweetheart. One of my dearest friends and checked in on me almost daily for close to a year, when I lost my daughter.

Image credits: Puppyismycat


Probably the smartest guy in class but never actually paid attention or did his homework. Was always sleeping in class or doing his own thing or goofing off

Recently sold his startup for 8 figures and is now back to goofing off.

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A guy I was friends with in drama club became a professional drag queen. No one knew he was gay. I almost dated the guy. We made out once on a school trip.

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Went to high school with Post Malone. He and I had a mutual friend in middle school so inevitably in high school we became close. I remember listening to him play guitar in his garage and telling him "you're gonna be big one day." But I didnt expect him to reach the fame level he did.

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The quiet, kinda nerdy guy in the back of my AP Calculus class is now the CEO of Playboy Thailand.

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A friend of mine was a decorated student in high school. Top cadet in JROTC, top 25 out of 500 students, got a scholarship geared toward any STEM major, gifted chemist, and on top of that he joined Army ROTC in college to get in track to become a U.S citizen (he is undocumented).

So what happened?

He gave up everything to sell Herbalife and Amway thinking he will be a millionaire in 5 years.

So much f*****g potential... gone.

Image credits: SgtBigPigeon


20 years later our class valedictorian was working at a Chick-fil-A

Image credits: TheBimpo


One super shy quiet dude is now doing time for blackmailing girls and posting their nudes.

Image credits: anon


high school meth dealer and local lunchroom pot/cigarette vendor ended up being roomates senior year. two months after graduation they both joined the las vegas PD.

Image credits: pythonic_nonsense


The son of my teacher was a football player, had a beautiful gf (they broke up before he graduated though), and was a procrastinator. Once he graduated, he went to work at a restaurant for a year and as far as I knew, he was going to attend college the next year but he had no idea of what his major was gonna be. I just found out two weeks ago he got accepted to a local seminary and is going to become a priest! I was shocked to say the least

Image credits: anon


I knew a girl in high school who was very sweet but very shy. She had very poor eyesight, had some tough dental issues, was overweight, and lived with a foster family in a trailer park. She wasn’t particularly close with anyone in school; I got the sense that she was just trying to make it through —- head down, get it done. But she was always kind and I would talk with her a bit here and there. Mostly she kept to herself and seemed to want to just not be noticed at all.

After high school, we lost touch.

Twenty years later, I get a Facebook request from someone with her name but the picture looks nothing like her. Not even a vague resemblance.

I accept because I’m curious.

Well, it was indeed her!

It turns out that she worked her way through/paid for community college, ended up getting a good job with a family company and worked her way up the ranks there. She saved all of her money. By her late 20s, she saved enough money and had good insurance for eye surgery and dental surgery. She also started really focusing on getting healthy. She said it all boosted her confidence so much that she started traveling around the country. During those travels, she ended up meeting a great guy. She and her husband have a nice family, good jobs, and live in an affluent community.

She acknowledged that her early years were tough and she had such low self esteem that she had a tough time making friends. She thanked me for always being kind to her.

She ended with “I may have blossomed late, but it was worth the wait”

I’m so happy for her. We keep in touch.

Image credits: Krissyeeen


Me. I had a 4.357 GPA. Was always in gifted classes, AP classes, nerdy and quiet on the track to get into any university of my choice to become a doctor.

I got pregnant right before my senior year by someone terrible and even though I graduated, I ended up working at McDonalds for 5 years and married to a drug dealer.

Luckily I’ve turned my life back around and am doing ok now.

Image credits: crasslardass


Guy who sat behind me in hometown. Was a good student, but not an intellectual superstar by any means.

After I relocated to Eastern PA, turns out he was in Western NJ. Multi-millionaire, former CEO of a pharmaceutical company.

Great guy, super happy for him, but truly unexpected.

Image credits: Lightning_lad64


Myself actually. 10 years ago I was racist, misogynistic, and homophobic. Now I march in the pride parade, Iv been openly dating a trans person, and have found a new understanding and way of life.

In high school I thought I wanted to stay in the Midwest and become a mechanic. Now I’m a wildland firefighter. I never wanted to travel in high school, now Iv hitch hiked the US and been all over. I’m even planing a motorcycle trip to Panama.

I’m happy I was able to leave my small town, and grow as a person. Change is a good thing.

Image credits: Tired_Thumb


Dude was the typical c*cky douche to most people but we got along well enough. We're 25 now, and he moved to Vegas went bald, put on about a hundred pounds and is dating a sixty year old stripper.

Image credits: anon


A girl I knew was a strict Christian and floated between groups of friends. Her judgmental side came out from time to time. Once I remember her telling a girl she was going to “burn in the depths of hell” for having sex. I only know this because I was the lucky girl sitting between them when the other girl jumped over me to punch her...

