I hate school hallways. I always thought they were a universally hated thing, but according to my friends, they are not.

Of course hallways were bad in middle school, but my entry to high school marked a significant worsening in overall experience. I spent all of freshman year commuting between the two buildings on my school’s campus. One for freshmen, the other for upperclassmen.

In the freshman building, I felt comfortable. Kids my age, most of whom I knew. Occasionally there were troublesome boys to interrupt my journey. Boys who would speak to me all night on Facebook, and then ignore me in school. Either that, or I’d get flustered and choke when they waved. There were also the boys who I’d follow around at concerts, gushing about how we needed to hang out more. Naturally, I was especially nervous around them during the school week. There was also just the problem of all boys in general. Despite this, the real issue was the main building.

In the main building, everyone was older, and therefore more experienced, and therefore cooler than I. I saw them looking at me, and assumed any glance was an act of aggression. Without opening their mouths, they’d told me everything. Not only was I clueless, and clogging the hall, but I made eye contact with them too often. Eye contact, for those unaware, is horrible and weird. It’s one of those things everyone does out of habit, and while it is appropriate in some cases, a school hallway is not one of those places. I searched for a perfect place to look, to avoid all eye contact with anyone. The floor, my phone, the exit sign at the end of the hall? There was no answer. In addition, I once tripped up the stairs in a skirt, and approximately 25 seniors saw my underwear.

I started listening to music as I walked through the halls. The one earbud in, one out, tucked through the T-shirt look is very popular at my school, and if I was going to make it there, I needed to blend in, and calm down. The songs that calmed me spanned all genres. Once, someone with a particularly large backpack knocked into me. “Blurred Lines” was playing on my phone when it was knocked from my hand and headphones, and down the stairs, where a very cool girl I wanted to be friends with picked it up. A very cool feminist girl who respected me, and saw me as a very cool feminist girl as well. She looked disgusted. If she is reading this, I hope she knows that I downloaded the song illegally, in an effort to hurt Robin Thicke’s album sales, thus punishing him for being a gross misogynist. I shouldn’t have had the song on my phone in the first place, but it’s just so groovy.

I still hate hallways. ♦