Sit down slowly: 4 hacks for surviving high school

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By Faith Evans

Illustration by Faith Evans
Illustration by Faith Evans

You’ve made it through the first two weeks: only 37 more to go. Yay. High school is rough for everyone, from the scared, young freshmen to the seasoned seniors, and though there is no changing that, there are a few ways to ease the terror of finding your niche in the first few weeks of school.

First off, don’t bottle the water. The school drinking fountains are like manna from heaven. To the soul who has just emerged sweaty and trembling from the locker room, the mineral rich, filtered-directly-from-lake-mead water can be a saving grace. From the first few sips, it relaxes your throat and cools your very mind. Do not bother concerning yourself with any aftertastes and/or side effects. However, like manna, the water is not meant to be kept. It is a momentary joy that cannot be contained by a plastic prison of caps and spouts. It marinates within the bottle, losing all it’s flavor and health benefits. Don’t bottle the water.

Next to most drinking fountains, you may notice a long blue door marked “Women” or “Men.” Many of you refuse to use these facilities, so for those unfamiliar with them, they are public, high school restrooms. Please be reassured that nothing abhor-worthy lives within them, and they are fully functional. Also, note that functional does not equate to optimal, as this is where the next tip comes in. Toilet seats cannot always be trusted. Blame Clark County, blame Coronado, or blame the last guy who used it, but either way, not all seats are secure. It should be no reason for alarm, but rather a reason for caution. The most you will get is a mild splash from the second stall in the women’s restroom by the 800s hallway. This can be avoided by taking one of two precautionary measures. The easiest way to deal is by lowering yourself carefully and allowing the seat to shift to where it will stay for the remainder of your personal time. The knowledge that the seat will move after you sit down usually prevents shocked gasps and screams. Others less brave and more strong may use the “squatting” technique, a concept that needs no explanation.

Okay, okay, not every hack needs to be so awkward. For those who eat near the far side of the courtyard, don’t feel restrained by that small metal loop meant to hold the umbrella in place. The best technique for blocking the sun is achieved by wedging the pole of the umbrella against that small concrete ledge next to the table so that the top of the umbrella faces the back stairs. Especially during first lunch at high noon, this will provide more shade for all your table’s occupants.

Some of you may not even have gotten a table in the rush of the first day, or maybe you have found yourself displaced- forced out by some upperclassmen. There is no hope; you have been condemned to wander the courtyard in search of acceptance and a place to sit. Perhaps you will brave the last frontiers among the deserted, umbrella-less tables in the concrete frying pan of the quad, or maybe you will find your place along the ledges surrounding the foliage. A merciful teacher may take you in, or a quiet bathroom stall may call your name. Be careful which toilet seat you choose.

For those feeling lost and abandoned, here are some quick words of advice: don’t read the bathroom stalls, don’t make eye contact with the opposite gender unless you’re looking for a long-term relationship, it doesn’t matter where you sit on the bus as long as it’s by the AC and you have headphones, do the math homework, smile often, put on the dress-code-appropriate shirt and deal with it, you’re not short you’re fun size, (yes) your body is changing, it’s not you- everyone smells bad, it is Tuesday, coffee isn’t a long-term cure for sleep deprivation, and welcome to high school, the next four years will go by faster than you realize.

In all reality, high school isn’t that bad unless you make it that way. Look at every situation the right way, and the drinking fountains can be last-resort excitement, bathroom trips can always be an adventure, the boiling courtyard could help you improve that miserable tan, and lunch can be a game of musical chairs. Choose your seats wisely; you’ll be there for the rest of the year.