Anyway, after high school, I heard she met a guy, stopped being a Christian and wrote all sorts of over sharing sexual statuses on Facebook. They got engaged and were hooked on drugs. She pawned her engagement ring for drugs and lived above a smoke shop out east.

Good news! She’s now off drugs, married and has a daughter. Still posts over-sexualized photos and statuses on Facebook. We’re good on seeing you in lingerie suggestively laying on your husband...

Image credits: anon


On of my best friends was Arab but didn't give into her parents traditional ways. She would tell her mom that she was going to backpack through Europe when she turned 18, that she wanted to be a police officer, refused to wear a hijab although her parents kept on telling her to. Of course her parents disapproved of all this and told her "hell no" to traveling or becoming a police officer. Two years after high school she became very religious and married some guy in his late 30s and already has two kids and only hangs out and talks to people in her Muslim community circle.

I don't really talk to her anymore because I'm a guy (although I'm gay) because her husband disapproves of it. She also told me she doesn't support me being gay "because it's wrong" although throughout high school she was very supportive and was there for me when I came out to my parents and they didn't take it well.

I don't know what caused her to 180 and fall in line with her parents wishes, but I do miss who she use to be.

Image credits: AdrienD11


When I was 10 I sat next to the sweetest boy in our class. (All the other boys I had sat next to in junior school were mild a*s-hats). I remember I lent him my W***y Wonka and the Chocolate Factory vhs and he lent me The Muppets Take Manhattan.

We went to different high schools when we were 12. I heard that at 16 he had been arrested for armed robbery. I still can’t believe it. What the hell happened to that kind and gentle boy between 12 and 16?

Image credits: FloppyEaredDog


The happy surprise?

One of the girls I went to school with kind of came from the wrong side of the tracks. Nice kid, but her family was known to be pretty trashy, and she dropped out of community college to be a stripper. A few years later, she got her s**t together, and now she's a corporate lawyer.

The not-so-happy surprise?

Dude was brilliant. He came from a wealthy family, he was good at sports, he was a hilarious person to be around. Even at the time, it was no secret that he had his demons, but he was just so damn smart that it seemed like if he could grow out of his adolescent angst, everything would be fine. (Again, wealthy family. Bright. Good looking. Bro didn't exactly have to hit a home run to do okay in life.)

I believe he's working part-time at the grocery store now, but he may have gotten fired again. Or he might be back on disability. Or maybe he's working at Pizza Hut...it's always hard to keep it straight, because he doesn't tend to hold down any particular job for long.

Honestly, if he weren't such a nice person, there might be a hint of schadenfreude there, but as it is, it's just tragic. He really was brilliant, and he really was a wonderful human being, but there weren't enough advantages in the world to save him from himself.


Elizabeth the bad-a*s party chick. She was the brilliant and quietly rebellious type. She was pulling and getting away with s**t that most of the guys branded as trouble makers in school could only dream of, because she had the sense and savvy to not show off to the world. She wasn't doing s**t for the attention, she was just doing it because that's what she wanted to do. So smoking, heavy drinking, some drugs, staying out all night, whatever. She could out-do anyone else.

Anyway a little over 10 years later I caught up with her and found out she was a tri-athelete and overall health nut.

Image credits: Link-to-the-Pastiche


A really nice and shy guy who liked Queen and played guitar a bit. Became a bass-guitarist in #1 rock band in Ukraine.

Edit: it's Okean Elzy. He's not in the band anymore, but has been playing for first 10 years.

Image credits: alteredxenon


Super outgoing kid at my school, always wore suits, drove a classic Caddilac, straight A’s—absolutely fantastic guy. Never not smiling and skipping and dancing around. Star athlete too—state champion runner a couple times, had a full college ride to some D1 school.

Two years into college tries to [take out] himself 30 times, evidently has a ton of mental health issues that he also had while he was in high school that he dealt with by smiling over them.

Good part is though, that he’s in AA, getting proper therapy, and has a ESA cat that sits on his shoulders everywhere he goes! He hasn’t attempted suicide in like 8 months and now can smile for real.

—he’s also actually me


Friend got brainwashed by Fundamentalist Christian group. Has 14 kids now.

Image credits: PunkAssBabyKitty


My female bully developed alopecia and lost her hair.

While I don’t wish that on anyone, I appreciated the irony of someone who was so focused on looks/social standing going bald.


There’s this girl I know from H.S. who struggled a lot with depression and anxiety. Her freshman year she tried to [take out] herself and ended up in a long term treatment center. She now has a Masters degree in social works and works in a high school with kids like herself. It’s pretty cool.


