Even if we never cared about the high school hierarchy, I think most of us still live it. It's ingrained in us through culture--films, books, television, advertising--through experience, and through this long standing, incomprehensible myth that high school is *the* time of one's life.
I mean, come on. That's a lot of pressure for four lousy years. I don't remember high school all that well. I went to two of them, so I suppose my experience wasn't typical. I remember having friends, being accepted (eventually), but I can't say that I missed it overly much when I left.
But for some reason we still carry that same weight that descended on us every time we had to walk the halls--that dread of a new haircut/backpack/pair of shoes. Would they be too noticeable? Too unnoticable? Ridiculed? Praised? And who sets that bar and why is it always moving? It's dizzying--not knowing where the horizon is as it shifts, without warning, moment to moment.
The good news? We don't have to live that anymore. (We didn't have to live it then, either, but that poor body didn't know that). Now? You can play holiday music in August, wear pink glitter Chuck Taylors, hats with veils and a jaunty feather on top, kilts and saucy knee socks, or sing and dance badly in public.
It's your heart, baby, and after all, it beats only for you.