by SAMANTHA ENGLAND - A look into the difficulties we deal with beginning each year, and the new ones that no one saw coming.
I’ve been in high school for three years, so someone tell me why I’m still late to almost every class on the first day of school. I know exactly where my classes are, because at this point I have a whopping one new teacher, but the hallways of WHS just have to turn into a hellscape for the first five to eight “business” days of school each year. And that’s the best-case scenario. This annual chaos, second only to maybe the Purge, is one of the things I will not miss about high school. As I write this, I fear being concussed by a HydroFlask (alright, maybe I own one too, but that’s unimportant). Regardless, over the past four days, I have been privy to phenomenons both old and new to me, all of which terrible.
First--the hallways. Even seasoned professionals in hallway etiquette lose all control when the masses begin to flood in from every direction. All of a sudden, there are no rules. No staying to the right. No uniform walking pace. Only pure, unadulterated chaos. Near either of the main stairways, there are bound to be casualties. There’s almost no chance of making your way across the school with any time to spare. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most chill of seniors or the most terrified of freshmen--no one knows what they’re doing (and that’s okay).
The hallways are always a trying ordeal at the beginning of the year-- that’s a given. Parking and lunch are just as predictable, but can be just as disastrous. The two share a common theme: willingness to kill for your spot. Upperclassmen leave their houses at ungodly early hours to secure a prime spot--which has only become more difficult this year. Arrival 40 minutes before school started was barely enough for me to get a spot by the tennis courts. While it has led to some fun new traditions with friends in the parking lot each morning, the fight for a spot is one that few people truly win. Unfortunately, the fight doesn’t end at 8:35. When the first lunch bell rings (if you can call that sound a bell), the chaos breaks out again, this time not just among drivers, but among all students. The Learning Center’s closure has changed the dynamic of the school—especially at lunch. Limited space means limited seating, and the first couple days are bound to leave a couple unlucky, picky kids sitting on the floor by their friends rather than going somewhere else. Even now a couple weeks in, the only consistent part of my day is politely asking if anyone is using that chair. Hallways, parking and lunch are given nightmares as the year starts up, but 2019 has been privy to some new issues that turn heads. These don’t come from the increasing size of the population, but rather who makes it up. That’s right: I mean VSCO girls.
You may think that having a nice water bottle and wearing your hair up in a messy bun is okay, but it is not. It is now illegal in society, lest you be branded a VSCO girl. As a senior, I would love to be respected. Yet for some reason, when I drop my water bottle in the hallway, it’s met with a chorus of 14-year-olds echoing “sksksksk” or “and I oop!” Not the ideal start to my senior year. A VSCO girl, for those not cursed with this knowledge, is a teenage girl who tends to use the VSCO photography app, wears shell necklaces and other designated clothing and has an aching desire to save the turtles. The only thing trendier than being a VSCO girl, however, is making fun of them. This has led to a relentless battle of wits in the hallway, occurring every time you hear the sound of a HydroFlask hit the ground. Pure chaos.
So it goes, another start to another year of challenges, old and new. I guess there’s nothing much that can be done to change that. See, once a year no one knows what they’re doing— and that’s okay. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors alike all lose their minds trying to work out all the quirks of high school. While it is annoying, we all do it, so maybe we should try using words of kindness instead of incomprehensible “sksksksks.” Be kind. Pick up that HydroFlask slowly rolling away from a frantic girl. Help that obviously-confused-but-trying-to-act-cool freshman find his class on the first day. Because there’s something they might not know: The second day is easier, then the second week, then the second trimester. See, before we know it, high school will be over, so perhaps the best thing to do is sit back and enjoy the chaotic ride.