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15 Small Things In High School Which Make The Days Memorable

15 Small Things In High School Which Make The Days Memorable

It’s funny, isn’t it? The years go by, but our memories stay strong. High school was a unique experience for everyone. No one has the same stories, events and triumphs of another. There are however, common but meaningful moments of joy and laughter that we can all relate to when thinking back on our transformation years from teen to young adult.

Think of this as a time machine to step back from the present and travel back for a moment to our so called glory days.

1.  First Day Freshman Year

Maybe your parents didn’t take pictures and cry like they did for kindergarten, but the first day of high school was a big deal. At the time it seemed like the most important thing you’ve ever done. The goal was simple. As long as you made it through the day without being trash-canned or stuffed in a locker by a senior, you could consider day one as a high schooler a success.

2.  Gym Class

There were two types of kids in gym class. Those who loved gym class and those who hated it. Whether you were the one throwing the dodge balls or the one being pelted, you never forget the craziness that went on during gym. Not the mention the stink and sweat you had to deal with for the rest of the day after class.

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3.  Getting Called On When You Weren’t Paying Attention

There you were, day dreaming away, staring at the pretty girl across the room or thinking about what you’ll do after school ends. Out of nowhere, BAM! The teacher calls your name and you didn’t even hear the question. Two possible outcomes awaited: You were either clever enough to come up with a guess that might work, or you sat there dumbfounded while the teacher called on someone else in disgust. Don’t worry, it happened to all of us.

4.  First Crush

Let’s face it, we all had one. We can all think back to the first guy or girl we couldn’t help but smile at and hope we’d get a glimpse of them walking down the hall in-between classes. The question is, what happened after that crush? Did the crush fade away? Was it heartbreak? Or maybe you went all four years without ever saying a word, satisfied with split second eye contact every few weeks. Who knows, maybe you even married them. Either way, we all remember our first crush.

5.  Substitute Teacher

When you walked into the classroom and saw an unfamiliar face sitting at the teacher’s desk you knew it was going to be an interesting day. Pranksters were full steam ahead when a substitute teacher was in for the day. Mixing up names, talking in accents, random shouting, anything to erupt a roar of laughter from the rest of the class. The best was trying to convince the substitute how our regular teacher always let us do something, like listen to music during class, when it was never actually the case. You never knew what to expect on substitute teacher days.

6.  Sneaking Texts

For those who didn’t have cell phones during high school think of it as passing notes on steroids. Not only could you send a message without skipping down the entire row of desks but now you could send it to someone in an entirely different room. It was always a thrill making sure you could punch out a few words before the teacher saw what you were doing. The downfall was when you got caught teachers kept your phone for the entire day, or worse, brought it to the principal’s office.

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7.  Group Projects

Working in groups could go a few different ways. Most would be groups of friends who partnered up so they could joke around the entire class before trying to scruff something together in the last five minutes. One group was always bound to get stuck with the kid who never did anything and they’d have to compensate the extra work while he sat there picking his nose. My secret was to partner up with the smart kids, knowing they’d do the hard work to make sure the group got an A and only assign me enough to make it look like I actually did something.

8.  Being Called On The Intercom

A stir of emotions flowed in when you heard your name over the loud speaker to come down to the office. A sense of pride in having the entire school hear your name aloud followed quickly by a sharp worry of what trouble you got yourself into this time. Then when you arrived to find out it was only because your mom dropped off lunch money you wondered why they made such a big deal to announce it to the whole school.

9.  Field Trips

It didn’t matter where you were going, the best part about any field trip was the bus ride. All of your friends squeezed onto one bus shouting and joking around the entire way there and back. It’s amazing to think back on the things bus drivers would put up with.

10.  “When will we ever use this?”

This question came up every single day, especially in math class. Most of the time the teacher came up with an example of when we’d use that days lesson in the real world, but it was always satisfying when we got the response we were looking for: “Probably never.” But it was in the curriculum so class continued on and we had to learn it anyways.

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11.  Lunch

Lunch was arguably the best part of the day. Not because of the food, no definitely not the food. It was a break from nagging teachers and boring lectures, and a chance to hangout with your friends. It’s funny to think about the big decision of where to sit every day. Lunch was were groups of friends were defined. Scan across the room for 30 seconds and you could point out every single clique there was. Lunch was about the experience and never about the food. Honestly, does anyone know what it was they put in those sausage links of breakfast day?

12.  “Study” Hall

A lot of different things happened during study hall. Studying was never one of them. It was either spent talking with friends or you opened up your book to a random page and dedicated the rest of the period to sleeping. Study hall was a part of the day were it was perfectly okay to do nothing. Where’s that in the 40 hour work week?

13.  Homework?

Class is almost over. The bell’s about to ring and the teacher’s lost track of time. The whole class is hanging on their seats because no homework has been assigned and everyone is pumped to go home knowing they won’t have any work to do. Then, usually the teacher’s pet, bursts out, “what about homework?” The teacher thanks her for the reminder and then give the class the assignment. Just like that the excitement is ruined. Such an emotional roller coaster in that short period of time for all of us young people.

14.  Daily Drama

You can’t think about high school without thinking about all the nonsense that went on everyday. Even if you played no part in drama you knew the inside scoop of what was going on. Who was dating who, who didn’t like which person, who got caught cheating on their test. It’s funny to think about all the little things we cared about. It’s even funnier to think about all the people who still do.

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15.  Senior Year

Almost as fast as you’ve read this post it seems you went from walking in the doors for the first time as a freshman to walking out one last time as a high school graduate. When we think back to high school, senior year tends to dominate the image. Rulers of the school, you could do anything you wanted and no one would tell you otherwise. Well, that’s not really true, but it’s how we all felt. Senior year was the last step of the 12 year journey, afterwards it was time to leave the nest and take your first step into the real world.

It’s always funny thinking back on high school. Whenever we reminisce, it’s never about the tests, grades, or what we learned in class, it’s about the memories we have with those who were closest to us. We think about the relationships we built. About being with your friends every day for four years, laughing, joking and bringing joy to each others lives.

That’s what we remember most about high school. And that’s exactly how it should be.

Featured photo credit: GyorgyMadarasz via cdn.morguefile.com

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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