Ah, yes — high school. Four years that, depending upon your experience, were either some of the best or the worst of your life. But whether you couldn't wait for it to end or wished you could get an extension, there were certain kinds of drama you definitely had in high school. We all did. Drama is basically a hallmark of the high school experience, right?
What's interesting about high school is that despite the drama, it's such a formative time in your life that it tends to stick with you for ages. It's surprising how much it comes up in casual conversation over the years, actually. (More for some than others, but hey ... we've all got our stuff.) Here's the good news, though: the drama that seemed so big in high school, well, it pales in comparison to the drama you have IRL as an adult. It's apples and oranges really — high school is such an insular experience that your world seems like it might implode if you have a big, honking zit on picture day. Although, in defense of our high school selves, that was the worst.
So break out your old letter jacket and join me as we take a look at at a few classic kinds of high school drama. 'Cause, real talk, we could all use a distraction from adulting for a little while.
1. Relationship Drama
If high school drama has a hierarchy, relationship drama is at the top of that totem pole. When things were good, they were great. You got to hang out, like, all the time (because, class), and you may or may not have engaged in some major lockerside makeout sessions. But one or both of you inevitably wound up irrationally jealous, you would break up and make up as much as the bell rang, and life could not possibly have been more awkward than in the weeks following a legit parting of the ways. Life, as you knew it, was over. (Or at least that's what your 16-year-old self would have you believe.)
2. Being Singled Out
Regardless of whether you were a straight A student or someone who coasted through high school without a care, you likely had that one teacher who you were convinced had it out for you. You hated them for the impossibly high standards they held you to, or the fact that they always seemed to call on you at the precise moments you were trying to figure out how to pass an origami-style folded note to your BFF three seats ahead of you. Of course, now you realize said teacher was probably just doing their job, but still. Hater.
3. The Ol' Cafeteria
There are few places in a high school where the complex workings of the social order are on display more than in the cafeteria. If you were a core member of a clique, sure, your seat was as good as reserved. But god forbid you're on the outs with your group. Where do you sit then? Do you just leave the cafeteria and sit outside on a bench? Is that even allowed? Even if you weren't on someone's shit list but managed to be the seventh person to a six-person table, you were in for a mind-boggling mental debate about the proper protocol for dealing with such stressful scenarios. Sidebar: Oh, to be young and have finding a seat in the cafeteria be the most taxing part of the day!
Speaking of cliques, high school wasn't exactly the most inclusive moment in your life. There seemed to be some natural law stating everyone had to pair off and form small, tight-knit groups based on certain interests or personality traits. There were the jocks, the theater kids, the "nerds," the rule breakers and, of course, the "mean girls." And, to draw an analogy from the movie of the same name (aka Mean Girls a la Lindsay Lohan), high school was a lot like hanging around an African watering hole — super catty.
Back then, you always felt like you had all the time in the world. History paper due in a week? No prob! You'll get to it... eventually. Only then the morning the assignment is due arrives, and you're left frantically trying to hammer it out on your keyboard before (or during) homeroom. Why? Why did you always do this to yourself?! See also: Walking into third period only to remember right as you sat down there was an actual, real life exam that day. Face, meet palm.
6. The Rumor Mill
When I was a junior in high school, someone started a rumor they had seen me in an, ahem, very compromising position on a picnic table at a local hangout one Friday night with my then-boyfriend. It didn't take long for the rumor to take root and, before long, I was fielding tons of comments about the alleged event — some more inappropriate than others, and many involving splinters. Forget due process! In high school, gossip meant you were guilty until proven innocent. And, even then, sometimes the rumor mill just kept churning.
7. The Existential High School Crisis
By spring semester of senior year, time seemed to be crawling by at a glacial pace. Seriously, the year was moving slow AF, and you were halfway convinced there was some ripple in the space-time continuum causing minutes to move backwards. Then, coming back from your last spring break and heading into the home stretch, it hit you: high school is about to be over. What are you going to do with your life? Will you even like college? Can you make it on your own? WHAT IS YOUR LIFE EVEN? Ain't no drama like the existential crisis drama, 'cause the existential crisis drama don't stop.