High School Horror Stories: The Fall (French version available)
As a grade 12 student, I am no stranger to the happiness and also embarrassment of being in high school. Things that are seemingly normal, when put under the teenage lens, are uncomfortable. However, anyone who has ever attended high school feels the exact same way. And because I believe in backing up what I say, I am willing to embarrass myself further and share one of the most humiliating things that has happened to me.
Let’s set the scene. It’s 2:35 p.m., the final bell has rung and everyone is eager to get home. People are gathered in the atrium talking with their friends and racing to get a good seat on the bus. Science class has just ended and for safety purposes, we were not allowed to have our backpacks in the room. This means I had two binders, a notebook, a calculator, and a pencil case in my arms. Feeling the usual rush, I take quick steps down the atrium stairs. I try to maintain the foot traffic and forget to look where I am stepping. I reach the very last step, and I slip off the edge. My life practically flashed before my eyes; all the papers I was holding flew out of my arms and onto the floor. As I fell flat onto the ground, it felt like all eyes were on me.
My face was beet red as I panicked. I started grabbing at everything on the ground, trying to collect my things and leave that area as fast as possible. I ended up with a few pencils that were not mine. I had what I thought was mine in my arms and started to lift myself up off the ground. While I was falling, I did not notice that my shoelace was slightly untied. If falling once was not mortifying enough, fate decided to play a cruel trick on me. The shoelace was underneath my foot and I slipped, once again.
This time, I only fell on one of my knees, and did not lose any of my papers. My chest felt so constricted and my face was hot. I had never felt so humiliated at school. Falling down in front of practically half the school is something no one ever wants to do – let alone a grade nine student who was trying to find their footing (literally). I ended up at home, replaying that moment over and over in my mind. I was so embarrassed and I thought everyone was doing the exact same thing. I was worried for the next day that people would talk and laugh at me for some silly misstep. When the next day rolled around, and no one said anything, I was so confused. How did they not remember what happened? And it wasn’t until a few weeks later that I realised, they just did not care. Instead of leaving that situation being made fun of, all I ended up with was a nasty bruise on my knee.
Looking back on this three years later, I know so much more about high school and its environment. No one cared because they were far too concerned with how they were coming across to others. Every student was scared to mess up or make a fool of themselves, so when I messed up, it did not matter at all. And knowing all this now, I want to tell all of you high school students that it is okay to mess up and embarrass yourself. Embarrassment is where the memories and joy lie in high school. And I guarantee you, no one remembers that little misstep you took in the ninth grade.