She was voted most likely to succeed in our year, had plans on being a doctor, really smart. Ended up staying in state for college (pretty rural, limits options), we lost touch, she got married, she's a stay at home mom and a trophy wife, basically, traveling the world on her (doctor) husband's dime.

Not a bad life, certainly, but not expected.

Edit: I didn't mean to imply she's a golddigger or anything critical like that. She was the leader of clubs and teams during high school, and very pretty, and competitive with grades, so it's just interesting to me that so far she has been less ambitious career-wise. (She's definitely still very happy.)

Image credits: indecisive_maybe


In my graduating class of 149, we had 148 go to college. That one guy? He decided to go “on tour” with his band. The other members of the band were two guys that graduated from our school the year before.

About 6 years later, they are still touring full time and have made a pretty good name for themselves. They’ve headlined their own tours and have opened for some big name bands. It’s pretty cool to get to go to one of their shows and hang out with them backstage.

Edit: for all those asking, the bands name is New Madrid.

Image credits: anon


Every school had the certified junkie, our was some real skinny guy named Avery. He not only was a junkie, he was a terrible student. He never did one piece of work and always talked back to teachers and it was an everyday thing for him to get kicked out of class. I'm pretty sure he was at the very bottom of our class. I saw him at Wal-Mart a few years ago and he did a full 180. It was very visible he was off drugs completely, he physically looked better and he was now a youth pastor. I check up on him ever so often on social media and it seems he's still doing fine.

Image credits: jesus_crimmity


Douchebag weightlifting party boy started a tech company that sold for $225mil a few weeks ago.


Former classmate from highschool was a skrewup, he skipped class to smoke behind the school, sometimes came drunk to school, and was into rap and really talented on the mixer, even had amateur studio kit. He got his s**t together and is now on his last year doing an M.D. I'm happy for him


One of the long- haired dirty metal guys became the kind of adult who goes to Disney without children. Had a wedding at Disney with mouse ears and everything, and now they have a little girl.


Ditzy air-headed cheerleader is now a *very* high power attorney.

Ms. Social Butterfly Party Girl is an Anglican priest.

Mr. Most Likely to Succeed dropped out of college and is a construction worker.


Wan’t really a high school friend, but more like a babysitter’s high school friend. When I was in primary school, my babysitter and her cousin Madeline would hang out together while taking care of me. Madeline was everything you could have wanted out of a high schooler. She was pretty, athletic, and most of all, she was extremely intelligent. Got all sorts of awards and praises in her 8th grade graduation.

Once high school came around the corner, we had the biggest hope for her. She planned on doing this program that would allow you to graduate your sophomore year. It was incredibly difficult, and you’d have to take junior and senior classes early on. We all believed in her whole-heartedly, and in short, she failed it miserably. Instead of studying, she slept around and smoked weed, did drugs and failed the test to graduate early. She got pregnant junior year by a married man. Ended up miscarrying, fell into alcohol, and is currently unemployed living under her mother’s care.

All of this happened before I could even start high school. (A year ago.)


Very plain Jane kinda girl, not promiscuous or especially outgoing or anything. After high school she started as an exotic dancer and has now gone on to make a pretty big name for herself in p**n under the name Nikki Benz.


Our class valedictorian, who was also a star soccer player, ended up turning down numerous full rides to major universities to basically travel the world doing random volunteer work in 3rd world countries.


I think in this scenario I’m “that friend”.

Throughout my entire school career I was advanced, including high school where I graduated with honors and an advanced diploma and went to a private college on a handsome academic scholarship. I was also a two-sport athlete and got along with every “group” of people. Everyone had me pegged for future lawyer, politician, or business executive. Something where I could use my intellect and likable personality to my benefit.

A month before graduation I started smoking weed and hanging out with s**t heads (disclaimer: I’m not making the claim that smoking weed makes you a bad person or unsuccessful, I’m saying the people I surrounded myself with and lifestyle I chose to adopt were... not optimal). I left college after my first year and, after a semester-long stint in community college, I was done with education altogether. I got fired from a decent job for something that was truly not my fault but it was for the best. I worked with a bunch of s**t heads too. I spent a few months unemployed with no direction for the first time in my life. I started working in loss prevention for a big box store and really got along well with the cops who would come when we caught shoplifters, which was odd given my lifestyle but not surprising given my personality and ability to get along with anyone. One day I decided I was gonna turn over a new leaf and be a cop. Everyone thought I was joking. I had picked up a possession of marijuana charge in my travels and people thought I couldn’t come back from that. Nobody took me seriously but me.

I’m going on 5 years in law enforcement now. I have spearheaded many community policing initiatives aimed at reaching at-risk youths. I get out of my police car at Section 8 apartment complexes and talk to everyone. I use my discretion often to favor people who made a dumb mistake instead of ruining their lives with criminal charges. I still charge people, don’t get me wrong, but I use common sense and remember who I was not that long ago. I love my career and I’m glad to have the privilege to do what I do. Yes, there are still good cops out there, plenty of us.


