What was your high school life like?


#1

I was thinking back to Danielle comment on how high school wasn’t all cool and flashy. It wasn’t till she talked about it more on twitter that her time in high school was pretty rough and much different than I expected.

So what was your High school life like? What did you struggled with during that time of growing?

My high school was mostly black but generally mixed. We were connected to the Brooklyn college so we had access to big gyms and college classes for extra credit. Because of my dyslexia I was in a special needs program that helped me in my classes. It was hard to make friends but study groups and having a interest in games allowed me to make friends who I have with me today. High school was where meet people of the LGBTQ community first hand and finding them to be pretty nice people. Teachers were really good at what they did from the out of college English teacher to my Russian math teacher who was able hammer out our math skills.

Also I just want to say @danielle I hope I wasn’t being rude for mentioning you in this topic.


#2

I had a pretty good secondary school experience, certainly less of the Hell others went through. Nothing quite fit but I kinda ignored it all and turned inward when necessary. I was very privileged (White) to be able to do so (especially as someone who was 6ft tall by the age of 11 and for who that was a positive rather than a risk).

I got up at 06:30 to get to the nearest town where the bus left from and got back about 17:30. Six days a week (early home on Saturday after sports in the afternoon). So it was pretty easy to get dug into academia, especially as I enjoyed basically all subjects (except languages, to which I never took). Small school so pretty soft-boundaried cliques. It was all rather a blur. It took people until the second year of university to even figure out I was dyslexic - kinda wish I’d had an extra decade of learning coping techniques and being very clear to people that I need a keyboard to write on and no I can’t just write slowly on paper for a timed exam.

Youth is weird because, in an adult context, so many engagements you had as a kid were clearly abusive. Just bog standard physical abuse happens between kids all the time. It’s treated as no big deal and something to slowly wean kids off of before they become an adult. While kids are learning to be functional people and not hurt each other, a lot is let go. Pretty sure that’s a common experience. Meanwhile, society is indoctrinating you to fit in and believe just the right amount of stuff to operate under capitalism.

Not to say that’s something we should just accept. I’ve been really glad to see concepts like bodily autonomy and seeking permission before greeting (hugs, kiss etc) being taught at all ages. It seems like a positive development.


#3

I liked it. I’m charming, so I was well-liked by most people. I did drama and it was a blast. The end.


#4

I went to an all boy’s Grammar school in the UK. If you don’t know what that is it’s a type of selective system where the people who pass the test can get into the school. They don’t exist in most of the UK but they do in some counties, still.

There are varying views of whether this is Good or Bad, lots of social and economic arguments that I won’t get into here…

But what I will say is that the more distance I get from that school (and I’m 34 now, so some distance by now), the more I realise that it wasn’t great.

One of the arguments against Grammar schools is that they hoover up the best of the local teachers, leaving the other schools with lower standards. After all this time I’m starting to wonder whether what actually happens is that they become a place where poor teachers can hide or good teachers can become complacent.

Probably not space to go into detail here, but some highlights of bad teaching during my time at that school include:

  • A chemistry teacher who made so little effort with lessons that our class had to stage an intervention at the start of the class and ask him to do better.

  • A history teacher who instead of actually teaching the course one day decided to do an hour long semi-coherent rant about how the Nazis were doomed to lose the Second World War. (We were studying the Cold War.)

  • A replacement IT teacher who decided to re-grade all our coursework much lower only a week before it had to be submitted, giving us no time to improve it.

  • An English teacher who began a lesson, apropros of nothing, with “So… fisting.” (I honestly don’t know, I think he’d just heard of it or something??)

  • A music teacher who hadn’t bothered to find out what the curriculum was for my course, forcing me discover by accident what I’d not been doing all year and get emergency additional tuition.

  • A different English teacher who used to delight in getting the weakest readers in the group to read the book we were studying aloud.

  • (TW: possible paedophilia/abuse) A sports teacher who was notorious for lining up the boys and inspecting them slowly after the showers, and after parents started to complain very abruptly disappeared and was never heard of by us again.

As for the other students, I’m not in touch with very many of them any more. Both that and university weren’t the places where I made lasting friendships. My enduring memories are of some mild bullying (and the school’s handling of that was hit and miss), and the time I went on a school ski trip and was roomed with a guy who (TW: homophobia) never wasted an opportunity to say that he thought gay people should be taken out on the street and shot, in the same year that I’d come out to myself.

But y’know? At the time? It all seemed so mundane, so normal. I look back and think: why wasn’t I more upset about all this, more angry? This was supposed to be the finest education around, but in fact I got by thanks to a handful of better teachers that were there, and luckily I and most of the students there were good enough to get by with everyone else being mediocre or worse.

I remember being so excited about joining that school. Ah, well.


#5

I was homeschooled in the southern US. It was weird. Most of my socialization came from church groups, which was kind of the only thing holding me in religion for a long time. Being a socially awkward, overweight teenager who was literally home all day every day (expect sundays), video games are in some ways the only way I stayed sane most of the time, given I didn’t really have friends or much of an opportunity to make them. I still fall into those same reflexes I learned from that time a lot.


