There are almost 500 public high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. No matter which one you attended, you surely found it memorable. Here are 11 things that people who went to NYC public schools are familiar with:
1. You went through metal detectors.
In case someone brought a knife to school (because that actually happens), the school made everyone go through metal detectors when entering and leaving. You learned how to cover up your phone in aluminum foil so you could pass through without suspicion.
2. You used your student metro card to your advantage.
You would use it to hang out after school with the third extra ride per day and you always tried to swipe for free on holidays so you could go to the mall.
3. You mostly communicated in slang terms.
You were basically speaking a different language with your friends. Remember saying things like "guap," OD," "tight," and "brick"?
4. Regents exams were a nightmare every June.
Technically, this isn't only true for NYC kids but every June you had to study from those red and blue Barron's books. And regentsprep.org always crashed the night before the test.
5. The FitnessGram was also a nightmare.
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It was running as many laps as you can for the pacer, failing horribly, and sitting in the bleachers for the rest of the gym period because the show-offs would continue to run 100 laps.
6. You had to apply to high schools.
In eighth grade, your counselor gave you a big directory of the 400 high schools in NYC, color coded by borough to choose which one you wanted to go to. Plus, you may have studied for the infamous SHSAT and other admissions tests. That was a lot of stress for a fourteen-year-old!
7. The D.O.E. would call your home.
Every time you were absent, an automated phone call would come to your parents and notify them, "Your child was not at school today."
8. Spirit Week was taken very seriously.
Everyone made a big deal out of spirit week and it was certainly a lot of fun and brought a sense of community.
9. All your textbooks were outdated and worn out.
They were at least fifty years old, pages missing, obscene doodles everywhere and had a long list of people, on the back of the front cover, who had it before you that deemed it in "Good Condition."
10. School lunch was borderline garbage.
For the most part, all you got were oily and stale fries, soggy pizza or a suspicious beef patty, and a frozen chocolate milk carton. Once in a blue moon, they'd have mozzarella sticks, apple juice or popsicles.
11. You turned out fine anyway.
Going to an NYC public school wasn't all that bad and you wouldn't change it for the world. You'll always have some fond memories.