The flamboyant gay kid joined the Israeli Army and married a woman. Really not sure how that happened.


I knew a guy named Neil, her name is now Sarah.

Image credits: anon


Punk lesbian who used to get me into soooo many shady situations in high school, skipping, stealing cars staying out all night, getting high. She moved for university, married a Greek Orthodox man, bought a house in the suburbs and popped out 5 kids before she turned 30. Her FB posts are now all hawking girl guide cookies and taking about the PTA and kids softball games.
So f*****g weird.


A smart, not particularly pretty (at the time), tomboy best known for her active participation on the school basketball team went on to become Miss Country. She was in Miss World a few years ago too. She now runs a makeup business and continues to do modeling. It's said that one of the reasons she did well in the Miss Country pageant was she was much smarter than the other contestants, so she outshone them particularly in the talent and Q&A competitions.


I had a friend in high school (still good friends now) who used to get in trouble with police, had a probation officer for a while before high school, and just had a general problem with authority. She's in law enforcement now.


Allan...he was smart and funny, easygoing and everyone's friend. I always had a little bit of a crush on him and after high school we ended up hooking up and partying a few times. Last time I talked to him he was struggling with heroin and the last I heard of him he was homeless. He deserved more and I wish I could have helped


My best friend since I was 5 yrs old, smartest person I ever knew. She went off to college and got into heroin. She is now serving a life sentence for first degree murder.

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ladies man guy with a big ego. He was fun for about 5 hours before you needed a break from him. anyway, he slept with like a good 1/3 of the cheerleaders, had a 4 way with some girls on the vollyball team, senior year he screwed a bunch of the drama girls, he loved hanging out with the drama girls. slept with them all of the time and they became his flavor of choice. turns out he cared less for the cheerleaders and drama girls and more about cheerleading and drama.

Guy's in a gay p**no now and does some off-Broadway shows.


Not a friend, but I went to middle and high school with a girl who went into acting.

Became a Power Ranger.

Image credits: DVancomycin


Not really a friend as I didn't run with their crowd, but like at every school there was the really popular girl. Pretty, cheerleader, everybody liked her, wealthy parents, etc... I'm sure you knew someone like that yourself.

Just maybe two or three weeks ago she got arrested and charged with several felonies for possession of meth, prescription pain killers, and a large amount of weed.

I moved away from that town years ago and haven't really kept in touch with a lot of the people from there. However a buddy of mine sent me a picture of the report in the newspaper and was like "remember her?" Definitely didn't expect it, that's for sure.


Best friend in high school. His step dad was a district attorney and apparently they didn't get along at all. This was the bible belt south east. I met him in the tenth grade as I smoked weed and he happened to sell it. He lived in a trailer park and financed it with his weed sales. My parents hated him. After he graduated from high school while living 100 percent on his own, he did two years of collage before getting accepted in a major medical university program that actually paid him to be there. He is now a pharmaceutical engineer living in Switzerland. My parents were surprised to hear that.


There were two that really stand out. One of them was a girl who got in a fair amount of trouble. She skipped school, had a bad attitude and was more interested in hanging out with friends than learning. She ended up becoming a lawyer and eventually became the assistant DA of a city with about 3 million people.

The other was a nice guy, got along with most everyone, I even considered him a friend and hung out with him on occasion. He came from a great family and while he didn't get the best grades, he was good at things like fixing cars so I assumed he would end up going into that field. Instead, he started a career in drinking. By the time he was 30 he had been in jail several times, in a rehab a couple of times, had been arrested numerous times, had two restraining orders on him from former girlfriends, and had burned so many bridges with his family they had given up on him. Now in his mid 40's, he still lives in that same town. He looks like he is in his 60's, is on disability, and likely doesn't have much of a future as he continues to drink himself away.

Image credits: wildescrawl


Not HS, but my best friend’s freshman roommate was a weird guy. Brilliant. Literally 1600 SAT scores, full ride, brilliant, but never really showered. He was dating the sweetest, kindest girl, who dumped him after two months of trying to get him to take better care of himself and actually go out and do anything. We’d try to get him to come out of his shell because he was pretty funny and we liked the guy.

After not hearing from him for 15 years, we looked him up. Apparently he cofounded Revolve clothing, is a multi millionaire, and parties in Ibiza and s**t. I’m genuinely happy for the guy, but I never, ever, expected him to hit it big in fashion.


I was probably that friend. Overachiever, highest grades, super nerd throughout high school. In everybody's minds, mine included, I was headed to a great university career in engineering. Dropped out (technically "left it hanging" as you can do it in my country) after 2 years, traveled Europe and Vegas as a poker journalist. Heading back now to finish the degree I started 10 years ago, and I don't regret a single moment!


