The Katz Meow: When The Reality of School Punches You In The Face


By Ella Katz unnamed-1 It’s a typical Tuesday morning in the life of a high school student: at 6:40 in the morning, your alarm (obviously to Me Too by Meghan Trainor) rings for the fifth time. As you contemplate beginning your morning stretch or hitting snooze for the sixth time, your mind starts to wander. Immediately, you have a realization: you have nothing to wear to school. And when I say nothing, we all know I mean absolutely nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Clearly, all fashion expertise and effort that you had was spent on selecting your first day outfit! So what are you going to do in the 5 to 10 minutes you have to solve your clothing crisis? Frantically, you go through every article of clothing in your messy and overcrowded closet. You come to the conclusion that there is nothing worth considering (based on what you are able to see). You even resort to checking your hamper, only to find some dirty lulu leggings and your favorite summer outfit crinkled up at the bottom corner of the basket. As you look in the mirror while you brush your face and wash your teeth (well, hopefully brush your teeth and wash your face but it is a rushed morning), you notice something is different. Something doesn’t feel quite right. As you go downstairs to the kitchen in an outfit that (depending on your grade) feels subpar at best, you are saddened to find yourself staring at an empty kitchen table, unlike yesterday, when you came downstairs to find a colorful plate of sunny side up eggs with a side of crispy bacon—your favorite. It’s the second day of school. Or as junior El Buchanan likes to call it, “The day when you wear your second best outfit, which is very mediocre, and the sad reality of school hits you in the face.” As you approach school, yesterday’s emotions of excitement and nervous anticipation have vanished. Today, the only sentiments you are feeling are a mixture of sadness, exhaustion, and stress as you contemplate the upcoming school year. As senior Sammy Goldman describes it, “The second day of school is the first day of school.” On the second day, you are no longer greeted outside the school by the encouraging welcome handshake from Mr. Dunn and Mrs. Rodriguez; those days are long gone. Rather, you walk the first of many vertiginous steps as you suddenly hear an authoritative voice yelling at you, “Don’t forget to badge in!” As you make your way up the stairs that somehow seem steeper and longer than you remember from last year, your heart rate begins to increase at a rapid rate— especially if you are a sophomore. After what feels like a lifetime, you get to your locker and load your heavy textbooks into your backpack. Starting today, you actually need to be attentive in class, take notes with your brand new pencils in your squeaky clean notebooks, and of course, participate for those crucial participation points that nobody wants to miss out on. As unfortunate as it is, tonight, your homework will not be to read over the syllabus and take note of any questions you have for your teacher. The homework for a given class will be something more similar to Review pages 50-100 for tomorrow’s quiz and graded discussion. Later in the day, when you get home from a hard practice of some sort that reminds you why you should have exercised more over the summer, you will of course be craving some good food and a compelling Netflix episode. You will know you have to do your homework, as you really will have homework. But this is where it all starts, right off the bat on day one. Procrastination; the action of delaying or postponing something. I personally like to refer to it as “Procrastination nation.” After hours of procrastinating, you realize you still have homework; even worse, it’s due tomorrow. You panic as you frantically mark up the text with scribbles you can barely make out and simultaneously spread thick yellow lines that cover the page. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t over-highlight? Anyway, by the time you finish, it’s much later than the time you originally planned to go to sleep. You climb into bed in your cozy pajamas under the warm blankets—hands down the best part of your day. As your eyes begin to close you have the most anxiety-producing thought: you have to do it all over again tomorrow. ]]>