The following is a fun little paper I wrote for my AP English class in which we had to write an op-ed commentary. An op-ed is an article generally featured in a newspaper (OPposite the EDitorial) and is usually opinionated and not too long. So our assignment was to choose any topic we cared about and write an opinion piece. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I have a lot of opinions. So I chose a topic I was passionate about and tried my darnedest to write a great paper. I got a 90 on this one (thanks Mr. Mazenko) but I am still quite proud of it. So please enjoy! (By the way, I have changed the name of my high school in a lame attempt at keeping up a little anonymity in a scary online world.)
High school is full of hardships.
Between homework and tests, teachers and peers, high school is filled with emotions, drama, and difficult tasks. However, it seems to me, that the most taxing struggle of all–worse than memorizing vocabulary in a foreign language, more frightening than the common app–is walking in the hallway.
Yes, it may be logical to assume that the hardest challenges of high school occur in the classroom, but alas, it is the hall that really gets teenagers stumped. For whatever reason, high schoolers, especially those at Lincoln High School, are suffering from “Hallway Horror”, a gripping disease that impairs their ability to walk efficiently between classes. They are simply not grasping the concept of walking through the halls. What is this elongated room I am in? Where do all these doors lead? Which way is my class again? Wait, look! There’s my friend! Maybe I’ll stop and chat!
Sure, why not? Ignorance is bliss after all.
But how long can students remain utterly unaware that they are stopping traffic, that their social interactions are causing a blockage? I am all for being friendly, and of course school should not be getting in the way of these kids’ social lives, right? But teens should learn how to navigate their hallways, in order to maintain a happy, healthy high school career. So we will take this in three, simple steps.
Step 1: Pick up the Pace. High school is extremely stressful, and it is always nice to have a break in the day to stroll leisurely to the next class. However, how do you expect anyone to reach class on time if they are delayed by your laziness? And at a school with 3,600 students and 200 faculty members, maneuvering around you is rarely an option. Keep it brisk, ladies and gentlemen, and don’t be afraid to put the car in drive. Think the purposeful walk of a preschool line leader, not the easy gait of the McDonalds employee serving fries.
Step 2: Practice Safe Speeds. Now, I know I just told you to pick up the pace, and you should, but that being said, there is another important piece of knowledge every student must know: never run in the halls. This is not just a rule you heard shouted at you by a teacher as you rushed by them in middle school. This is a fundamental guideline for successful hallway navigation. While you should be walking with purpose, you should never need to run to reach your class. Each passing period is seven minutes long. 420 seconds. Even at Lincoln High School, an unusually large campus at 80 acres and four buildings, you will be on time without running – I promise. If you run, you may not only cause an accident, but you will look, quite frankly, like a disoriented and terrified freshman.
Step 3: Pull Over. The third, and possibly most important rule, applies to that ever so important social life of yours. When you see a friend in the hall, by all means, wave, say hi, make a hysterically awkward face at them as you pass each other (my personal go-to). But please, for the sake of hallway navigators everywhere, if you must have a conversation, pull over. If you stop in the middle of the hall to chat with your pals, you create a general confusion for the first few people behind you when you stop and also for those after them, who must stray from their path to get around. You and your buddy act as a giant highway divider that has been thrown across the middle of the actual highway. If your small talk is really important enough to warrant parking, please pull over first.
It is my sincerest wish that these steps will help high schoolers from all walks of life to navigate their halls – and their high school careers – more easily. If we all remember to pick up the pace, practice safe speeds, and pull over, we can avoid the hallway horror that affects so many high school teens today.
Submitted with undying love for,
opinionated articles, getting an A on this so it’s cool Mazenko, and subtle jabs at the kids in my school,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken