Public high school in America may sound like a dream: having large buildings decked out with a myriad of facilities — gyms, sports fields, stadiums, theaters — to account for such a diversity of students. As this isn't entirely wrong, a lot goes misunderstood about attending these schools, in that it's not always (or ever) dreamlike. From an outsider, movies and TV shows paint a picture of high schoolers being able to do whatever they want while still ending up with the happy ending, but in reality, it's not. As a freshman last year, I was seemingly thrown into a pit of stress and work, stuck within a rigid schedule and surrounded by hundreds of tired, coffee-crazed classmates who would never join in a cafeteria musical number as promised in "High School Musical." Through research and feedback, I realized that all high schoolers seemingly go through the same situation as I have. How many have you experienced?


1. Having million-dollar gyms, completely decked out

2. ...but bathrooms with stalls that are either broken or have no doors??

If only.

3. Sharpie writing ALL over the stalls, from "you're beautiful!" to "%*?!%.

Nobody actually spends THAT much time in the bathroom, and if they do, that's really questionable.

4. The Pacer Test (A.K.A Hell on Earth)

How many times can you run from one side of the gym to the other side before you die? It's a way to weed out the weak and drive up competition between students to make it before the cursed "beep."

5. "This isn't middle school anymore!"

Every teacher. Every class. Every. Single. Day.

6. The straight A student who claims every class is "super easy," but it's not.

7. Broken air conditioning all the time.

It's either the pits of hell or the arctic tundra. There is no in between.

8. "Wikipedia isn't a reliable source," but it's worshipped like the Holy Bible.

9. Standardized testing everywhere

testing

10. Finding out how much time is left in class like...

"Okay, there is 40 minutes left of class, that's just 20 minutes twice. That's also just 10 minutes four times or five minutes eight times...or just another 2,400 seconds..."

11. Playing cut-throat classroom jeopardy

I watched friendships crumble over this game, for simply debating answers, loosing category points if the time runs out or the answer was incorrect. There would always be nothing as the prize, except pure victory. It was maddening to get there, but the title of being the victor paralleled to winning the "Hunger Games."

12. The Cha-Cha Slide

It would play at every school dance, and everyone would dance along. How do we all know the steps? How is it performed so synchronized? Who keeps spreading this cursed song among the teenage masses? So many questions.

13. And finally, the importance of the fact that "the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell."

The single piece of information all American high schoolers seem to retain after high school.