I hate to say high school is hell, because it’s not. At the same time, it totally is. It’s hard to explain why I find it so depressing. Like, the other day, I was at lunch with a girl I don’t usually eat with. I was sitting next to her because none of my friends were in the lunch room and almost every table was full. We sat in silence for a while. She asked me what I was eating. I said a chicken salad sandwich. I asked her what she was eating. She also had a sandwich. I just kind of sat there and watched the tables where the teachers always sit.

Anyway, when this girl asked me what I was thinking about, I told her it was depressing that these teachers were sitting in a cafeteria with a bunch of kids, hunched over their trays of pizza and fruit punch the same way we were. Our school recently switched to tables that have seats attached to them because we weren’t “mature” enough to handle real chairs. And now the adults have to sit there, too.

Also: lunch boxes. I still carry a lunch box to school and I’m almost legally an adult. Lunch boxes are a symbol of wanting to grow up, but not being able to yet.

Also also: I keep having these uncomfortable interactions with this guy I’m in band with. We have band every day as our last class, so we end up walking to class together. He’s gentlemanly to a crippling degree. He always opens the door for people. One day, when his hands were full, I opened the door for him and he was super upset. I’m not sure why, but I think that politeness is essential to him or something. So I guess that’s why high school is like mini-hell. It’s really average and uncomfortable and stuff.

It’s also hell because several months after a boy in our grade killed himself last year, the teachers put these self-help books in our lockers about getting over grief. They were trying to help, but it didn’t really matter. I hadn’t known him that well, but I did know that we all tried to get rid of our books as fast as we could. Also, the first day back after he died, there were teachers all over the hallway. There were rumors that they were designated to guard his locker so that no one would make it into a shrine or something. And one girl said she overheard one teacher tell another that she thought that we should be over his suicide by now, and that was only two weeks after it happened.

Also also also: who am I to write about this? I didn’t even know him. Then again, I kind of did, because he was in some of my classes and my best friend used to have a giant crush on him. He gave me Skittles once in civics class because I said I was hungry. He once told me that I was funny.

So that’s where my relationship with school is right now. It makes me feel confused and conflicted and like I want to get out. But I have five more months left. In that time, I will feel exhausted and treat my family like shit as a result. I will go to school and get in trouble with my statistics teacher for talking too much and with my French teacher for not talking enough. I will be angry at myself for being petty and complaining a lot, but then will feel better when I get candy from my teacher’s office and talk to her before dance class. In dance class, I will hate my body, and in musical practice I will hate having to be so peppy. High school is and isn’t hell. I hate it. Sort of. ♦