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.