10 Things That Prove You Went To Passaic Valley High School

10 Things That Prove You Went To Passaic Valley High School

Hornets forever, y'all.
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Nestled comfortably in the heart of Little Falls, New Jersey, Passaic Valley High School has become home to hundreds of thousands of Hornets since it's founding in 1940. It is here where the young adults of Woodland Park, Little Falls, and Totowa follow their hearts, make new friends and discover their passions for the future. However, Passaic Valley is not as typical as it may sound. Indeed, it is much more than your run-of-the-mill, small-town high school. To its students, PV has been a place for friendship, expression, and of course, memories. And in a school as special as PV, its students are well-aware of certain quirks that the old green and white holds dear. That being said, here are 10 things that only PV Hornets, past and present, know very well to be true:

1. Your most worn accessory in high school was your ID and green lanyard.

Even though they were necessary to wear, the truth is that nothing ruined a killer outfit day more than that cringe-worthy ID picture from the first day of high school and your clashing lime green lanyard. And when you lost (or "lost") that pesky necklace in hopes of taking a new picture, you only found yourself in a $10 hole for buying a new one with the same awkward selfie on a shiny, new piece of plastic. Go figure.

2. You know what "good chicken" is and would choose it any day over the alternative.

You may be asking yourself what makes "good chicken" considerably "good". Basically, "good chicken" is the Beyonce of the Passaic Valley cafeteria. When it arrives, it deserves an announcement of its presence and the line to see it is endlessly long. But, PV students know that getting the "good chicken" in the cafe was like hitting the lunch-line jackpot. Sooooo worth it.

3. Two words: Girls' Show.

Let's put it this way: if the Olympics were once a year, they would not have as much hype as Girls' Show has at Passaic Valley. From cheer to exercise to dance, even relays and posters, this annual showdown is truly an event of epic proportions. For an entire year, hundreds of PV students spend hours in the gym, practicing and polishing their unbelievable routines for a chance to keep their winning streaks. And the anticipation leading up to this grand extravaganza does not stop at the participants. PV students, old and new, go to the greatest of great lengths to show their support for their favorite teams. Bottom line: Girls' Show knowledge could be a requirement in the school handbook.

4. On the topic of Girls Show, trying to explain it to any non-PV person is like teaching physics to a preschooler.

The astonishing irony of Girls' Show is that it is arguably the biggest event at Passaic Valley annually, yet your friends from college have most likely never even heard of it. So when that *magical* time of year finally arrives and you find yourself in absolute fangirl mode for the Greens or Whites, you're going to have a lot of explaining to do to your roommates.

5. Having a locker in the main hallway and trying to open it between classes was the hardest thing about high school for you.

Fun fact: Passaic Valley High School holds around 1,400 students per year. An even more fun fact: getting assigned a locker in center hall and trying to open it to grab your biology textbook before class is going to be 0% successful. However, there was a better chance that you'd get shoved about 20 times and dodge a few elbows to the face than there were of you actually retrieving the things you needed.

6. The PV cookies were something out of a dream.

I know that the more recent PV grads will agree with me 100% here. Quite honestly, no snack could ever compare to the deal of a warm, barely-cooked sugar cookie at 50 cents a pop. Sugar, chocolate chip, red velvet, peanut butter, and more were just a few of the delicious variations of these little nuggets from the Gods.

7. Having a green and white varsity jacket hanging in your closet, knowing fully-well that it will probably never see daylight again.

Let alone the fact that the thing cost you a cool $400, you now get to stare at it retrospectively and cherish the times it was socially acceptable to wear in public. Ahh those were the days.

8. You ran on a steady diet of Quick Check, Dunkin' Donuts, and snacks from the bagel store.

Because, when you think about it, you were really just a broke teenager without a license or time between school and practice to go anywhere else. And quite honestly, who could get sick of Quick Check subs, caramel iced coffees, or taylor ham, egg, and cheeses?

9. "A hornet born, a hornet bred..."

And when I die, I'll be a hornet dead! (A little morbid, but it rhymed so why not?)

