High School... Just How We Always Imagined It

High School... Just How We Always Imagined It

"High school? Bullsh-t. The cafeteria is called the Nutrition Center, people wear their letter jackets even when it's 98 degrees out. And why do they give out letter jackets to marching band? It's not a sport. We all know it."

Some people would say that high school is the best four years of your life. Others, myself included, would argue that things could have gone a little better back then. In a perfect world, I'm sure high school would have pretty much gone the same for most of us: we'd be a part of the popular crowd, captain of the sports team, or lead in the school play; we would have perfect grades, summer internships, and we would wish for nothing. Unfortunately, this is not a movie, and we can't always get exactly what we wish for. That said, here's a little bit of valuable advice for all incoming freshman (you know, if this were a movie).


Spontaneous outbreaks of song and dance. Unbeknownst to me, you're actually way more likely to witness the drama club's newest performance in the cafeteria, as opposed to the main stage in the auditorium. Shocking, huh? You might be surprised to find out that every single day, people will break out into super spontaneous (and somehow, perfectly synchronized!?) song and dance. Sometimes in the cafeteria, sometimes in the hallways, and sometimes even in the gym; we don't know exactly how everyone seems to know exactly what words to say, but we do know one thing: we live for the dance numbers and songs, which are always somehow about the newest drama, taking place at that very moment.


Unlimited hallway time. Contrary to popular belief, passing period is actually forty five minutes long, and faculty encourages you to hangout with your friends at your lockers. Teachers attempt to inspire students to spend their time spreading details about this weekend's wild and crazy house party (at an insanely beautiful house that literally no one's parents could afford), and hearing the rumors that your least favorite teacher is about to spring a pop quiz on the class. Staff also motivates students to hold dramatic showdowns between friend groups, and to acknowledge the most popular of the school's cliques, with the most fitting of names (we all remember The Plastics, right?).


Group projects are only with your friends. Group projects are inevitable, but who can really complain when, even though your enemy will probably be in the mix, you're apt to get grouped with all of your friends and your crush. And it will definitely be for your English class. That's basically the only class you'll ever have to go to. And your teacher will be brand new; he'll be right out of college. And he'll be hot. And he'll write on a chalkboard, because those totally still exist.


High school has taught me many things: You almost always make friends in detention. Love triangles are always neatly resolved, Cinderella style, at your prom, which is so flawless that it literally changes your entire life. Seriously, prom queen is the highest honor ever, there will be a super cool band that will play their one (bizarrely popular) song, and there is a 100% chance that the punch will get spiked. The popular girls will offer you a once-in-a-lifetime makeover, which will miraculously make you popular. Money is not an issue... for anyone. Football rivalries are a BIG deal. You'll probably eat lunch in the bathroom at least once, but it will never be on food fight day. And last but not least, the dorky girl ALWAYS gets the guy- the hot guy. You know, the one who just broke up with his super hot head cheerleader girlfriend? Or maybe even that super hot new English teacher. We all know how it works. "You've got your freshman, ROTC guys, preps, JV jocks, Asian nerds, cool Asians, Varsity jocks, unfriendly black hotties, girls who eat their feelings, girls who don't eat anything, desperate wannabees, burnouts, sexually active band geeks... and the greatest people you will ever meet, and the worst." Welcome to high school.

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What It's Like To Take A Class With Professor Yuri Urbanovich

My experience taking a class with one of the best professors at UVA.

I have taken multiple classes with Professor Urbanovich during my time at UVA, and he is one of my favorite professors. Not only does he genuinely care about his students, but he also pushes them to learn more than humanly possible in the span of 50 minutes.

Seriously, I have learned more in his classes about Russian history and politics than I could have ever imagined. Professor Urbanovich’s thick Georgian accent and recalls of personal experiences also make his classes more personal, allowing students to understand the nation’s history and politics on a completely different level.

No wonder his classes fill up in a matter of hours when course registration begins!

The best part of Professor Urbanovich’s class is the many repeated quotes that one can uncover during his lectures. I am currently taking a J-term course with Professor Urbanovich and I have noticed that he says some things a lot throughout the course of his lectures, which makes them that much more interesting and fun.

If you’re interested in taking a course with Professor Urbanovich, which I highly recommend, be aware of the fact that Urbanovich will say the following things a lot.

1. My friends...

Professor Urbanovich does not refer to his students as “you guys” or “ my students,” but rather “my friends.” He often starts his lectures with “my friends,” making the class more intimate and welcoming. He welcomes various thoughts and opinions and treats his students in a way that makes it seem like you really are friends with the professor.

I have only taken two classes with him, but he always remembers who I am (a rare occurrence at a large university).

2. It is inconceivable

Professor Urbanovich often says that certain events or occurrences are “inconceivable”, and when he does, you know that the even matters a lot in terms of Russian history. It’s sort of like a marker for the things you should absolutely remember after any given lecture.

Earlier this week, one of his students quoted Urbanovich’s “inconceivable” phrase during a presentation, and the entire class, including the professor, started laughing. It just goes to show how welcoming and fun his classes can be.

3. I mean, can you imagine...

This is something along the lines of “inconceivable”, but it happens on rare occasions, usually when Professor Urbanovich is comparing the US to Russia and explaining how various events that occur in Russia would not be welcomed in the US or any other nation.

For example, the Pussy Riot fiasco that occurred in Russia was a stab at the religious values present in Russia, but we idolize it in the US. If something like this had happened in Israel or any other nation with strong religious values, we would most likely look at it in a different light. I mean, can you imagine…

4. I am so proud of you

Professor Urbanovich values education over number grades, often telling students that he is extremely proud of the work they’ve done and that they will go far in life. He does give exams, homework responses, and various projects, as any professor would, but he often makes students feel accomplished and successful after the completion of any assignment.

His comments on most essays are very constructive and provide guidance toward the development of better writing skills and the creation of more ambitious future projects.

5. Don't throw potatoes at my head

On the first day of my J-Term class, Professor Urbanovich compared our class to a large group of protestors as a joke, saying that we shouldn’t throw potatoes at his head if we did not agree with one of his statements.

Throughout the course of the past two weeks, he has repeated this phrase several times, especially during lectures that might have sparked opposition among students. Professor Urbanovich says this in a joking way of course, and it makes the class seem less intense than it is, almost as if we were not learning 1000+ years of Russian history in the span of 10 days.

Cover Image Credit: UVA

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21 Things To Do On Your 21st Birthday

You’re officially legal! It’s time to celebrate!

You’ve been waiting for this day for, well, 21 years! It’s one of the biggest milestone birthdays there is to look forward to. You probably never thought you’d make it to this point, but now that the day is here, there’s so much to do!

1. Drink!

2. Go out to dinner.

3. Go to the Casino.

4. Go on a winery tour.

5. Drink!

6. See a movie.


7. Drink!

8. Eat wine-flavored ice-cream!

9. Buy something for yourself.


10. Scratch lottery tickets.

11. Drink!

12. Go bowling.


13. Throw a party.

14. Go on a cruise.

15. Drink!


16. Dance.

17. Drink!

18. Go to a club with friends!


19. Celebrate with family.

20. Open presents.

21. Drink!

You’ve waited 21 years to legally have your first sip of alcohol, whether it be wine, beer or some fruity cocktail. The moral of this is it’s time to drink, so indulge yourself.

But drink responsibly!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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