"I wish I did this! I should have taken that class! Why didn't I finish my homework? How do you do this trig problem? Help! I don't understand!" Take a glimpse into an average high school dialogue. Questions upon questions topped with a sprinkle of flattery and disappointment characterize my ever changing mood from a jolly joke machine to a deary ominous cloud. Unfortunately, some struggles never seem to change....


1. When what you say doesn't run as smoothly as it sounded in your head...

Remember that Socratic seminar you barely passed? One of my worst fears, public speaking, compounded with the pressure to earn a 100 for a grade simply leaves me a puddled mess at the end of the day. Whether it's talking about a crush or an important conversation, nothing ever seems to turn out just the way I imagine it to be.

2. When you don't live up to your teacher's expectations

As I scroll down my daily grade report, I cringe as my latest test score pops up. A 66?! How is it possible? I thought I knew what I was doing?? Sometimes, life takes a sudden turn of events for the worse at the best possible time, and my heart sinks when I think about how disappointed my teacher must be feel. From then on, I realize that the most crippling situation is one I have no idea how to fix.

3. When you don't feel appreciated for your hard work

The clock strikes two, and my eyes droop with sleep. My handwriting blurs into a flurry of crooked lines, and my sentences begin to dance upon the paper. Then, as my head slips off my propped hand, I snap awake. I. Have. To. Finish. On many occasions, I find myself putting my heart and soul into an important paper and project, only for it to be returned with no signs of teacher feedback on how well the content of the assignment correlates with the rubric. Then, what is the point?

4. When people ask for answers you spent hours on finding, but you don't want to be mean

"Hey, can I see the reading notes for today?" Reluctantly, I ask them which question they need help on. "Like the last five. Please?!" Rolling my eyes, I quickly summarize the answers to the questions, perhaps leaving out some essential information and quickly return to what I was doing. "Hey, how did you do number five? I don't understand." Once again, I turn around and politely explain the steps I took to reach the answer. People who depend on others to do their work are simply causing their own downfall whereas those who pursue help to reach their goal are more likely to be successful.

5. When people who take more core classes somehow earn a higher GPA

Today, those who put less effort into their classes seem to be the ones who excel those who suffer through four or five AP classes. While the classes are less challenging, those who spend extra hours of their day taking online classes, such as Spanish or civics, end up with a lower GPA than those who simply dedicate their time to school hours. Adding fuel to the fire with the current state of competition, the relentless drive to valedictorian or salutatorian begins a vicious cycle of secrecy and blackmail.

6. When you accidentally make some careless mistakes to sabotage your grades

Scantrons are my worst enemy. With each menacing sideways square, my pencil seems to take a mind of its own and begins to skip certain numbers and letters, filling in the wrong sections and giving a wondrous surprise when the test goes in the grade book. Sadly, while grades do not indicate intellect, it may be a sign of carelessness and negligence. Heads up!

7. When you leave your folder at home, but the front office doesn't allow drop offs

My folder is worth a thousand bars of gold. Filled with work from each subject, including my sleepless-night completed assignments, it holds the pathway to a good grade, and for those times when I accidentally leave my treasure at home, that day is never a good day.

8. When you see your friends are achieving great things, and then you suddenly feel like a failure

Whether its becoming valedictorian or simply creating a club, I am also supportive of my friends and their individual greatness, but sometimes, these times become a wake up call to my own life. What can I do to better myself? Instead of constant competition, I can work with myself to come up with something that competes against my own goals rather than the goals of others, and maybe everything will work out?

9. When you find a depressing song that reflects your entire life

Whether it's a sad Sia or Grace Vanderwaal song, there is always one that is the epitome of your high school life. Each and every lyric seems to match each and every "I wish" running through my mind, and unfortunately, this becomes an eye-opener to how much life really sucks.