10. Running to your car at 2:32 p.m. to beat the buses.

Everybody who has ever parked in the PV parking lot knows that if you didn't leave at 2:32, you were doomed to wait until 3 p.m. to leave the campus. And who had the time to wait there in traffic? You were a hungry 17-year-old with places to be!

In the end, there are more than just these 10 silly quirks that the students of Passaic Valley know to be true. Aside from these, PV students also know how many incredible memories have been made by the thousands of students who have come and gone through their school. They know how their teachers will be there for them, even after they've thrown their caps into the air like so many before them. And above all, they know that your high school is one of those places in life that truly shapes you into the person you'll be to the world. Quite honestly, I'm glad I was a hornet yesterday, because I know that there will always be a little part of me that will stay a hornet tomorrow.

Cover Image Credit: PVHS Class of 1967

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I'm That Girl With A Deep Voice, But I'm Not Some Freak Of Nature

I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man.

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My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I joke that rather than getting higher, my voice got lower throughout puberty.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when my family members say "Hi Todd" when they pick up the phone when I call. Todd is my brother. I am a girl.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when I have been asked by other females if they're "in the right bathroom" when I tell them "I'm not in line" or "someone's in here" when there's a knock on the stall.

Keep in mind that in most female bathrooms, there are no urinals present and there is a sign outside the door that says "WOMEN." Quite obviously, they're in the correct bathroom, just thrown off by the octave of my voice.

For the girl who asked me if she was in the right bathroom because she was "caught off guard and thought I was a boy," I'm just wondering...

What part about my long hair, mascara, shorts not down to my knees, presence (small presence, but a presence none the less) of boobs, and just my overall demeanor was not enough validation that you are, in fact, in the correct restroom?

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man. Or, when someone calls me over to talk to their friends so they can see how "offsetting" my voice sounds to them.

My favorite story is when I was in a store, and I asked one of the women there a question about a product.

This woman had the audacity to ask me when I "went through my transformation."

She was suggesting that I was a transgender girl because of the sound of my voice. Please recognize that I respect and wholeheartedly accept the trans- population. Please also recognize that I was born a girl, still am a girl, always will be a girl, and asking someone if they are a different gender than they appear to be is not the best way to make a sale.

Frustrated, I told her that she should find a better plastic surgeon and walked out.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be.

And, to make matters worse, I am not your typical "girly-girl."

I die for the New York Rangers, have maybe two dresses in my closet but three shelves full of hand-me-down sweatshirts from my brother and Adidas pants. I do not own a "blouse" nor do I plan on owning one except maybe for business-casual occasions.

Naturally, when a deep voice is paired with a sports-oriented, athletic short-loving, sarcastic girl who couldn't tell you the difference between a stiletto and an average high-heel, I GUESS things can seem "off." However, regardless of the difference you see/hear, no one has the right to make someone feel bad about themselves.

What I always struggled with the most is how (most, moral, common-sense) people will never tell someone they don't know, who may be overweight, that "they're fat" or that they don't like the shirt that they're wearing. Yet, because my voice is not something physically seen, it has become fair game for strangers and acquaintances alike to judge and make comments about.

I used to break down into hysterics when I heard a comment about my voice, whether I was six years old or seventeen years old.

There are times that I still do because I am so fed up and just completely bamboozled by the fact that at the age of twenty, there are still people who just have a blatant disregard for others' feelings and a lack of understanding of what is okay to say and what is not okay to say.

But, just like I ask those people not to judge me, I suppose I can't judge them on their lack of common sense and respect for others.

I'd be lying if I said that the hundreds of thousands of comments I've heard and received targeted at my voice growing up did not play a role in my life. I used to want to be a sports broadcaster. I no longer want to be heard on the radio or seen on TV; snarky comments about my voice being one of the reasons why (among others, like a change of interest and just overall life experiences).

I'd be lying if I said that my struggle with public speaking didn't partially stem from negative feedback about my voice.

I'd be lying if I said that there weren't days I tried to talk as little as possible because I didn't want to be judged and that I am sometimes hesitant to introduce myself to new people because I'm scared my voice will scare them away.

