Walking Down A High School Hallway

Walking Down A High School Hallway

It's one of the most stressful daily activities we have- and we don't even realize it.
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The bell rings. You shove your Christopher Columbus notes along with the test you got a C on into the bottom of your worn backpack. Everyone in the class scrambles out of the door, as if their life depends on it, and you follow, spilling out into the locker-lined hallway. Every few steps, you find yourself slowing down, stopping, sidestepping, bumping into someone, giving people nasty stares, and starting up again. Doors open, outwards of course, causing you to swerve into oncoming traffic, as loud and obnoxious freshman disseminate into the herd of people. As you continue walking, you find yourself behind a group of it’s-okay-to-stand-in-the-middle-of-the-hallway, I’ve-got-nowhere-to-go people. And you’re stuck.

We’ve all experienced this, the typical transition between classes in a typical high school hallway. Instead of walking functionally- as in walking on the right side, not halting every few steps, not repeatedly turning around, not jumping on top of others, and not shoving your friends just for fun- people tend to behave in the exact opposite way. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, brilliance at its finest. The hallway is the road with no rules. Here, you can cover long distances with your head bent over a cellphone, and people will avoid crashing into you, or you never know, they might be engaged in the this-snap-is-too-important-to-wait moment as well. When four enormously tall football players end up in front of you and your friend motions for you to follow her through the tiny gap that leads you beyond the blockage, you go after her. And right after she disappears into the gap, the people in front move slightly, blocking you from the opportunity of reaching your exceedingly boring physics class, five minutes early. You feel it, frustration levels building up, sanity levels crumbling down. Because of this intense emotional roller coaster ride, including a fail of plans, you hate high school hallways more than anything.

I can remember a time when an underclassman was walking behind unbearably slow people who were purposely dragging their feet. She clearly had some place to be and they were aimless wanderers. I had watched as she attempted to get ahead of them from the left. Then the right. Again from the left. But each time she tried, the herd would drift, slow down, turn around, yell across the hallway, turn back again, and fool around more, blocking her every step. Finally, after too many failed attempts, the girl angrily shoved past the group, pushing them out of her way. Taking her frustration out on people who can't behave maturely, the underclassman had fought her way through, instead of patiently waiting for them to make up their minds or hoping they would turn the other way. High school hallways are the centers of dysfunction, with fights breaking out and kids pushing and shoving, when in reality, they should be organized routes to get to class on time. But we’ve all never heard of a high school where kids can follow basic social rules and behave like proper young adults. We just get to witness 17-year-old behaving like obnoxious toddlers, and teachers acting like wanna-be high school teenagers by taking no efforts to control the student population.

But that’s not all. Ever walk through a hallway that smells like sweat and bad food? How about one that has unidentifiable liquid spilled on the floor? Or one where banana peels and half eaten french fries are lingering on the floor, abandoned by their owner? Hallways that make you want to bring the Febreeze commercials to life and spray an entire bottle on everyone’s face? Kids who push and shove are unacceptable, but adding them to an unsanitary hallway is a recipe for complete disaster. And what about the hallways that feel like you entered Hawaii from Alaska because the temperature is messed up? Walking across a high school is like crossing the equator and entering the poles. One minute sweat is dripping down your neck, and the air is so warm you think you might pass out as you walk out of math class, and the next minute you wish you had a fur jacket to block out the cold before you enter english. Apparently, schools not only want you to learn about Christopher Columbus, but they also want you to experience the climate changes he encountered while journeying into America. Excellent application, very well thought out. I’m sure all high schoolers absolutely love deciding everyday whether to wear a bathing suit or five varsity jackets doubled up.

Remembering the high school hallways, the chaos, the putrid smells, the wretched sights, and of course, the hordes of high schoolers, brings back unpleasing and unwanted memories. Memories that are best kept inside the high school.
Cover Image Credit: Clipart Kid

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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