Get out of high school as soon as you can

Story by Ellen Orr

When I realized that I could graduate a year early, I jumped on the opportunity. Although I love Texas High, I hate high school with a fiery passion. It’s been said that high school years are the best years of a person’s life, but I beg to differ. I love learning, but I’ve found that high school is not the best place to do that. High school has thus far beaten me down, ripped me to shreds, and slapped me in the face. I hate high school, and my reasons are abundant.

Reason 1: Most teachers don’t care.
I’ve had a few fabulous teachers who are my heroes, confidants, and role models, but for the most part, I’ve gotten stuck with teachers who teach for one reason–to get paid. I believe that teachers are supposed to care about and love their students; the role of a teacher is to educate through not only textbooks but actions. The great teachers I’ve had have taught me not only geometry, but how to successfully practice tough love; not only how to read Shakespeare, but what it means to be selfless; not only about the Jacksonian administration, but how to stand strong through tormenting winds. The sad thing about high school is that wonderful teachers seem to be a rare commodity. I’ve had some teachers who were sweet as can be but completely lacking in knowledge, and I’ve had brilliant teachers who seemed to have no nice bones in their bodies. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have teachers who actually exert kindness AND intelligence.

Reason 2: Standardized tests limit learning.
I’m in advanced classes, but we still seem to devote half of the year to the TAKS test. AP classes are just as bad, only preparing for the AP test. When you’re constantly being taught to write this certain way because that’s what AP graders are looking for, creativity is being constricted. And when a math teacher can’t teach her kids about trigonometry because they’re all too busy cramming for a TAKS test, students are ultimately being punished.

Reason 3: It’s a big waste of time.
Though my junior year has been jam-packed with work and new information, I’m still confident that I could get my work done in at least half the time allotted in a school day. Once you add together navigating through ridiculous hallways, watching TigerVision, standing in the cafeteria line, and listening to the teacher repeat something for the billionth time that everybody already understands, you realize how much time is spent being completely unproductive.

Reason 4: High school is painful.
I may not be paying bills or working an eight-to-five job or cramming for a hard college exam, but I am dealing with some of the hardest emotions I’ll ever encounter. Every day, I struggle with the pressure to make grades good enough for college, to keep me at the “right” rank, to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Sure, there are grades in college, but nobody cares if you made a 98 percent in your English I class on the day you’re handed your diploma. Additionally, students are faced daily with bullies and cliques, and cannot escape. As said in my favorite movie, Little Miss Sunshine, “If you sleep until you’re 18… Ah, think of the suffering you’re gonna miss. I mean high school? High school, those are your prime suffering years. You don’t get better suffering than that.”

I’m tired of being bored, unchallenged and discouraged. I want to get out of this horrible place as soon as I can. I love my extra-curriculars and my friends (and a few teachers and administrators), but that love doesn’t erase the ridiculousness that is high school. So I want to get out of here as soon as I can and will be graduating a year early. Is that really so stupid?