I would also be lying if I said that my voice didn't make me who I am.

I joke constantly about it now, because half the shit that comes out of my mouth mixed with my actions, interests, beliefs, etc., would sound absolutely WHACK if I had a high-pitched "girly" voice.

My voice matches my personality perfectly, and the criticism I have and continue to receive for my "manly" sounding voice has helped shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to love my voice when people have relentlessly tried to make me hate it. I have learned to take the frustration I felt towards my voice and turn it into sympathy for those who have something going on in their life, and therefore feel compelled to make a comment about me, a stranger's voice, to make themselves feel better.

I've learned that to laugh at yourself is to love yourself.

And, I say this not for sympathy. Not for someone to say, "Wait, Syd, I love your voice!"

I say this because I want it to be a reminder for people to watch what they say, and use that noggin before you speak. I say this because I also want to be the voice (haha, get it, 'voice') for those who feel like they've lost theirs.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So no, I would not be a good alto in a choir because I think I'm tone deaf. And, when you call MY phone number, it is very unlikely that it is my brother or dad answering. Just say hello, because 99.9% of the time, if it's ME you're calling, it's ME that's answering.

Dr. Suess said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

Now I'm saying, "A girl is a girl no matter her octave."

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10 Thoughts You Have During The Best Month Of The Year, AKA October

How can you NOT love October... oops, sorry I mean Monstober.

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October is seriously the best month of the year, and if you disagree, well you're just wrong. I mean seriously, between the sweater weather and Halloween prep and the smell of pumpkin, the month of October is truly a gift.

And of course, a month this incredible brings about a million and one thoughts about what it will bring and how it will be AMAZING! However, a million thoughts would be a lot to capture so I'm going to tell you about the ten that were most prevalent for me on October 1st.

1. "Where did September go?"

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I mean September really only is Pre-October, and I'm happy that it's over, but what? Wasn't it August yesterday?

2. "How soon is too soon to hang up Halloween decorations?" 

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It's never too soon. You've already come so far by waiting till this very day. Go ahead and get your pumpkins and black and orange streamers!

3. "Do you think I can still use my Harris Teeter discount for pumpkins?"

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This got me so excited until I realized that the Harris Teeter student discount doesn't apply after a certain amount of time, and that's just unfair.

4. "Wait I hope they haven't moved on from Halloween and onto Christmas decorations in stores yet."

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This is a serious problem. What if I need to add to my Halloween collection? I'm sorry I didn't remember to in August when Halloween decorations were out.

5. "Okay, I'm already behind on Halloween costumes. What am I going to do?"

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Halloween costumes are a big, if not the biggest, deal, and they take lots of brainstorming and planning. There's so much to consider, You have to look cute and be original; not everyone can dress up as a boxer or an alien AGAIN this year.

6. "Wait, how many days of Halloweekend are there this year?"

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Here's where costume planning gets complicated. Not only do you have to plan for one day, but Halloween itself is a several-day celebration that you have to be absolutely completely prepared for!

7. "Pumpkin spice is finally acceptable!"

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And I'm not just talking about the lattes. Pumpkin muffins, ice cream, bread, pie, etc!!! Sure, September is technically fall and therefore pumpkin spice season, but I'm a firm believer in October as the true start to when you can stuff your face with pumpkin spiced foods all day everyday without judgment.

8. "Is it social acceptable to start eating candy corn again?"

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The candy corn debate is ongoing, but October is truly the only time when candy corn lovers can indulge with no judgment.

9. "Netflix better have "Halloweentown," or I will sue!" 

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The "Halloweentown" series is only one of the greatest series of Halloween movies of all time; they're classics. For us college students who don't always have time to watch movies when they air on regular TV, Netflix is a go-to for Halloween movies. But if Netflix is lacking in the best Halloween movies, we're going to have a problem.

10. "How much homework do I have for tonight? I can make time for a Halloween movie marathon, right?"

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There's always time. It's important to your mental health. Your professors won't mind.

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