#6

I lucked out. It was infinitely better than Middle School, and I managed wind up in a social circle of pretty smart people who took AP courses and such. We weren’t exactly the “popular kids” but nobody picked on us.

My school was pretty diverse (especially for Connecticut): Roughly 40% white, 30% Latino, 15% black, 5% “other” although a good chunk of that 5% was Bangladeshi. We also came from a really broad set of socioeconomic backgrounds since our town has some wealthy sections as well as housing projects and post-industrial neighborhoods. I came from a super privileged background but I was reasonably good friends with a pretty borad swath of people.

Still, my closest friends were the ones I made through my Boy Scout Troop, a really irreverent pack of kids that disdained the broader organization and more or less did our own thing. The friends I made through that troop got my through some tough times, and their the friends I still see regularly today.


#7

I kinda feel like telling this story because I’m bored and have nothing better to do but I’ll mention that it is mostly just bummer after bummer so if you don’t wanna read that you don’t gotta!

My freshman year of high school was actually really good. I was coming in and had an amazing English teacher who really helped motivate me and pushed me to do better in my classes, all that kind of stuff, encouraged me to sign up for the advanced classes the next year. Then I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. This made it much more difficult to get around campus and eventually I had to end up withdrawing from actually physically going to school. Where I lived in CA (I have no idea if this is a nationwide thing or whatever) I was in a program called Home Hospital, where they would send a teacher to me and I’d do all my classwork from home. Simple enough.

The problem with doing this is that the district had decided that it was completely unacceptable, even with my disability, that I wasn’t actually showing up to classes. They continually accused me and my mother of lying about being disabled or unable to get around, or the fact that fibromyalgia comes with a slew of other psychological issues that sometimes meant that I just couldn’t do my schoolwork or focus at all. So, the way things went, was that I would turn in homework and schoolwork to my at-home teacher, she would submit my grades (and I was doing very well there) but the district and the high school would just automatically input failing grades. This continued on for a full three years, and every time we got a report card in the mail we would have to call them and argue that I was actually doing the work. The worst part of it was my friends also slowly starting to believe I was faking it.

In my senior year we finally started looking into alternative options for me to graduate, since the district also didn’t want to play along there, which is how we eventually decided that the best way to do this was for me to go and pass the California high School Equivalency Exam (cahsee). I got my diploma a few months before everyone else graduated, great times. I at least got to go to my senior all-night party they threw at the mini-golf course in town, but man, high school for me was fucking dire.


#8

I went to an Jesuit-run, all-male college prep school. So, yknow, real rich and white. Still, the friends I made there have turned out to be some of my longest-lasting and am still close with a lot of them today.

There was a party scene there definitely, but my friends and I just did a lot of scavenger hunts and like snuck into R-rated movies?


#9

High school was, fine, I guess. I only got punched in the face like one time, so.

I don’t know. It was a bad school. Like, genuinely, officially, it’s undergone some MAJOR overhauling since I left.
I was going to characterise the teachers as apathetic but I think that’s unfair, I think they were probably for the most part doing the best with what they had.
I probably could have done with more attention, but I got good exam results, I understand why me ‘needing to be challenged more’ or whatever wasn’t a high priority. By the time I was leaving school at 16 I basically chose to study music because it was about the only subject I wasn’t utterly bored with.

I’m not still in contact with anyone from school. Like, Facebook friends, sure, but I haven’t actually seen or talked to any of them in, a long time.
College is where I started to come into my own, really. I came out and grew half a foot and starting washing my hair regularly and gradually came out of my shell. Which I carried through to university, and became the confident, self-assured (like, comparatively speaking) man I am today.


#10

Wow, fuck all that noise. I’m glad you were able to get that worked out in the end :thumbsup:

Also do all high schools throw all-night parties at mini-golf courses? Mine did the same thing.


#11

I went from being an honors student in middle school to a special ed high school for a lot of reasons (bullying, depression, anxiety, autism) and it was a fucking shitshow. Teachers in special ed aren’t required to have had any training in the classes they teach, so you have people who know nothing about it teaching classes like Biology, Oceanography, Geometry and History. I live in an area with an EXTREMELY good community college, and 90% of the students that graduate who go on to college go there first. The therapeutic aspect of the school and their accommodations to IEP for kids is perfectly fine, I had a really good psychologist at the school too, but the education you get is abysmal. I had to do an independent study for an English class in 10th and 11th grade because my teacher made us read the book out loud in class to each other and it took us like 3 months to read Catcher in the Rye and it was super frustrating, I just couldn’t stay in the class anymore. I had a history teacher who I challenged on her extremely conservative view of history and she tried to get me expelled for threatening to attack her (it backfired and she got in a lot of trouble lol).

On the other hand, I had a ton of free time and I just played a lot of video games. We had a “game room” and we played a lot of Melee, Brawl, and shitty ps2/wii games that people would bring in. That was fun, but I can’t say it was worth losing out on 4 years of decent education.