Valedictorian, great french horn player, over 20 years ago, served me at subway the other day


A lot of them! I don't know if there was something in the water in our town.

A lovely girl in my class had severe anorexia, to the extent she had to repeat the year. She was strikingly pretty, with the face of an angel. Always wondered if she felt self-conscious and grew obsessed about her looks because it was what people valued - nobody made the same fuss about her good grades or niceness. She is now morbidly obese, couch surfing and pretty much always wears the same big brown coat and tracksuit pants. Was shocked to see her go from one extreme to the other. Still really nice, hope it works out for her.

Another high achiever in our class is now a travelling musician and nudist. She dropped out of engineering and just travels from festival to festival as a concert goer, dressed as a barefoot rainbow fairy. Self-funds by offering tarot readings, spells, palmistry. Lived by the creek for awhile. Has a Pomeranian.


This one girl who was super sweet shocked everyone by sleeping with her best friend's boyfriend. Nobody suspected it because she'd always been popular, pretty and a genuinely nice person, so the absolute last girl you'd expect to need validation in that way. She also announced she'd been doing it for years, to other women too. It divided the friend group pretty decisively.

Turns out she was a lesbian. Is married to a woman now. Doing much better.


Nice kid in my high school was very quiet, whose father was theology professor at the local University. He became the outgoing openly gay Mayor of my hometown in his twenties and is now running for President.


He was just this quiet kid that had a few friends. Didn't do clubs or sports or anything like that that I was aware of, and I worked at the school TV station so we had a hand in ALL the teams & clubs.

Almost forty years later (Class of '84,) he's the lead guitarist in a fairly successful heavy metal band out of Phoenix.


I had a wickedly smart and talented high school friend end up in p**n as a last resort (long story as to why it was a last resort- in a nutshell, at the time she saw it as her only way out of a bad situation that had spiraled out of control quickly).
She finally managed to get out of p**n and studied to become a teacher, winning many awards throughout her years-long career.

One summer, an a*****e parent came across her porn and decided it would be a good idea to send her videos to the local media and expose her past. Being a small-ish town, word traveled fast (I believe it even made national news at one point), and the more conservative people in the community called for her to be fired. The school district cowed to the pressure and let her go. Even though many other people did end up vocally supporting her after the news of her firing, she decided she’d had enough. She made the decision to leave the community and start over by focusing on her art and political causes that she was passionate about.

Last I’d heard, she was doing well selling her art and teaching at a local university (not sure if she disclosed her past to the university), and is a very active member within the local chapter of her political party. Never would’ve expected this road for her, but I’m glad she’s doing well.


Coke and weed addict, best friend in 9th grade. Now in late tenth and she’s in military school across the country, sober since last Christmas, I’m so damn proud of her.


There was a guy, more of an acquaintance, really, who was hella smart. And quite good looking. Popular. A real a*****e, but intelligent.

Got a full ride to an out of state school. It was a big enough deal that it was announced at graduation.

A few years ago I thought of him and looked him up. He looked like a total scrub. He used to have perfectly coiffed curly hair, dressed in button downs, and was generally a clean cut guy. But now, he's greasy. Looks like a guy who lives in the basement having band practice and getting high every weekend and works at a Lil Ceasar's all week. Was not attending college.

It kinda shook me. Makes me wonder if he suffered some trauma. There was never an indication he wasn't happy as he was.


A kid named John. A lot of us smoked weed but John was a true champion. One thing I remember about him was him stealing his sister's pot pipe, a wooden penis-shaped pipe. He expected us to smoke out of it. We did. I mean...it's weed. His eyes were always at half-mast. His academic achievements were slim to none. Barely scraped by with D's.

Twenty years later, I inquired about him with a common friend. John became an electrician in another state. He paid careful attention to the industry and felt that the commercial electrical supply firms were less than optimal. So he started one out of his garage. Now he owns a whole string of them, with millions in profit every year.

From penis pipe to millionaire. It can happen!


Teachers daughter used to hang out with a bunch of gang members. Super smart and Attractive and developed early. She was really friendly and I also remember her showing me where some guy signed her breasts in 8th grade.

Later in my early 30s, I remember telling a friend that I was curious what happened to her but expected she had probably a number of children from different fathers (sh**ty of me I realize). Then he was like, No. She went to school for journalism and is the nightly anchor on the local news.

I still feel bad about that. And also I’m happy for her.

Another person was the vice president of the Christian club and was in a number of classes. She had a bit of a crush on me but we never hung out. Then I added her on Facebook and shortly after see that she was suing the state to allow her to get married to her partner and was at the Supreme Court when the decision was announced.


there was this guy who bullied me and destroyed my self esteem on a regular basis. He became a really successful vegan chef, has his own restaurant, cook books, has been on talk shows to cook/promote his stuff.


