When you’re in high school, every test, every crush, every single date feels like the most important event in the history of the world. It’s difficult to properly gauge just how important something truly is while it’s happening. For example, right now I’m fairly certain that this post will be the single most influential piece of literature since, and possibly including, the Magna Carta. Maybe I’m overrating my writing. Maybe I’m underestimating the Magna Carta. Maybe I just think it’s fun to say Magna Carta. Let’s find out what’s overrated and underrated in high school.
If you're planning on inventing time travel or reverse X-ray glasses (glasses that let you mentally dress people up in funny outfits) you’ll probably need math. To the smartest one percent, math is an invaluable resource, but to the rest of us, math’s just taking up precious mental real estate we could be using to memorize the periodic table. And by periodic table, I obviously mean Anchorman quotes. Addition, subtraction, multiplication—I respect their right to exist. But letters in math class? Welcome to Crazy-ville, population yuck! You know why I enjoy literature? Because every time I read The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield never pauses to quiz me about two trains leaving different locations at various speeds. Books: 1. Math: Absolute zero.
If an alien knocked on my front door and asked me to describe what a “prom” is… I’d scream. There’s an alien at my front door. After the alien and I bond over our shared love of s’mores, I’d explain that the prom is an event where people dress up in uncomfortable clothing and dance. “What’s dance?” Har-Glow asked with smeared chocolate endearingly covering one of his mouths. Dancing is when you awkwardly move your body to music. “Sounds strange,” mocks Har-Glow. “Humans are crazy.” While I don't appreciate Har-Glow’s dismissive attitude towards human traditions, he is correct. The whole idea of proms is strange. I don’t blame proms; I blame the unrealistic expectations linked to proms (thanks a lot, She's All That). I also don’t blame Har-Glow; he’s just a silly alien.
Last Sunday while watching One Tree Hill reruns on SoapNet and questioning every previous life decision that led me to watch One Tree Hill reruns on SoapNet, I noticed something peculiar. One morning Nathan Scott woke up, did some shirtless sit-ups, attended an intervention for his mom, bought a motorcycle, and then went to school. AND THEN WENT TO SCHOOL? Granted, the residents of Tree Hill were never on a first name basis with reality, but who schedules an intervention for 5:30 A.M.? It’s like, “Hey, we’re worried about you, but we’re also very busy people.”
Back in high school, our theater department performed a production of Grease. Sadly, I did not audition. Am I saying that if I had auditioned my chills would have multiplied into a successful career as an actor (or "act-oooor," as hypothetical, pretentious actor Josh would have called it)? Probably not. But when I have the opportunity to redo high school (I imagine I’ll be Freaky Fridayed at some point in my life), I’m going to concentrate a little more on getting involved and a little less on naps and Simpsons reruns.
Your Last Name:
It's interesting to think about how much of your high school experience will be determined by your last name. If you’re lucky enough to score a seat next to your crush, you have the daily opportunity to subtly showcase why you’re the perfect catch. "Oh, what’s this award I accidentally left on my desk? Nothing. Just a first place trophy for Best Hand Holder at the tenth annual Hand Holding Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico!" The official results aren’t online because of an Albuquerque internet fire.
No matter how much success you obtain, always remember that at one point in your life you were forced to pretend to be a crab and play soccer. I've yet to go on a job interview and hear, “Listen, you possess all the requisite experience, and on a personal note you’re also very handsome, but before we offer you this job, tell me: how many pull-ups can you do?” Gym class helps to prepare you for the simple reality that sometimes in life you’ll be forced to do things you may not want to do, like engage in small talk, or become a train robber. Also, thank you for referring to me as handsome, hypothetical job interviewer.
What part of high school do you think is overrated? Can we start a band named Albuquerque Internet Fire? Can Har-Glow crash at your place? He'll bring the s'mores!