I had a semi-decent social life outside of school, which included going to a couple of favorite areas within the island multiple times throughout the year.
Memorable High School Hang Out Areas
If there were group projects or wanted to work on our assignments away from home, this was the place to go. Java Joe’s was the ultimate teen hang-out café back then, at least in my opinion. They served some of the best boba, burger, fries, and other delicious goodies that we can enjoy while doing our work. When we would make any priced purchase, we were also given free time-limited access to their Wi-Fi, which was a bonus. The atmosphere was also very warm and welcoming, and I think they even had a jukebox, but I never got to see it being played.
WORLD RESORT WAVE JUNGLE
I think there was a time when I would go here almost every weekend for a month or so. This was the very first water park that the island ever had, I think, so it was insanely popular to go to during the weekends. The park includes three water slides of different sizes, a wave pool, a lazy river, a kiddie pool area, and a regular swimming pool.
WORLD RESORT BEACH
Behind the hotel and wave jungle, there was a beach. At the time, it was free to hang out in, so long as we didn’t disturb the guests. My friends and I wouldn’t go swimming. Instead, we’d hang out at one of the slab tables in between the water park and beach, and we would just talk about anything and everything. We loved the atmosphere there during the night. It was relaxing, especially with the sound of the waves and not many people would go back there.
Garapan is, I think, the most populated area on the island during tourist season (which is almost every season pre/post-pandemic). But, it was also one of my favorite areas to hang out in. Friends and I would enjoy walking around to the multiple shops in the area, window shopping, and stopping by a restaurant to grab a bite to eat. Sometimes, we’d hang out in the area right after school on Thursday and then walk straight to Street Market when they open and it would be a really great day for many of us.
AMERICAN MEMORIAL PARK
American Memorial Park was just another instant place my friends and I thought of when we want to go hang out somewhere for free. This was the only park that had swings too, at least to my knowledge, and there were multiple concrete picnic tables already set up by the park admins for families to enjoy a lovely get-together. The park has a long walkway that connects to the dock area, as well as an amphitheater and museum. The green fields provide a great spot to cloud gaze. One of my favorite memories was sitting on top of the globe in front of the museum. My friends and I would talk there about anything as well, usually at night when it was much cooler.
This was a very popular event to go to every Thursday night, not just for the students, but for the entire island community as well. Even if we weren’t there to buy the food, we were treated to some interesting entertainment. But most of the time, I went there for the food.
AIRPORT ROAD FIELD
I don’t know the exact name of this location, but it’s not hard to miss since there is only one big field near the airport area. Multiple soccer and football games have occurred here in the past, but I’m not sure if they still use it for this. I often come here to relax when the skies are clear. The air is so fresh, and when the Flame Trees are in bloom, the view is beautiful. I enjoy staring up at the sky as well. Sometimes deep conversations between me and my friends happen here too.
After high school, I realized I barely hung out in these areas anymore.
I don’t know if it’s because I grew out of them or I didn’t really have a purpose visiting or if it’s because all the friends I used to visit them with were no longer on the island.
It’s crazy how it’s not only people we talked to every day that become memories to us but places we’d frequented would also be a distant memory as well.
Now that I’m back on the island, I would love to spend my time at these places again and reminisce on the good old days.
Where were your favorite hang-out spots during high school?