17 going on 5

Mallory Robertson

     You know what really grinds my gears? High school. I can remember countless days in elementary school when I thought to myself, “I cannot wait to be out of here and onto something bigger and better where they don’t treat me like a baby.” Today, I still find myself saying the same thing. You would think that as an “upperclassmen” in high school you would get more privileges, considering at this point in your life you are allowed to legally do so many things that before you could not.  However, I find myself being treated in school almost the same as I was 10 years ago.

     As a high school student, I feel I should have the right to use the restroom when needed, yet I am still not allowed to use the restroom without permission. Bathroom passes, everyone gets them, usually two or three a semester.  Why do teachers think they have the right to decide if I will learn more by sitting cross-legged and unable to concentrate or by being able to take care of my business so I can turn my full attention to my work? To tell me when I can and cannot use the restroom is absurd.  Experts encourage everyone to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day to keep yourself healthy, yet the majority of the time you are denied the opportunity to even relieve yourself?  Don’t they know what goes in must come out? These are 90 minute periods, with five minute passing periods to travel between up to five or so buildings. Shouldn’t a young woman or man of 17 or 18 years of age be able to make these decisions on their own? I am old enough to be trusted to do many things, and I should be trusted enough to know when I have to go to the restroom. 

     In our district, we stress the importance of the moral educational curriculum, as evidenced by the Learning Model and Graduate Profile. Part of doing “right and good by all” is treating people fairly. Although equality is emphasized, favoritism still happens in some classes. Many of my teachers over the years have shown favoritism to some of their students.  Just because I don’t go out of my way to do extra things to please a certain teacher, doesn’t mean I should be put at a disadvantage. Favoritism is just plain frustrating.  If I walk into the class three minutes late and am told to go get a late pass, then when the teacher’s pet walks in five minutes late, they should be required to get one too.  Teachers should be more consistent with their enforcement of school and class rules. If someone is texting in class and their phone is taken the person behind then should have his phone taken up too for the same offense.

     I also do not understand why there is so much excessive control over students.  We can’t dress the way we want, we can’t have uncommon piercings, we can’t have facial hair, we aren’t allowed to wear hats, and we cannot text during lunch or during passing periods. They pretty much have us locked down as tight as the computer resources we’re supposed to use for research and productivity.

     One thing that high school has taught me is that no matter how much you disagree with the rules you can’t be a rebel. You’ve got to sit back and accept that independence is not what high school is about. It’s about the grades, it’s about passing your classes and getting the credits you need to move onto the next level and it’s about the GPA you need to get into the college you want to attend. Whether you are a senior with only two months left, or a freshman with three long years ahead of you, just remember, high school is a transition period from the dependence of junior high to the independence of a college bound student. Get the most  you can from the experience by developing your skills and your judgment.