Best friend in high school was kind of a mess; hanging out with older guys from the wrong side of the tracks, drinking smoking pot, etc. She became a heroin addict and disappeared for 15 years. She re-emerged as a recovering addict, got a masters degree in addiction psychology, married a wealthy rancher, became an addiction therapist, lost 100 pounds, lived happily ever after.

I thought she was goner.


Close friend of mine in 9th grade was kind of prude, didn’t really know anything beyond basic sex ed. I thought it was a little odd but also thought she’d just learn soon anyway.

Last I heard she was in a sub/dom relationship and was living in a house with basically a sex dungeon, if I remember correctly. I think I heard she broke up with the guy but not sure. Hard to know hearing it all second-hand.

Nothing wrong with that lifestyle if you’re into it, but it was a surprising transformation.


Almost every anarchist I knew ended up in the military


A girl in my year who smoked a lot of pot, dated her dealer, and then from the same hood dated another dealer after that. She and "dealer bf #2" are now married and are both successful marriage and commerce lawyers, with fancy downtown condo and little dog to boot.


I had a friend who like apprenticed or whatever at like NASA. She graduated earlier than the rest of us, and went off to college like in North Carolina. Around my senior year of high school, I saw she came back after barely a year had passed. I think she failed out of college, and is into weed hardcore. Doesn’t have a job and still hangs with high schoolers. I feel horrible about her life now, don’t do drugs kids, it’s really not worth it :/


A friend of mine was really into herself and dated a lot of rich guys. She vowed not to get married or have children that she had goals to become a business professional woman. She did some modeling etc. Fast forward 10 years. She gained 120 pounds and her husband left her for another woman and she is raising a disabled child that consumes all her time where she cannot work. I have to say that she is an excellent mother. She basically turned into everything she said that she would not be.


Cheerleader who took a heck of a turn.

She was an impressive drinker in high school. She kept it up through college. Got a job, didn't love it.

She joined AA. Met a guy. Older, had nice finances. Estranged from his ex-wife, kids, no other family. They got married. A few months later, they're both drinking again. Within two years, he's dead. He left her everything. She is "devastated."

She goes back to AA. Met another guy. Apparently older men who are estranged from their families are SUPER easy to find in AA. You got it: they're drinking, next thing you know, he's dead. Left her everything.

Now she's gone back to AA again. She has met the most wonderful man. It's a shame his kids won't speak to him and won't come to the wedding. It's next month.

Image credits: hahahahthunk


Friend I'd know since freshmen year (9th grade) of HS. Home life wasn't stellar. Abusive stepparent, control freak mom, etc. Joined the marines to escape. Met someone, got married, had like 4 kids and was expelled from service for medical reasons. Got divorced, dad got full custody, so she moved back home and bounced around in a travel trailer with a younger boyfriend, who stole his boss's business credit card before they bounced to lord knows where. Last time she surfaced, it was on Facebook and she was selling their wedding rings he'd purchased using the stolen credit card.

It's a real shame how things went. She'd done well in the marines and even in the early years of her marriage. Not sure what the tipping point was. She was furious about losing custody but she wanted to uproot 4 kids from their home, school, friends and dad's side of family to bounce around in a 13 ft travel trailer living off her $650 in disability. She absolutely refused to acknowledge how horrible that would have been for them.


Had a friend who lived near me. Both of us went to parochial schools (which does not make a person good by itself, trust me) and had solid home lives. His was a little more tense but nothing abnormal. He was really close to his dad and brother and we were really close friends. All through middle school and the first half of high school he was like a brother to us in our group of friends. Then he started to make a dumb decision here and there but nothing too huge. Once we graduated s**t Hit. The. Fan. He got really into drugs. Started with pot first then shrooms, cocaine, lsd, all combined with large amounts of hard liquor. He got in trouble with the law and dropped out of college. Thing is he was very bright and a talented individual with an absolute heart of gold but there were issues he had been dealing with that he kept hidden underneath a happy facade. Any one of us would have dropped everything to make sure he was ok but none of us knew how much help he needed.

I've always been a great judge of character and can just sense what people are thinking and feeling from just talking with them. This guys though taught me just how masterfully people can hide beneath a smile and a laugh; taught me to be aware of the small signs. The only benefit to this lesson is that I now know what to look for with students who may need help. People can be so skilled at concealment of their feelings and needs, you have to look for the small things and reach out. Maybe you won't fix it but it will help for them to know you care and are there for them.


