In Regard to Studiousness: A Treatise on the Establishment of Adulthood in High School


Travis Flippo, Writer, Abolitionist

Concerning the institution of high school itself and the absurdist mockery of reality that we are brought up in, students are less than ill-prepared to be exposed to the trials of the reality in which we live. The U.S. regards my peers and I as legal adults, but I still require teacher approval to use the bathroom. This infuriates me to no end and makes me resent the authority I am exposed to. I demand justice and satisfaction not only for me, but for my posterity. The future of America is months away from being unleashed onto U.S. streets and mixed in with the real population, yet they have no concrete concept of responsibility, consequences or accountability.

The more they coddle and hold our hand, the less independent we are. Because so little trust exists between the student-teacher relationship, the teacher and administration entity maintains a short leash on the students at all times, regardless of behavior. It makes one wonder, at what point does this issue become someone’s responsibility?  The school teachers point to the district level, district to state and state to federal level.

 I find that at Saginaw High School, there are teachers and administrators that care deeply about their students no matter how ornery the kids act. However, there exists a point that many students cross once they reach high school, resulting in a lack of care and effort concerning all classes (See: Why Am I Still Here?: Senioritis). Thereafter, this results in the respective teachers of these students to care less in reaction to their newfound apathy. This is not to blame teachers, because if there is one thing I have learned in high school, it’s that kids will try to shoot for the least amount of effort required for a passing grade. I instead point the finger at the establishment of the system itself. The fact that I am an 18 year old man and that I am still subject to the exact same regulations as he who just came from middle school, is about one pig head on a stake away from Lord of the Flies. The “rat race”, as I have so-called it, rewards obedience with a lack of punishment. If a student disobeys, say one stands up to proclaim that he or she is, in fact, Spartacus, then this dissent shall be met with the swiftest comeuppance. This is one reason why I refuse to eat my lunch in the cafeteria, because I do not enjoy being monitored like a prisoner for performing a basic human function. 

One may ask, O Travis, why does this grand establishment infuriate you so? Well I’ll tell you. See the thing is, I have a college career ahead of me, and I understand that not all students choose this route. Yet, regardless of whether they attend university or not, we are all treated like animals. And no, before you ask, some animals are not more equal than others. This is a troublesome matter because these students know nothing else other than public school rule-following. In regular core classes, as well as the United States Marine Corps, rule-following is all one needs to succeed. But the real world is far from English IV or the USMC. It worries me, the simple fact that students fresh out of 13 years of schooling will not be able to use intuition and independent thinking to solve problems. It worries me further, that for many kids, senior year is it. It’s the result of more than a decade’s worth of culmination of learning, and it will amount to what?

Now don’t worry that I am not aware of the irony of a high school student writing about how doomed high schoolers are. I know all too well.

But I have not seen the real world, and neither have any of my classmates. I know not what is in store, and I am frightened by the fact that I will have to walk the earth with the same people that neglect to pass their regular math class. Few people rejuvenate my trust in the latter grades of Saginaw High School, and I can only hope an example is set for students to follow the ones who care.