It gets better. Or not.
I spent one year in high school; the other three I was stuck in a locker. So I am not the biggest fan of long walks down puberty lane. But looking back on my years as a professional student, there are a few things I wish I knew, things I was afraid would affect my life forever but actually never have. So these are the top ten things I wish I knew back in high school. Please save the wedgie for after the article. You know who you are.
1. Math is pointless
My apologies to Mrs. Primus, but the only reason I will ever do high-school math again is if I end up being Mrs. Primus. I tried writing out simple division the other day, and as I was trying to remember where the dots go, I realized this was the first time I divided up anything other than Chips Ahoy in 14 years.
2. Try out for the team … Capulet
Theater people had it right. Everyone thinks the trick to getting girls is playing football. It is. But if you’re built like Michael Cera with stomach flu, your best bet is the Great Off-White Way. Besides, you’re pretty much guaranteed to kiss a girl—especially if you’re adapting Caligula.
3. The SATs are to students as gloves are to an octopus
The way I see it, the SATs are like your appendix—pointless and often scarring. This is a mantra I will preach to every pimple-faced stress ball of a kid I meet. I got a 910 on my SATs, combined. Mind you, my real last name is very long, so I may have messed that up.
4. The good-looking jerk will always be a good-looking jerk
My folks always told me stories of the popular douche growing up to be a bald loser. Untrue. I recently saw my high school douche … in a Porsche. (He was a valet, but he still had all his hair.)
5. Lunch will never cost two bucks again
One sandwich, fries, a juice, choice of cookies or fruit cup, all for $1.75. I couldn’t buy a Kind Bar for that now. But in high school, two bucks meant you were Tony Montoya, minus the crazy sister. Nope, wait, I had that too!
6. Be better friends with Eric Shrackner
Eric Shrackner went to my school, but to you, he is a metaphor for the kid who is definitely going to be a doctor or lawyer. And since everyone should have a good one later in life, you might as well get a discount.
7. Stay in school for as long as possible
Or at least until smartphones are invented and distributed to 16-year-olds. Biology class would have been a lot more convenient if I could’ve learned via FaceTime.
8. Prom is a $500 limo ride to a roadside toilet
9. Reading is great, when you get to choose the books
My English teacher in ninth grade literally gave me the finger for refusing to read Tom Sawyer—and for making fun of her cat. But I have spent the last 15 years reversing the damage brought on by terrible books forced upon me in high school. It wasn’t until after college that I realized reading is actually quite interesting, when it’s on tape.
10. Don’t ever nose-pick in public
I graduated in 1999, and there are still specific individuals whom I directly associate with this act of self-fulfillment. And although at that moment it was hilariously funny, over time — nope, still funny.
So: High school = endless period of premature aggravation. But look on the bright side—it’s still much better than the college years. At least when it came to Saved by the Bell.