I would probably be a good post about this but since this isn't about myself here we go:

A girl who was in the top 10 of my graduating class. Had plans to become a lawyer and probably would have succeeded seeing as how her 'mock trial' team won state. Went to college and learned she enjoyed the 'arts' much more. Briefly become an actress, but failed. Moved back home with her parents and started her own photography business but failed. Now she is a very successful burlesque dancer! While she has failed in many of her endeavors, I always admire her will to find something new to try.

And the kid in our class who some of us were sure would become a mass murderer is now the Fire Chief of the local fire dept.


In high school he was quiet and nerdy. After high school he became outgoing, flamboyantly gay, and lived in the gym. Nobody saw it coming but my guess is he finally decided to stop hiding who he was and really embraced it. No idea what he’s up to now but I hope he’s still doing his thing.


One of my best friends back in high school. He was brought up Catholic and had very strict parents and was so innocent in high school. Never went out with us or drank or smoked or did anything! Then college happened and he's hooking up with a bunch of girls, partying most weekends (him throwing his own parties at his house), and smokes. COMPLETE 180!

I met up with him last month (been 4 years since I'd seen him) and he's still the same guy just way more adventurous I guess. He's still awesome to hang with and has a good head on his shoulders. Love that guy.


The prettiest girl in high school, who was always nice to me (I was a bullied child) overdosed on heroin two years ago. I still cry for her.


Stoner black dude, was a huge clown, he was actually just annoying acquaintance of mine back in high school... we become best, and he ends up being a super hardworker in college, and goes on to get a PhD in math. It was pretty amazing to witness.

Another dude, was this incredible uptight, annoying, nerdy, know-it-all chubby Indian kid. Hated my guts cuz I beat him at this one class, and often would get better grades in tests than him. Apparently he's now a nurse and super gay. Still an a*****e from what I hear.


A friend of mine is a talented artist with a deep passion for video game design. He worked on projects for indie devs all through high school, and I thought it was certain he would quickly become an artist for some dev studio soon after.

He now works as a furniture salesman.


I had a friend in high school who was high achieving academically. He was in the top classes, very nervous and well behaved in the classroom. Generally he was mostly thought of as quiet and the guy very few people paid any attention to.

He's serving eight years in prison for possession of drugs and child p**nography.

Image credits: anon


Had a friend that was the weirdest guy I’d met. He’d often yell random stuff for no reason, do every kind of accent, and was just generally awkward around people. Saw him a few years after and he was dressed to the nines, very clean cut, and socially well adjusted. Complete 180 from high school. Made me rethink all my life’s choices up until that point, since I was not doing so hot in life.

Edit: I’m loving all the people wondering if I’m talking about them, or someone they know.

Image credits: Frostlord3


Guess my high school best friend... he was tied for top average grade percentage across our high performing high school. Absolute scholastic unit... he's now a ultimate frisbee playing, fun cycling, stay at home dad with a double degree and has a highly successful business minded wife. He really was the smartest one of us.


He wasn't a friend, but I still value his story. He wasn't a very good student, quite a delinquent, and was known to have the most demerits. I didn't really know him too well, but he knew of me because I did really well in HS and word of me got around. One day during senior year, he saw me in the bathroom and started talking to me. He told me that he looked up to me, that I inspired him, and that he was going to turn his life around. He said he knew he screwed up here and there and that he didn't take things seriously. But he told me to watch him change himself, watch him become better, watch him succeed. I told him to go for it and never stop believing in himself. Never spoke to him again.

We were connected on facebook so I saw his life updates on my newsfeed. He really did change his life in college. He got a 4.0 GPA, he stopped messing around and wasting his time... actually he became a studious nerd. He was succeeding. He did it. He proved he can turn things around. He proved that he would take things seriously. He was clearly very ambitious and taking every opportunity he could to advance in life. I never reached out and told him, but I was so damn proud of him. I was doing pretty poorly in my life at the time, and he became a source of inspiration for me. He inspired me, and I looked up to him then. I think he got off social media because I never saw any more news from him, but wherever he is and whatever he is doing, I wish him the best. I hope he accomplishes everything he sets out to do. If I somehow magically ever see him again, I'll be sure to tell him this.


Me. I was the kid who started smoking weed and cigs at 12. Moved to ecstasy at 14, Molly at 16, cocaine and oxys at 17 and by 19 was a full on addict to heroin and crack. At 22 I broke down and in a sobbing mess on my hands and knees cried out to God to help me and made the decision to turn my life around. It's now 4 years later, im married, raising her 3 children, one of ours, one on the way. I'm the Operations Director of the company I work for. Have an amazing relationship with my family that I never really knew. Usher and assistant to the youth pastor at my church. I spend my days leading the employees I have, the youth at church, and my children to be all they can, and I never pass an opportunity to help someone that struggles with addiction or self worth. I would have never expected to be here, and God may not be your thing, but my life is a million times better than I expected it to be because of the change of course I took.