#12

Thought I was going to be the only person to make this post in here, but you pretty much mirrored my own experience.

I was homeschooled from 5th grade through 8th grade (with my first semester of 8th grade a nightmarish few months of peer-based torment via a private Christian school), and then right back to homeschool til the end of my high school career.

I don’t feel I received any formal education from this process and it was done entirely to keep me “grounded in my faith” (using their terminology, not mine). I taught myself almost everything from workbooks and subjects that were kind of lost on me (i.e.: math), well, those just kind of fell by the wayside until I took remedial courses in college.

I regret the whole thing. My parents asked me a few times through high school if I wanted to start public school, but why would I say yes to that? I got to sleep in, work at my own pace, and avoid the hardships that came to people such as myself at the time (as an awkward, geeky teen with niche interests). I never knew about the opportunities I missed out on for higher education and I constantly wonder what my life may have been if I had more opportunity at better education.

When it gets brought up now, they say “well, you wanted to!” To which I say “yeah, if you ask a kid if he wants candy bars for breakfast, he’ll want that, too!” My parents aren’t bad people and I know that they had the best intentions, but I often find that religious leaning intentions are only “the best” in a pretty tight vacuum.


#13

It’s gotta be a very proud tradition tbh


#14

I had an okay time in High School. I went to public school and did relatively well, only had 1 real bully and he disappeared sometime in my junior year. Would I have done some stuff differently? Probably. I had pretty severe social anxiety though (probably should have seen a therapist, but hindsight is 20/20).


#15

I figure that my time in high school was?? fine?? I was one of those weird loner kids who hung out with some other weird loner kids and we were mostly left alone.

Though it’s hard to remember too much of it because I was mostly absent for basically the entirety of my last year. My Crohn’s started existing and I had so much joint pain I could barely move until it was diagnosed months later at the end of the school year.


#16

Remember that straight edge asshole you knew? Or that guy that thought he was a cool edgelord that talked about how they hated everyone? Or the dude who threw a fit because everyone grew out of their friend group and they no longer had anyone to hang out with because they didn’t realize they were a huge piece of shit? That was me. I’m really sorry about everything. I hope I’ve done better.

Edit: Honestly a lot of my attitude was pressure from family due to my parents very public job & having to keep appearances while working as a diplomat. Being told that if I got in trouble I was going to have to deal with it on my own in a country I really don’t know was very scary & made me try to police a lot of my friends, who’s parents often didn’t get along with mine. Also having learning disabilities that professors mocked me for & made it hard to do anything you really need to do academically made me feel really worthless and stupid still to this day. On top of that was moving from country to country and developing an identity crisis due to being a Third Culture Kid & biracial.

Which excuses nothing.


#17

Same story bro. It was Ulcerative Colitis aka Crohn’s sibling. Started at the start summer leading into my senior year. Took until like October to diagnose it. I was in really bad shape by then was rarely showing up to school. Went many weeks on like maybe 5 hours of sleep. Didn’t show up to school again after mid terms. Everything I was taking was AP classes and I only needed gym and religion(Catholic school) to graduate two essays written in the hospital my then second home and I graduated picked up my diploma in the summer.

Prior to that was a top student with pretty minimal effort. Socially not much was going on. Being a Catholic school it serviced a very large geographic area and there was pretty much no one out my way. I also didn’t really have access to rides. I got along great with everybody and being one of the handful of black kids did not cause me any real trouble. It was pleasant. I just never really got too close to anyone or group because it was basically impossible to see them outside of school. Also no dating action as well but I’m asexual so I don’t feel like I missed anything there.


#18

I had a rough time in high school, but I also had a lot of formative experiences. Although I was smart, in reality I was pretty immature for my age in a few ways. It was a series high highs and very low lows. It’s embarrassing to look back on, but I like to think that I learned a lot from those experiences.


#19

I taught myself almost everything from workbooks and subjects that were kind of lost on me (i.e.: math), well, those just kind of fell by the wayside until I took remedial courses in college.
When it gets brought up now, they say “well, you wanted to!” To which I say “yeah, if you ask a kid if he wants candy bars for breakfast, he’ll want that, too!” My parents aren’t bad people and I know that they had the best intentions, but I often find that religious leaning intentions are only “the best” in a pretty tight vacuum.

Yep, this was my experience as well. I struggled in college with a lot of core subjects because I pretty much didn’t do them in high school and had to learn them from scratch.

I mean, I took a natural science course through a homeschool co-op in 7th grade that flatly stated global warming was a proven false hoax and that all evidence pointed to dinosaurs co-existing with man, etc. Funnily, I think it’s made me a lot more suspicious of unsourced claims and I tend to research things for myself more as a result.


#20

God I was such a little shit. As soon as I discovered weed in high school my goals were:

  • Get as high as possible before school
  • Sneak out as often as possible to get high
  • Don’t ever do schoolwork
  • Try to dodge my staggering social anxiety.

As dumb as the above sounds, I’m not a dumb person, so I graduated with a decent GPA and went to a great school. As it turns out, being able to talk yourself into/out of most things is a great gift.