My best friend from middle school onward, not the “hang out every day” type but more the “always there when you need him” type. We’ve been out of high school 7 years now and we’re still in contact. I’m set to be his best man later this year.
This guy was the smart, kinda dweeby type (not an insult in the slightest, I was the exact same way, maybe not as smart, but you get the point). He kept to himself unless you were in his circle, kept quiet even if you were and ALWAYS avoided any kind of confrontation. He’d go out of his way to not talk to someone if it meant he didn’t have to answer questions.
Imagine my shock when, 2 years after graduation, I catch up with him and find out he’s in the Secret Service. Not presidential, but still up there. He’s done good for himself, and I’m proud.


Fun, sweet, alternative minded friend marries after getting her degree, becomes a stay-at-home mom of 4, settles for a time in the town I moved to. Excludes me and my same-aged child from playgroup because the circle she is in is more well-to-do than I am. Kids now grown, she now lives out of state, but has become so snobby and right wing she wont speak to our old group of liberal- minded friends from high school. I miss my old friend, hate who she became.


This guy I went to middle and high school with was really smart and made good grades. He was nice. He was in most of the clubs, doing volunteer work...etc.

Ever since I graduated high school I never saw or heard any trace of him(no myspace, no facebook..) until last year. He was in the local paper, he was arrested for stealing money from his job. He would take payments from people and add them to his personal account instead of whatever company he was working for.

He got out and then made a facebook the next day. I just looked at his facebook, the last public post was of a phone he is selling for $200... oml..

Everyone else in my class went pretty much the way I thought they would.


My friend was preppy and kind of argumentative. I always thought he’d be a lawyer or hot shot CEO, but he’s a biker straight out of SOA casting except he’s the real deal.


Surprising one is the guy who was pretty much morbidly obese from y7->y13 going off to join the army, he used to constantly try and escape from exercise at school, then passed basic training.


I knew a girl who was pretty, but dumb as f*****g rock. Like she didn't know which color was for hot and which one was for cold from the water cooler.

She went on to co-host a reality show, which being pretty obviously helped. But, she was also only on for one seasons, for reasons I can only guess.


Normal kid, AV geek, church organist, eventually got involved in fraud, kidnapped a kid, punished the kid to death. Didn't expect that.


Had this one friend, most mature of all of us. She helped her family a lot and that helped her mature because of a lot of younger siblings and two good for nothing brothers.

She always insisted right up to senior year that she didn't need to know exactly what she wanted to do with her life because she didn't want to pick when she was young and foolish. She went to college, which was good...

Then she got into an abusive relationship before going back home. She works two jobs and the little free time she has is spent coaching her younger brother's sport team. We never realized her family basically was her identity, she has no interests beyond baking (for her family and sports team events) and anime, which she enjoys with her sisters. It sucks, they're all wonderful people, but it sucks. Don't think she even likes coaching but her mother made her do it.

She was so smart and mature we figured she'd get an office job...


My brother. He wasn't unintelligent, just not that interested in school. He was social and kind of lazy. He is currently an RN (Registred Nurse) in a level one trauma center, going to school to be an NP (Nurse Practitioner) , and married to a beautiful, kind, super smart woman who is also an ER (Emergency Room) RN. He is one of the most wonderful human beings I've ever met and I'm so proud of the man he's become.


A well-off, innocent-looking white kid from my high school ended up covered in face tattoos and brandishing guns on the internet. Turns out, he joined a Mexican gang on the outskirts of our town. He ended up getting shot to death in a confrontation with another gang.


Kid I knew since middle school accused me of stealing from him in senior year. We always got along and never had any problems, but one day I was out for a walk and all the sudden I'm stopped by two cops who insist I stole this kid's bike. It was completely random. There was literally no reason for him to suspect me other than the fact that I happen to be out for a walk. I'd never even been to his house before, he was just someone who rode my bus and occasionally hung out with me during school. They wound up not pressing charges but it was a nightmare. I Googled him out of curiosity a few years later, turns out he's done a s**t load of prison time since. Burglary, squatting in homes, and some more stuff. Ironic.


A kid I really respected in Highschool. He was smart, and well adjusted. I remember the first time I met him he was playing Atticus Finch in our production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

He later became a White Supremacists.


Not my friend, but I remember seeing his picture in the yearbook (one year ahead of mine) and wondering if he and the guy next to him were related, since they had the same last name.

Apparently a pretty smart kid, and since my school was in an upper middle class neighborhood, evidently from a reasonably successful family.

He was working on his PhD when he completely snapped and shot up a theater in Aurora, Colorado.


Average guy at school. Dead through alcoholism by his mid 20s. It was apparently asphyxiation that got him.

Image credits: barelysentient-